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New Lawsuits Highlight How Colleges Fail Survivors of Sexual Assault

Illustration for article titled New Lawsuits Highlight How Colleges Fail Survivors of Sexual Assault
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A New Jersey university failed two former students after they were assaulted, two new federal lawsuits claim.

The first suit, filed Monday, involves a Stockton University student who says she was sexually assaulted by a fraternity member at a Pi Kappa Phi house party in 2012, The Trentonian reports. (23.1% of female undergraduates expert rape or sexual assault while in school, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.) The student says she tried to report her assault to police when they broke up the party approximately one hour later, but the officer told her to stop talking about it after she told him she’d punched the frat house member in self-defense.

Campus administrators similarly dissuaded her from pressing charges against another student who allegedly sexually assaulted her at an off-campus Christmas party hosted by a Stockton student. She says she was told that it would be bad for her mental health and that she wouldn’t win.

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The second suit, also filed Monday, involves a Stockton University student who says she was stalked and assaulted by another student after she rejected his advances. (Per RAINN, 4.2% of college students experience stalking while in school.) The ordeal was especially trying, The Trentonian notes, as the plaintiff had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and was thus unable to easily get away from her alleged stalker.

The suit claims that Stockton “took no major disciplinary action” against the male student, named Evan Robins. She says she had to start “altering her normal routines” to avoid Robins, who, The Trentonian reports, was later expelled from Stockton after he physically assaulted another female student.

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Correction: This post has been amended to correct the name of the fraternity mentioned. Jezebel regrets the error. 

Contributor, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I totally understand how Schools are supposed to be providing a safe environment and that is why they are involved in sexual assault cases on campus. (because the assailant should face some discipline from the school if he is affiliated with it)
What I really don’t understand is why in so many cases school administered justice seems to be a stand in for the regular old criminal justice system.
If someone attacks me with a knife made from a happy meal toy while I’m at McDonalds I would probably also include them in the suit because of the involvement of the happy meal, but I would not be waiving my rights to press charges against the attacker while I went through the Ronald McDonald arbitration process.