Survivor Fights back. Gorovsky Law honored to stand behind her.
In a stunning lack of understanding of Title IX and what it means to support students who have been sexually assaulted, SIUE school officials have failed to protect a student who reported being raped by a fellow student. School officials chose on multiple occasions in investigating a rape on campus to put the rights and needs of the alleged perpetrator ahead of the victim.
Bailey Reed, SIUE student, found the courage to promptly report her rape, go to the hospital and submit to a medical exam and work with law enforcement. She did everything right yet her University failed to support her.
Ms. Reed repeatedly said no her attacker’s sexual advances, but the University told her they didn’t believe her because she flirted with her perpetrator and she enjoyed attention from him in the days leading up to the assault. The laws (and SIUE’s own policies) say that not only is saying NO enough, there must also be a clear willingness to participate for there to be consent. However, the Title IX investigation held that Reed could not have been victimized because investigators found she did not behave the way they feel victims should behave following a sexual assault.
Have school officials learned nothing from the sexual assaults on the Penn State Campus? From the recent conviction of Bill Cosby? From the Larry Nassar/Michigan State University lawsuits? Are they trying to discourage students from reporting sexual crimes?
On multiple occasions the school went out of its way to protect the accused’s needs at the expense of the victim’s needs.
--they refused to accommodate the victim’s needs for safety on campus until the victim received an order of protection from the civil court – by proving her case by a preponderance of the evidence in Court
--they missed deadlines established by Title IX to provide a prompt resolution for the victim
--they asked repeated explicit and unnecessary questions about the assault of the victim’s friends to the point where one cried and felt they twisted her words to make everything the victim’s fault
--they ignored the fact that a second victim had come forward
--they failed to enforce the Order of Protection issued by the Madison County Circuit Court and allowed the accused to violate it.
--they failed to provide counseling at the time of the attack saying it would be three weeks until she would have her first appointment
--They provided the predator with a copy of the campus surveillance video following the assault, but failed to share it with the victim
The way this case was handled could be a training session on what not to do when a student reports a sexual assault.
“Ms. Reed has graduated. The easiest thing for her to do would be to walk away and begin her new life. She has chosen to file an appeal with The Board of Trustees of SIU to expose the wrong doing not only of the perpetrator but also school officials. She has chosen to stay and work to protect other students”, said Barbara Dorris a victim’s advocate.
Reed wants to urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered sex crimes and cover ups in all institutions – especially on the SIUE campus – to protect students by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling a support group. This is how students will be safer, victims will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
According to Nicole Gorovsky, Reed’s attorney, “the only way to make universities change their ways and protect students is to shame them. When they get away with this kind of gender discrimination behind closed doors, and no one brings it into the open, the discrimination continues. Ms. Reed is the courageous woman who has decided not to let that happen.”
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