March 18, 2005
Students have been voicing concerns regarding the University's handling of sexual assault cases. In response, officials revised University sexual assault policies and procedures.
Students say they're pleased with recent revisions to the University's sexual assault policies. "The policy we see coming out of this is really positive," said Kyle Boynton, a third-year UVA student.
Sloane Kuney, UVA student and Sexual Assault Leadership Council chair agrees. "There's been a lot of student input and a lot of aggression by the students to get these policy changes, and I think everyone is pretty pleased with how it has turned out."
The revisions clarify standards of conduct and confidentiality, and also differentiate between sexual assault and sexual misconduct. In addition, the revisions will also make penalties against convicted sexual assailants more severe.
Female students are glad that new policies are being implemented, especially since the majority of sexual assault victims are women.
Despite that fact, guys on campus are saying it's not just a female issue. "I think it's more a guy issue than a female one because about 99 percent of the aggressors of sexual assault are men, which makes it a male issue," said one student.
Boynton says the issue really hit home when a close friend of his was raped. "It's extremely important if you care about the women in your life, that you take a stand on this issue and you speak out against it and offer your support."
University officials offer support as well as advice for their students, in hopes of preventing sexual assaults. "If you ever feel uncomfortable with someone's actions that are a little strange but not overtly wrong, you should try to leave that situation before it ever becomes physical," said Claire Kaplan, Director of the UVA Office of Sexual Assault Education.
If you or a friend are ever sexually assaulted, you can call the Sexual Assault Resource Agency hotline at (434) 977-7273.