Protecting Students From Sexual Assault

Attorney Wendy Murphy has been advocating for universities and colleges to change their sexual assault policies

Earlier in 2014, Attorney Gloria Allred and five women who attended the University of Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit, claiming the school was indifferent to sexual assault complaints. Days ago, UConn settled the suit by agreeing to pay nearly $1.3 million in damages.

Attorney Wendy Murphy, an instrumental advocate who has worked to change sexual assault policies at Harvard and on other campuses, joined NECN to discuss this settlement.

People are speaking out, saying there are other ways to prevent future sexual assaults.

“In my opinion, the best thing that’s happened in 15 years is that Harvard University completely changed its sexual assault policy - only about a month ago - to make it clear that sexual assault is a civil rights violation,” Murphy explained.

Murphy says that Harvard is the only elite university that has made this kind of policy change. For this reason, she disagrees with the settlement Allred came to with UConn.

“The policies at the University of Connecticut remain substandard, remain illegal, still violate Title IX and federal law, and she settled a lawsuit without making them change their policies?”

Murphy continued by explaining the importance of prosecuting sexual assaults off campus. She hopes other schools will follow Harvard’s lead.

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