Woman's death casts light on campus sex assaults

2014-01-29 18:23
Sasha Menu Courey. (AP)

Sasha Menu Courey. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

St Louis - The case of a former University of Missouri student from Canada who said she was raped in an episode that her parents say led to her suicide underscores the problems higher education institutions in the US face in cracking down on sexual assaults.

The parents of Sasha Menu Courey, a swimmer, say the university and its athletics department by now should have investigated her alleged off-campus rape by as many as three football players in February 2010.

University leaders say they didn't learn about the purported attack until after Menu Courey, of Ontario, committed suicide 16 months later. They also said they followed the letter of the law because they didn't have specific knowledge of the attack and no victim to interview.

Courey, 20, killed herself in June 2011 in a Boston psychiatric hospital soon after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and two months after an earlier suicide attempt.

"There are many resources out there, but there's not really any [sense] that she was provided with those resources," said Zachary Wilson, development director of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "It's difficult for sexual assault survivors to go at it alone."

Schools nationwide are spending more time and money fighting campus rape in response to stricter federal enforcement of gender discrimination laws.

The White House has called it a public health epidemic, and President Barack Obama last week announced the formation of a new task force on university sex assault, citing statistics that show 1 in 5 female students are assaulted while in college, but only 1 in 8 victims report attacks.

But balancing the needs of individual students - including those who report attacks but don't want a criminal investigation - with protecting the larger community is vexing for many schools.

Colleges and universities are also required to report campus crimes to the federal government under a 1990 law known as the Clery Act.

At least 50 schools have bolstered their efforts in recent years. Complaints of violations related to sexual violence are also increasing, a sign Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights in the US Department of Education, attributes to new vigilance on campus.

"Obviously, there are all too many that still need prompting," she said.

Read more on:    us  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.