Advocates’ duty to partner with universities

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"The case of Beckett Brennan" on 60 Minutes

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.

Jessica Renee Napier joined CALCASA in 2009 as its Online Media Producer. She creates multimedia material, such as audio and video podcasts, for the organization. She also oversees editorial content and other aspects of CALCASA’s Web site. Jessica previously worked in Web production for KPBS Public Broadcasting and as an Online Editor for a publishing company.

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  • kiwisurfer April 18, 2011, 9:51 AM

    This couldn’t have come up at a better time as my own daughter grapples with such an incident at UOP and is being funneled into the school’s judicial/administrative review process for resolution. I can only hope that the unfortunate events of Ms Brennan has paved the way for the school to take a more enlightened path to resolving this without having the offending student strolling the halls of the school with impunity only to prey again and at the same time intimidate any “victims”. These students with scholarships (academic, athletic or otherwise) should be stripped of those privileges/benefits and forced to live with an impairment based upon their violation of the conduct clauses.

  • era6 April 21, 2011, 12:53 PM

    As a husband, father, brother and son, it pains me to hear what happened to Beckett Brennan. I have also worked for a University Police Department and currently with a city police department. Rape is rape. If a person does not consent it is a serious crime. Every avenue should be pursued. Every shred of evidence should be scrutinized. Leave nothing on the table. I would like to recommend all women to try to locate their local RAD instructor. It is a self defense program that has made a world of difference in the lives of female friends and family.

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