UNC Handling Rape Issues Badly

Ken AshfordEducation, Women's Issues1 Comment

The University of North Carolina is allowing revenge against one of their students, a rape survivor, who reported on their failed administrative policies on sexual assault. After the initial report, she discussed her experience with The Daily Tarheel:

“It’s incredibly clear that those people had no idea what sexual assault is, what consent is,” said Landen Gambill, a sophomore whose assault case was processed by interim procedures.

“They were not only offensive and inappropriate, but they were so victim-blaming. “They made it seem like my assault was completely my fault.”

As a freshman, Gambill was continually abused — sexually and verbally — by her long-term boyfriend.

When the relationship ended, she said she was met with months of stalking, threats and harassment.

Those actions lead her to press charges with the Honor Court. In her trial, Gambill said she was forced to answer irrelevant and inappropriate questions.

“The woman student said to me, ‘Landen, as a woman, I know that if that had happened to me, I would’ve broken up with him the first time it happened. Will you explain to me why you didn’t?’” she said.

Gambill said the court used her history of clinical depression and her suicide attempt — which she said was a result of her abusive relationship — against her.

“They implied that I was emotionally unstable and couldn’t be telling the truth because I had attempted suicide,” she said.

Gambill said the court’s ignorance reflected a complete lack of training.

Last month, Landen Gambill joined with two other students, a former student and a former assistant dean of students to lodge the federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The complaint accuses the university of violating the rights of sexual assault victims and of creating a hostile climate that denies victims the right to an education.

But now, Gambill is being brought up on charges of honor code violations herself, specifically:

II.C.1.c. – Disruptive or intimidating behavior that willfully abuses, disparages, or otherwise interferes with another … so as to adversely affect their academic pursuits, opportunities for University employment, participation in University-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of University Life.

It should be noted that UNC is not bringing her up on honor code violations in retaliation for her gripes about the UNC process (a lot of liberal blogs, sadly, have this wrong).  Honor code violations are brought by students, not by UNC faculty or administration.  In Gambill's case, the complaint against her was brought by… you guessed it… her ex-boyfriend.  You see, once she decided to go public in criticizing UNC's policies, he claims he has been the subject of disparagement (ironically, she has never mentioned his name).

One thing is for sure: UNC has a problem on their hands.