What follows is quite frankly a truly insane story. It is one that popped up on NBC News on April 29, 2022. That was an update on a sexual assault that happened last November.
Student Mara Louk, who attended Visible Music College, was sexually assaulted by a male classmate last November. It was truly horrendous. She was choked and then raped by another student her last November.
She did what appeared to be the right thing. She reported the incident to the collage administrators. Her expectation was that they would help her to both file a police report and to also put in place a safety plan.
That is not what happened.
Instead, this Christian run college in Memphis, Tennessee, responded by accusing her of having sex with an ex-boyfriend. Apparently that was against college rules. Yes really, in 2022.
She explained to them that this had not happened. Their response was to then threaten her with expulsion unless she signed a confession and also finished collage remotely.
Why Did they respond like this?
Basically because they are ignorant religious fanatics lacking any basic human decency or empathy. What they did was not only immoral, but also illegal.
The sequence of events played out as follows.
Her rapist came over to her off-campus apartment on Nov 2 to play board games. That very quickly escalated into the rape. The next day she reported what had happened to the collage administration.
They talked to the rapist. He not only denied it, but he also told the collage administration that she is the one who had broken collage rules by having sex with an ex-boyfriend.
She also filed an official police complaint on Nov 4. The police response a week later was to advise her that they could do nothing because they did not have any evidence to take further action.
Collage administration advised that there was also nothing they could do because the incident happened off-campus, so her rapist would be attending class as usual. In that same meeting they then went on to accuse her of breaking school rules by having sex with an ex-boyfriend. Remember that their source for this claim was her rapist. They then pressured her to sign a “pastoral care contract,”. This was a confession that would bar her from being on campus, ban her from talking about the rape with other students, and also force her to complete her course online. They told her that if she failed to sign then they would immediately expel her.
The bottom line was this: She spoke up, and they responded by attempting to gag her and punish her.
The “Pastoral Care Contract” reads …
“We strongly believe that these restrictions will aid in bringing some needed structure, and will ensure that you are able to address the spiritual and emotional issues behind the infringements,”
Translation: “We strongly believe that these restrictions will aid us to cover this up, bury it, and also cover our arses by blaming you”.
The use of the word “Infringements” is deeply offensive. She was the victim. Meanwhile absolutely nothing happens to her rapist.
Needless to say, she refused to sign.
She finished the fall semester online, then withdrew and returned home. If she had been enabled to continue then she would be graduating about now. She was just nine credits short of getting her degree.
Why the NBC Report now?
She has filed a complaint with the department of education calling for the following two investigations to happen …
One would evaluate whether the school violated the Clery Act, a federal campus safety law that requires colleges to advise students who report a sexual offense of their rights and assistance options. The other would examine whether the school discriminated against Louk under the gender equity law Title IX.
It need not have been like this
To illustrate just how deeply flawed this all is, it is worth understanding a few things.
It is common for universities to have a policy that grants students amnesty if they report an incident that happened while breaking rules. An example of that is Brigham Young University. They implemented an amnesty policy for students who are victims of or witnesses to sexual assault. If you saw something or experience something while breaking rules – report, and no questions will be asked about the rule breaking.
Visible Music College had no such policy. To make it even worse, they also opted to believe her rapist and dismiss her claim about her not having sex with her ex-boyfriend.
In addition to all that, we also, would you believe, have Trump to thank for some of this mess.
Yes really, the pussy-grabber-in-chief actually has a part to play here.
The Trump administration, under former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, changed Title IX policy to enable colleges to cover their arses and sweep such allegations under the rug. The rule change requires the school to assume her rapist was innocent, and to also not pursue anything that happened off-campus. Despite such changes, the more sensible collages just ignored all that, continued to investigate all allegations, and took any allegations very seriously.
It is on the Biden administration’s to-do list to sort out the currently flawed Title IX. They have even announced that this will be happening.
NBC Have a 3 Minute Report tin this story
You can watch that report here.
The reality of this is that a Title IX or Clery Act investigation can take months or even years.
Her attorney is quoted as follows …
“Visible punished a rape victim after she came forward and told her she was the one that had to be off campus,” Simon said. “I think it’s morally wrong and legally wrong, and (Louk) wants to hold them accountable.”
Her lawyer, Cari S. Simon, is a specialist. She is one of the Nation’s Top Title IX Attorneys representing survivors of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and sexual harassment in University settings, and is a Harvard Law school graduateduate
She now has the right legal help.
I do truly hope that she gets justice and some closure.