Baylor approves action plan to address sexual violence

Baylor University’s Board of Regents has approved a plan to prevent sexual violence and improve treatment after reportedly ignoring victims of sexual assault.

The university had hired an outside consultant to review its handling of previous sex assaults on campus after an ESPN report alleged that Baylor had ignored cases involving football players.

The Outside The Lines investigation found “several examples ... in which school officials either failed to investigate, or adequately investigate, allegations of sexual violence,” according to the report published Feb. 2. “In many cases, officials did not provide support to those who reported assaults.”

Friday, a plan was announced that promises the university will increase funding and resources for a counseling staff as well as ensure proper Title IX training on campus -- including an expansion of an existing program for upperclassmen and graduate students, as well as annual training for faculty.

It also states the university will "immediately address the needs of students who prompt a Title IX investigation" so they can "continue their education without impediment."

“We know we can and must do a better job to confront interpersonal violence in our campus community,” Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr said in a release posted on Baylor’s website. “We will learn many things from the external review that has been commissioned by Baylor Regents, and that information will guide our future plans.

“In the meantime, these are important action steps we can take right now to improve our services to students impacted by sexual violence, and we intend to implement these steps immediately."

On Feb. 6, a group of Baylor alumni published an open letter to the university in the wake of ESPN’s report, proposing solutions to the university’s apparent issue with sexual violence allegations.

The letter invited alumni, faculty, students and “friends” of the university to sign the letter in support of change.

It received signatures from 1,704 people. One signature read, “Toni Shaddix Marsh '86 and rape survivor from the series of assaults on Baylor women that the university did nothing about.”

Seven others wished to remain anonymous.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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