Annie Clark, who graduated in 2011, alleges that when she reported her rape in 2007 she was told by an administrator: “Rape is like a football game, Annie. If you look back on the game, and you’re the quarterback and you’re in charge, is there anything that you would have done differently in that situation?”
After Andrea Pino was raped at a party—“I just woke up in my bed covered in blood and not knowing what happened”—she applied for medical withdrawal from classes due to PTSD and depression. Officials told her she was just “being lazy.”
While horrific, the actions taken by UNC to cover up the prevalence of rape at the school is not at all unusual. Colleges have become breeding grounds for injustice around issues of sexual assault. Ninety-five percent of campus rapes are never reported, and the small number of victims who do come forward are often stigmatized, harassed and mistreated. They have to live in dorms with their rapists and are made to relive their experience in front of student disciplinary boards who have no training in sexual assault cases.
An investigative report from the Center of Public Integrity also found that schools are able to limit their Clery reporting by directing victims to rape advocates instead of campus police because counselors aren’t required to disclose. They also frequently misclassify rapes as “non-forcible” sexual offenses. The report also showed that the punishment for campus rapists were outrageously minor. Common disciplinary actions included writing a research paper on rape or having the rapist pen a letter of apology to his victims. Perpetrators are almost never expelled. In fact, after one student revealed her terrible mistreatment at the hands of Amherst officials, it came out that the school had only ever expelled one student for rape in its entire history.