An 18-year-old female student claims she was suspended from Bishop Burton College in the UK after she reported a sexual assault to the administration because her behavior had brought the college into “disrepute.”
The victim claimed that fellow students Stephen Johnson, 21; William Robinson, 22; and Thomas Price spoke to her outside a residence hall late one evening while she was drunk, then took her cell phone and keys and pushed her into a room where they allegedly sexually assaulted her. (CCTV shows that she was walking with her arm around Robinson.) Nevertheless, her roommate told Hull Crown Court, which is currently hearing the case, that the victim was heard shouting “Get off! Get out of my room!” After the alleged incident, the three men left the room laughing; Johnson and Robinson allegedly came to her later to apologize for hurting her.
The victim said when she reported the rape to Bishop Burton College, they told her she had brought the school “into disrepute by having sexual actions with a group of people.” Several days later, she was informed the school had “excluded” (suspended) her, as well as the three young men, over the incident. The school also sent her a letter saying she was suspended for “demeaning sexual action.” Forced by her family to explain why she was suspended from college, she told them about the sexual assault ; they urged her to report it to police (note: the school booted her out before she even reported it to police!). A police nurse found a bruise on the woman’s groin a full week later. Now, the three young men are facing a mix of charges including sexual assault by penetration, sexual assault, and rape. Keep reading »
“Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you: Don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously, I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
– Allow me to parse this quote from Serena Williams‘ about the Steubenville rape victim, which she shared in an interview with Rolling Stone. By asking if the sentencing for Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays was fair — they got one year and two years, respectively, by the way — Williams’ seems to be implying that she thinks the punishment might be harsh. After all, “they did something stupid, but…” Because raping someone is just “stupid”? Not the first adjective I would use, but okay. Williams then goes on to criticize the victim who, by all accounts, was doing what all her other fellow classmates (including the rapists) were doing that night — drinking at a high school party. Should parents have serious conversations with their children — girls and boys — about underage drinking and binge drinking? Of course. Does that mean that the victim is responsible for the despicable things those young men did to her while she was passed out? Absolutely not. And what does her virginity or lack thereof have to do with anything? But what I find most bothersome about Williams’ statement is that she starts off by calling what the rapists did “stupid,” but then says that the victim is “lucky” it wasn’t “much worse.” So which is it, Serena? Are the rapists in this case simply “stupid” or are they capable of “much worse”? Also, saying “I’m not blaming the girl” before BLAMING THE GIRL doesn’t negate the fact that you’re, in fact, blaming the girl. [Rolling Stone] [Photo: Fame/Flynet]
UPDATE: Annnnd Serena has already released a statement apologizing, sort of, for her comments. Read it after the jump: Keep reading »