OSU shuts down Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit after reports of bullying, failure to document

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio State University is shutting down its Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit after finding it failed at document and report sexual assault complaints. 

A pattern of bullying, lying, and lack of treatment are some of the charges outlined in the complaint. 

Delivering sexual violence prevention and resources is what the mission of the SCE unit in the Office of Student Life was created to be — a resource where sexual assault victims can receive help. 

As of February, the unit had been under fire for not providing adequate resources to survivors. 

Nearly 200 pages of records including employee personnel fields and written complaints were released by the university. 

It was reported by survivors to the Ohio Health Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio that SCE had “a lasting and alarming history of unethical, controlling and victim blaming.”

This included telling victims that they are lying, delusional, and unable to understand their own experience. Survivors were denied support because they did not seem credible and were ready to heal. 

“I’m personally friends with some survivors and they were lost. They didn’t know what to do,” said Indeep Janda, President of Advocates for Women of the World. 

AWOW members wrote an open letter to the university in February, along with support of 50 student organizations, stressing the importance of SCE. 

With new allegations coming to light, Janda says somewhere the mission of the help unit designed to help students got lost. 

“We saw that there were survivors that had been getting their resources from the SCE who needed support on campus, resources and guidance and they weren’t getting it and were suffering,” said Janda. 

President Michael Drake released a statement saying…

Ohio State will do all that we can to be a national leader in preventing and responding to sexual misconduct. Our campuses must be safe places for all members of our community to learn, work and grow. We remain steadfastly and unwaveringly committed to this goal.

The university has reached out to a Philadelphia-based law firm to develop a new program support victims of sexual assault to be available to students this fall. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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