A disturbing report published by the Associated Press early Sunday morning alleges that Baylor University coerced survivors of rape into not reporting their assaults by threatening to make public the details of their assaults to family members. The university also allegedly "pushed" rape survivors into accepting alcohol conduct violations, and made those who considered reporting their rapes fearful of sexual conduct violations.
Baylor's former president, Ken Starr, and its former football coach, Art Briles, were removed from their respective positions earlier this summer after an independent investigation into the school's Title IX practices revealed the school did not properly handle reports of sexual assault. Baylor, the Baptist Waco, TX school, included "fornication," "adultery," and "homosexual acts" in an official list of university misconduct until last year, according to the AP report.
Law firm Pepper Hamilton reported that it found the university's Title IX procedures "wholly inadequate to consistently provide a prompt and equitable response." It continued:
Baylor failed to consistently support complainants through the provision of interim measures, and [...] in some cases, the University failed to take action to identify and eliminate a potential hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, or address its effects for individual complainants or the broader campus community.
The AP report continued:
One woman said her case began when she called police to report a physical assault on another woman at an off-campus party. Police demanded to know if she was underage and had been drinking, then arrested and reported her to the school office that investigates conduct code violations, she said. She told Baylor officials her drinking was a result of being raped a month earlier and detailed what happened in person and in a letter.
She received an alcohol code violation and told to do 25 hours community service, and when she tried to appeal, the woman said Baylor officials urged her to drop it. The school never pursued her rape claim.
"I was told by many Baylor staff that they couldn't do anything for me because my assault was off campus, yet they had no problem punishing me for my off-campus drinking," the woman said. Schools are bound by federal law to investigate on- and off-campus sex assault allegations.
A spokesperson from Baylor did not immediately return a request for comment.