Target: Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University
Goal: Improve the university’s policies on sexual assault by complying with all recommendations from watchdog organization
A report on how a prominent Christian university handles sexual assault on its campus was recently released, and found that a great many sexual assault survivors at the university were exposed to further trauma through the way that the school handled their cases. There needs to be a dramatic overhaul in how the school handles this issue. Demand that the university take steps to improve its processes surrounding sexual assault.
Bob Jones University, an evangelical Christian college in South Carolina, was recently investigated by an independent sexual abuse watchdog organization called GRACE. The investigation revealed that the university consistently mishandled cases of sexual assault as well as cases of students seeking treatment at the university for instances of sexual assault that occurred before their attendance at the university. According to the report, the university consistently displayed a “blaming and disparaging” attitude towards survivors, discouraged them from going to the police to report the crimes, and accused them of bringing the abuse upon themselves.
Along with this damning information, GRACE also included a number of recommendations the university could follow to begin to remedy its policies, including taking action against a number of high-profile campus employees and outsourcing its survivor counseling. Sign the petition below to demand that the university comply with all the recommendations provided by GRACE.
Dear President Pettit,
I am writing you today about the report that was recently released about your university by GRACE. The investigation revealed a number of disturbing revelations about how your university handles cases of sexual assault and sexual assault treatment, which I am am sure I do not need to outline to you here.
Fortunately, GRACE also took the time to provide your university with a number of substantive and proactive recommendations you and your university could use to right the wrongs you have perpetrated. Among other things, it has suggested holding Bob Jones III and James Berg accountable for creating a hostile environment for sexual assault survivors, overhauling your university’s policies on sexual assault, and conducting a retroactive investigation into which crimes should have been reported to the police in the past and were not. All of GRACE’s recommendations are a good place to start to get your university on the right track.
You have convened a committee to review GRACE’s suggestions over a 90-day period, but that is a weak response in light of the severity of your university’s misdeeds. I demand that you take immediate action to address this issue and immediately comply with all the recommendations put forth by GRACE.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Yassie via Wikimedia Commons