For immediate release: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014
Statement by Becky Ianni of Virginia, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (703-801-6044, SNAPVirginia@cox.net)
A lengthy and very disturbing investigation has been done into campus sex crimes at Patrick Henry College.
Our hearts ache for each of the young women who were sexually assaulted at Patrick Henry College. Both the attacks and the college administrators' responses are appalling.
We urge college officials to fire Sandra Corbitt, the dean of student life and the school’s primary disciplinarian.
If even one fourth of what several victims say about her is true, Corbitt should be ousted. It's clear that she has acted in ways that protect her reputation and the reputation of the school, but has endangered the vulnerable and further hurt the already-wounded.
According to writer Kiera Feldman, Patrick Henry College “is one of only four private colleges in the United States that eschews federal funds in order to avoid complying with government regulations.” This means it isn’t subject to three laws:
1) The Clery Act, which requires schools to issue campus crime reports.
2) Title IX which requires schools to “hold an investigation independent of a criminal investigation and ensure that victims can change dorms and class arrangements, get campus restraining orders, and receive help filing a police report if they choose to do so.”
3) The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act which requires schools to “have prompt disciplinary proceedings and inform victims of their rights.”
Here's a simple step forward: though Patrick Henry isn't bound by these laws, school officials can voluntarily comply with their provisions. That's what they should do. That's the bare minimum.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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)