OH--College rescinds Bill Cosby honor; Victims applaud move
For immediate release: Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015
We are thrilled and grateful that Oberlin College officials have revoked Bill Cosby’s honorary degree. A credibly accused serial rapist deserves no public recognition or honor at all, especially not on a college campus.
By taking action, school officials are making it slightly easier for current victims of campus sex crimes to report their experiences. And they’re no longer rubbing salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of dozens of already-hurt students and alums.
For the healing of the wounded and the protection of the vulnerable, every single Cosby honor anywhere should be withdrawn. It serves no purpose now but to heap more pain on those already suffering and discourage them from reporting offenders and getting help.
Recently, several Chicago-area institutions have rescinded or removed honors for ex-House Speaker Dennis Hastert. We’re grateful to them for this. It’s a sensitive move. We hope university, film, art and other officials will follow their example soon. And we hope Penn the public will prod officials to do this.
Adults have a simple choice: Do we make it easier or harder for victims to report crimes? Honoring wrongdoers makes it harder. And that’s wrong.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)