25 Years Later, Females Unwelcome/Assaulted at VMI

Unique "Rape Exemption" in Virginia Law May Explain Large Numbers
 
WASHINGTON - July 13, 2021 - PRLog -- VMI's female cadets are being raped, groped, and otherwise sexually assaulted in unacceptably high numbers, according to a just-released special investigation team report

One reason might be the "rape exemption" written into Virginia law, as well as the no-locked-door and shades-up rules, suggests public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has posted the detailed report at banzhaf.net/VMIReport.pdf

The report found that "sexual assault is prevalent at VMI yet it is inadequately addressed by the Institute."

The special investigation team also reported that "many female cadets reported a consistent fear of assault or harassment by their fellow male cadets.

One reason why there are so many rapes is what the Roanoke Times called the unique "rape exemption" written into Virginia law just for VMI.

Thus, says Banzhaf, it is not surprising that the team reported a number of instances where women who had been raped, or cadets who otherwise would have reported a rape, did not do so because any such report could subject them to discipline if they were drunk (or had used any drugs) at the time.

That's why the team's report strongly recommended that "The General Assembly should consider amending Va. Code ยง 23.1-808 to remove the carve-out for VMI.

It also alerted the public that "many female cadets reported a consistent fear of assault or harassment by their fellow male cadets. These fears are exacerbated by some procedures at VMI, including the inability to lock their doors."

While the reason behind this long-standing no-lock rule might have something to do with the idea that VMI students are supposed to be honorable, the same can be also said about students at Harvard, MIT, Yale, Columbia, and the University of Virginia.  Moreover, as the team report and the Washington Post make clear, not all cadets are honorable, and above taking advantage of unlocked dorm doors.

It would seem reasonable that female students would want to be able to lock their doors at right for their own safety, as well as in the simple interest of gender privacy.

Similarly, cadets are prohibited from lowering their blinds when not actively changing.

While most people might not want others to be able to be able to observe them in their sleep attire, this may be particularly true in an overwhelmingly male environment where some male cadets could be aroused by or misinterpret what some might regard as skimpy, revealing, or otherwise inappropriate bedroom attire.

http://banzhaf.net/   jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com   @profbanzhaf

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