A University of Connecticut graduate, Nurse Kylie Angell has launched a lawsuit against her former school on the grounds that the school did little to protect her from predatory sexual on campus behavior.
Told Angell yesterday at a press conference yesterday along with six other women who have since claimed that were victims of sexual assault:
‘A police officer went on tell me that ‘women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter.’
The women who are now being represented by high profile lawyer Gloria Allred have since gone on to file a federal discrimination complaint against the school, claiming it did not take measures to protect them or even properly investigate the incidents.
In describing one episode, Kylie Angell went on to tell how the school went on to initially expel her attacker but inexplicably went on to readmit the man two weeks later without informing her of their decision.
Offered the women’s lawyer, Gloria Allred: ‘They are simply tired of seeing women being raped and sexually assaulted at the university while the administration chose deliberate indifference,’
In describing the sexual assault she experienced, Angell told how she had complained to a campus police officer after being sexually accosted in the dining hall and the officer responding the following:
“Women need to stop spreading their legs like peanut butter or rape is going to keep happening until the cows come home.”
Went on to add the graduating nurse: ‘Shocked, I left feeling confused, violated, traumatized and vulnerable.’
In pressing forward with the lawsuit, the hartfordcourant goes on to report that four current students and three recent graduates are asking for an investigation under the federal Title IX law, which protects students from sexual discrimination in any education program that receives federal aid.
UConn issued a statement saying that while the women’s cases remain confidential, the school felt each was handled appropriately.
Told the school in a statement:
‘The University of Connecticut takes allegations of this nature extremely seriously, as the health and well-being of our students is a top priority.
‘Our response protocol for these and other alleged incidents of sexual assault is in line with or exceeds best practices.
‘We always must be mindful of the rights of the accused and the accuser while upholding our commitment to protecting the safety of our campus community.’
To date, the school has offered that it would welcome any new information. It also said that in the interest of transparency, if would detail how each case was handled if the women agree to waive their rights to privacy.
Went on to tell the statement:
‘Our students should reasonably expect protection and due process,’
‘They deserve the best response in the nation, and we’re committed to ensuring that right.’
As of yet, no criminal charges have been brought in any of the cases.
One student who went on to relive her experiences, included, Senior Erica Daniels who told she was drugged and raped by a co-worker on campus. She went on to tell she did not report her rape immediately, and was told by the school’s Office of Community Standards that not enough information existed to take any action.
‘I don’t understand why my statement about what happened is not enough for a hearing,’
‘How many women are raped and witnesses are present?’
Another student, junior Rose Richi said she initially didn’t feel comfortable reporting her sexual assault because her attacker was a male athlete and there is an ‘overwhelming privilege of athletes on this campus.’
Richi went on to tell when she did report the crime, the investigating officer told her he did not believe her.
Allred went on to offer the school is required to investigate, potentially hold hearings, listen to witnesses and notify both sides of their findings. The UK’s dailymail notes that Allred would not say if she plans to file lawsuits on the women’s behalf, but said she is working with a Connecticut lawyer on their cases.
The civil rights complaint, if upheld, could lead to sanctions including the loss of federal funds.
Carolyn Luby, the lead complainant, went on to tell they want much more than that.
‘Federal sanctions would be the tip of the iceberg of what we would want,’
‘We would want cultural change, policy change, administrative change.’
Luby went on to tell the school still has not responded to the death and rape threats she received after writing an open letter to President Susan Herbst in April about the culture on campus.
The letter, which in part criticized the school’s new logo as menacing, was held up to ridicule on the Internet and on conservative talk radio.
Luby told how she received rape and death threats. That people would walk by her on campus and called her ‘a bitch’,
One email she received told her, ‘I hope you get raped by a husky’,
Told another: ‘I wish you would’ve run in the Boston marathon’.
Luby went on to also tell that fraternity brothers sexually harassed her, making statements like: ‘Don’t worry, we won’t rape you,’ as they drove by.
Unbelievably Luby told police told her to deal with the threats by wearing a hat on campus so she would not be recognized.
Speaking to reporters on campus Monday, UConn President Susan Herbst said she had not seen the complaint, but pointed out that both she and the school’s police chief are women.
Told Herbst: ‘I feel like this campus is very safe for women,’
A contention that is not in part believed by many of the female students at UConn.
And then there was this comment on the web that made me wonder as well:
When I worked at the local rape crisis center, there were several sexual assaults reported per week from UCONN. One homecoming weekend, advocates and volunteers were there assisting those victims who reported and needed treatment at the hospital ER around the clock. Fraternities have even sponsored events “kidnapping” their dates gagged and tied up. The college Women’s Center has done their best to help, but ultimately has to buckle under to the University rules. It makes for an unsafe and untrustworthy campus all around. It’s time that someone like Gloria Allred can step up and help our students be heard and BELIEVED. To the seven women working with her: you are no longer victims; by speaking out, you are survivors on your way to changing yours and others lives. Godspeed!