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James Madison University Punished Sexual Assault With ‘Expulsion After Graduation’

James Madison University punished three fraternity members for sexually assaulting a female student and sharing their video of the attack by banning them from campus — after they graduate.

The school found the men responsible for sexual assault and harassment in the spring break 2013 attack on Sarah Butters, and determined that they shared the video widely with others on the JMU campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The unusual “expulsion after graduation” sanction allowed two of the men to graduate on time in May. The third plans to remain on campus for his senior year in 2014-15.

Butters’ complaint to federal officials about the school’s handling of the attack has prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. JMU is among four universities in Virginia and 63 nationwide to face federal scrutiny on sexual assault cases. The investigation, opened on June 4, will review whether JMU violated the gender equity law Title IX.

S. Daniel Carter, an advocate for sexual assault victims who is frequently involved in federal policy on campus safety, said he’d never heard of that kind of punishment.

Read the full article here.

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Bob Jones University told rape victims to repent and look for ‘root sin’ that caused their attack

Our hearts ache for this survivor and others who are not provided with accurate information, confidential resources and services to help them through potentially one of the most frightening things that will ever happen to them.  This is not ok. The One Student team is committed to helping build communities that will support survivors. Are the resources in your community up to your standards?

By Tom Boggioni
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 19:02 EDT

According to an investigative report from Al Jazeera America, rape victims searching for help at Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., were told to repent and seek out their own “root sin” that caused them to be raped.

Within the past year BJU has opened its own investigation into sexual abuse and rape, and now former students who were victimized are coming forward to tell their stories about life on a campus where they were shamed and told to keep their stories to themselves.

Coming from a conservative Mennonite family, Katie Landry, who at age 19 had never even held hands with a boy, was raped multiple times by her supervisor at her summer job. Two years later, haunted by the attacks, and attending Bob Jones University, she sought help from then dean of students, Jim Berg.

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Strength

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month One Student contributing writer shares a bit of her story and journey in a piece she calls  STRENGTH.

It is not your fault.

If you are a victim of violence, you might not consciously know it. You might not want to recognize it. You might know but are afraid to admit it to anyone, even to yourself. You might have told someone, but they didn’t believe you. Someone might have told you, but you denied it.

I’ve been in that place; I understand.

Today, I am a survivor. However, that doesn’t mean I am 100% “cured.” Being a survivor doesn’t mean that after five years and some months of progress that I don’t have flashbacks and nightmares. It doesn’t mean that I don’t do a double-take at look-alikes, that I don’t screen my calls, or that sometimes I don’t make the same mistakes over again.

I am an amazing person.

It has taken what seems decades to get to this point in my life, but I made it. You are strong too, even if you can’t see it. Even if right now, the world is crashing down and you are in a place of hurt. You are alive, and you are beautiful. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, and it never ends; it is a continual journey that will be with you forever.

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Social Media & SAAM

Sexual assault can seem like an issue too big for any one of us to effectively address, but there is a role for each of us to play and the opportunity to impact our campus, our community and subsequently create a ripple of social change. Sexual assault awareness month (SAAM) is a great opportunity to raise your voice for change. One of our favorite quotes states: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn

This month, in recognition of SAAM, will you consider doing something small? Something that’s important to you. Challenge rape culture, share a One Student resource with a class, sign the One Student pledge, participate in campus and community SAAM events. Use your social network to raise awareness. One Student created a logo for SAAM (pic below). Make it your profile pic, tweet it, add it to Instagram. In other words– get people talking, because through dialogue, change begins. One sexual assault is too many and One Student can make a difference. Will you be the One? Tag @OneStudentOrg or #OneStudent in any SAAM pics and you could win one of several sexually empowered items from our swag bag.

One-Student-SAAM 2014

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