A “culture of secrecy” surrounding sexual assault cases on university campuses was cited by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity, the Indianapolis Star reports. The group said nearly half of 33 female students it interviewed in the past year about being raped were unsuccessful in pursuing criminal charges.
That left the campus judiciary system as their only recourse. Victims who take that route “face proceedings that are shrouded in secrecy, where they encounter mysterious disciplinary proceedings, where they themselves are shut out of the hearing process,” said the center’s Kristen Lombardi. Nearly a third of the 33 victims said school administrators discouraged them from pursuing complaints, and about a dozen experienced confidentiality requirements “sometimes followed by threats of punishment if they were to disclose any information about the case,” Lombardi said.