Pass Anti-Sexual Violence Policies
This petition had 629 supporters
We, the signatories of this petition,
Believe all people should be free from all forms of sexual and/or intimate partner violence, especially women who are the overwhelming majority of victims/survivors of this kind of trauma. We understand that ONLY perpetrators of these forms of violence and the culture that empowers them are responsible for this epidemic. Survivors/victims of sexual and/or intimate partner violence are in NO WAY responsible for the harm and pain that has been done to them. We vehemently oppose the recent comments of The Lincoln University’s (PA) President, ROBERT. R. JENNINGS, on the basis of their factual inaccuracy, violently disrespectful content, and lack of moral and ethical integrity.
At the fall 2014 All Women’s Convocation, Pres. Jennings said “We have, we had, on this campus last semester three cases of young women who after having done whatever they did with young men and then it didn't turn out the way they wanted it to turn out, guess what they did, they went to Public Safety and said, 'He raped me'” (Philly.com) In addition, Pres. Jennings stated “Don't put yourself in a situation that would cause you to be trying to explain something that really needs no explanation had you not put yourself in that situation” (Philly.com). Such remarks are unbecoming of the President of The Lincoln University; indeed they are unbecoming of any human being. His remarks promote and maintain the dominant rape culture of the United States through the spreading of victim-blaming rhetoric. Furthermore, his comments perpetuate the ugly and deadly myth that women who report rape and other forms of sexual violence are lying. Finally, Pres. Jennings’ statements are reprehensible because he made them to an auditorium of Black women, which shows a flagrant disregard for the historical and contemporary forms of sexual violence that Black women are targeted for because of white supremacy and misogyny.
Therefore, we would like to remind Pres. Jennings, the Board of Trustees, and the faculty, staff, and students of The Lincoln University (PA), of the pertinent facts (unless stated otherwise, all figures are from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey):
· Nearly 1 in 5 women have experienced rape at some point during their life.
· 44.6% of all women have experienced some form of sexual violence other than rape at some point during their life.
· 22% of Black women have experienced rape at some point during their life.
· 41% of all Black women have experienced some form of sexual violence other than rape at some point during their life.
· 35.6% of all women experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point during their life.
· Approximately 4 in 10 Black women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner at some point during their life.
· In one study on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs),14.2% of Black women enrolled reported a completed or attempted rape. (Krebs, Lindquist & Barrick 2011)
The disregard of these facts and the inflammatory and unethical nature of Pres. Jennings’ remarks have brought shame to this prestigious institution. His leadership has undermined the integrity and legacy that The Lincoln University has carefully and meticulously built over the last 150 years. His presidency is unworthy of the nation’s very first historically Black college and university. Urgent action is required to rectify this situation and begin the necessary collective healing process.
Therefore, we demand that The Lincoln University Board of Trustees take the following actions:
1.The IMMEDIATE REMOVAL and DISMISSAL of Robert R. Jennings as President of The Lincoln University.
2.That any new President of The Lincoln University must have a demonstrated record of a strong commitment to gender and sexual equity.
3.Hire a qualified external consultant reviewer to evaluate current rape and intimate partner violence awareness and prevention and issue a public report of their recommendations for campus implementation.
4.A mandatory training for all university faculty and staff regarding sexual and intimate partner violence prevention and education. This training should be a paid training for faculty and staff, and not on any unpaid time period.
5.Fund an annual conference that focuses on sexual and intimate partner violence awareness and prevention that is mandatory in attendance for all students.
6.Establish a Gender and Sexuality Studies program at the university to promote sustained intellectual engagement in this academic field that is on par with peer institutions (e.g. Spelman College, Morgan State University).
If you or someone you know has experienced rape/sexual assault, it is not your fault, you are not alone, and you deserve justice. Free, confidential support is available at 800-656-HOPE.
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