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JMU: Stop Supporting Sexual Violence! #yesallwomen #shameonJMU

This petition had 307 supporters

James Madison University, my alma mater, is allowing three men who sexually assaulted another student to receive their diplomas—even after the university found them responsible for the assault that was filmed and shared online. Only after they receive their diplomas will these men be “expelled.”

One of the men will even be allowed to return to campus next year.

I have always been proud to be a James Madison University alum. Until now. That James Madison would so blatantly encourage sexual violence makes me sick to my stomach.

While these men will receive their diplomas, the woman they attacked, a sophomore from Virginia, dropped out of school after the video of her assault was shared on social media. James Madison University is sending a dangerous message to other women who are assaulted, raped, and sexually humiliated on campus.

The university’s public statement is that JMU takes any allegation of sexual assault “seriously,” and that the school is “committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for every member of the JMU community.” But right now, women are not safe. While men who commit sexual assault are given the honor and privilege of receiving their JMU diplomas, and are even invited back for another year on campus, women are not safe.

All over the country, people are standing up against the kind of permissive and dangerous attitudes that men who commit sexual violence shouldn’t be punished — or that women are responsible for being assaulted. Columnist George Will’s offensive column for the “Washington Post” has spurred outrage for claiming women who survive sexual assault have a “coveted” status. Thousands of women have shared their own stories of sexual violence with the hashtag #yesallwomen.

As a JMU alum, I cannot sit by silently while my alma mater sends the message to women that assault is our fault, that men should not be held responsible. James Madison University needs to take immediate action and expel these men — not after they graduate, but right now.

Please sign and share and mention in the comments if you are JMU alumni.

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Johanna Sharrard needs your help with “James Madison University: JMU: Stop Supporting Sexual Violence! #yesallwomen #shameonJMU”. Join Johanna and 306 supporters today.