KU receives more student sexual abuse complaints

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has received more sexual abuse reports from students since the school’s handling of an alleged on-campus rape set off protests.

Nineteen sex-related complaints have been reported this month to an office that is responsible, under Title IX in federal law, for investigating complaints of gender discrimination and any sex-related offenses on the campus, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/YzW248 ) reports. They include two reports of stalking, seven of sexual harassment, one of sexual assault, one of date violence, one of domestic violence and seven so recent the office had not yet categorized them.

The reports began rolling in after a student who said she was raped in 2013 complained of her attacker’s lenient punishment. The university has refused to discuss the case, which Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson is reviewing.

Other women have since come forward alleging that the school didn’t take sexual violence seriously. The university also is among 76 schools being investigated by the federal government for their handling of sexual assault cases.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little announced Sept. 11 that KU would create a task force of students, faculty and staff to review sexual misconduct policies. And students, with faculty and administrators, have continued to hold a series of forums.

“There is a different sense of being able to speak up,” said Jane McQueeny, the executive director of KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, whose office is investigating each of the recent complaints. “A cultural shift is happening.”

That students are speaking out encourages Jamie Gadd-Nelson, a member of September Siblings, the student group that earlier this month posted an anti-recruitment video calling KU an unsafe campus.

“But I’m still also concerned about whether (the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access) will handle those cases correctly,” Gadd-Nelson said. “There is still a huge process involved in fixing the entire system.”


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