Advocates’ duty to partner with universitiesApril 17, 2011 2 comments
CBS 60 Minutes aired “The Case of Beckett Brennan,” which told the case of a young woman who was raped in 2008 while attending the University of the Pacific. The rape occurred at a student housing complex by three men who played for the university’s basketball team. The university’s judicial review board — made up of three students, a teacher and an administrator — ruled that all three basketball players were guilty of violating the school’s policy against sexual assault. But they received different punishments: expulsion, suspension for one year and suspension for one semester. Brennan said the board’s questions made her feel as if the case was less about the basketball players, and more about her behavior.
“So much of what they focused on was not the actual assault,” she said during the 60 Minutes interview. “Tons of questions about how much I was drinking, a focus on flirting.”
Joelle Gomez, Executive Director from the Women’s Center of San Joaquin County, was also interviewed for the segment. She began counseling Brennan after the board’s decision. She also has been working vigilantly to partner with UOP and improve its judicial review process (in cases of sexual assault).
“There’s little to no transparency. There’s little to no accountability,” Gomez said during the interview. “Certainly it does, in my opinion, favor the alleged perpetrator as opposed to the victim, again, who’s really risking it all in making the report in the first place.”
CALCASA has supported Gomez in her persistence to create relationships with her local university in order to better serve survivors and stop future rapes from occurring. CALCASA interviewed Gomez about the UOP case and her recommendations for rape crisis centers that are working with college campuses. She said that it is the duty of the rape crisis centers to strengthen relationships — or forge them if they don’t exist — in order to make sure victims voices are heard. Click the video below to watch the interview.
Comments on this entry are closed.