Assault case process ambigious

It’s painfully clear that universities need to establish a proper system for handling sexual assault cases.

In Aug. 2013, former Brown University student Lena Sclove was strangled and raped by a fellow student. When she disclosed this to the university, advised her to file her case with Brown administration instead of the police, because the court system is notorious for its lengthy process.

Following eight months of proceedings, Brown’s Student Conduct Board found Sclove’s rapist guilty of misconduct and suspended him for one year. Sclove filed an appeal, stating that her rapist shouldn’t be allowed to return to campus, but the appeal was denied.

In response, Sclove held a press conference where she publicly revealed the details of her case, including the name of her rapist.

If universities assume the responsibility of handling sexual assault cases, need to have appropriate structures in place to effectively manage cases.

The allure of filing with a university is understandable. It can ensure rapists are punished and potentially removed from campus sooner, while the court system is generally a drawn-out affair.

But survivors shouldn’t have to trade off severity of punishment for a swifter process.

Universities like Brown are offering victims a streamlined process, but they're misrepresenting the results, as don’t have the same judicial power of a court to punish.

The relationship between police and universities is ambiguous and often seem mutually exclusive. A clear partnership needs to be formed between police and universities to ensure have the same type of judicial process.

It’s understandable why Sclove named her rapist, but in doing so she’s taken attention away from Brown’s alleged mishandling of her case.

Although many recent incidents have been focused in the United States, the same standards need to be applied to Queen’s, where the proceedings for sexual assault cases are unclear.

Journal Editorial Board

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