Handling of sexual violence examined at 2 local schools

Federal officials are investigating the handling of campus sexual violence at Hampton University and the College of William and Mary.

HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- Hampton University and The College of William and Mary are under federal investigation.

The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights is investigating how sexual violence is handled on both campuses.

OCR is investigating under Title IX, which protects against discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding.

As of last September 20, there are 360 sexual violence cases under investigation at 258 postsecondary institutions.

OCR launched their investigations at HU and William and Mary in August. This is the second investigation at William and Mary. The first back in 2014.

According to William and Mary, this latest investigation comes after a student made a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights June 2016.

William and Mary released a statement that reads:

William & Mary received notification Aug. 18, 2017 about the complaint, which was made by a student to the Office of Civil Rights in June 2016. It is the university’s understanding this is focused a specific case rather than a broad systematic review, such as the one that took place in 2014. We have been in contact with OCR and provided the information they requested. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act prohibits the university from discussing the details of a specific case but it is important to reaffirm our commitment to improving sexual assault prevention, response and education at William & Mary. President Reveley formed a task force on these very issues in 2015 and that campus-wide group conducted a comprehensive review that has led to many changes from process and additional resources for investigations to better communications and outreach. That work continues and an implementation team is actively engaged with students and survivors on how we can make William & Mary a leader on an issue that plaques every university campus in the country.

Alexis Scott is a senior at Hampton University. She says the news comes as a surprise.

“It's a serious topic, and something we should all be aware of and informed of,” Scott says. “But I feel as if Hampton is close enough to where if something happens people are comfortable to come forward and speak about sexual violence or abuse.”

13News Now reached out to Hampton University but have not heard back from them. 

OCR does not discuss the details of its investigations, including how they originate.
 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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