Baylor University’s vice president for senior operations, Reagan Ramsower, apparently doesn’t think much of women who report a rape. In fact, according to a former Title IX coordinator for the school, he made possibly the worst observation imaginable: Women who report rape are mentally ill.
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) November 2, 2016
While Ramsower denies this, but Patty Crawford appeared on and episode of “60 Minutes Sports On Showtime,” in which she said:
“It seemed like it came from the fact that one of the women … was suicidal. I said, ‘No … the incidents themselves have caused traumatic response in these women. They are not mentally ill.”
Someone who’s been violated usually suffers from anxiety and depression related to the violation. The condition is not what makes women report being raped. Sadly, though, it’s extremely common for our society to find ways to blame women for their trauma, rather than placing the blame squarely where it belongs – on the jackass who raped her.
Crawford also said, in the interview, that she was refused access to police reports about rape on Baylor’s campus, and was shut down in other ways too. Crawford told “60 Minutes Sports On Showtime” that Waco police “do not want the actual police reports turned over to Title IX .”
These are things the university and Ramsower vehemently deny, despite the problems Baylor is known to experience with rape, because of course they do.
Why would they do that? Because reasons. All of those reasons have to do with rape culture in general. Women may not report rape for months, years, or even never, which discredits them in the eyes of the justice system and society in general. The fact that they often know their rapists just furthers the idea that they were somehow complicit.
We have no universal legal definition of rape, so whether someone was actually raped often depends on how the justice system wants to define it for that particular case.
But perhaps worst of all is that universities handle rape cases because of Title IX, and not because it’s the right thing to do. The Department of Education can take years to investigate cases themselves, and many universities don’t punish or expel the rapists, even when they’re found guilty. And, in the case of Baylor, Stanford (Brock Turner) and others, athletes are treated as being above the law.
Ramsower did acknowledge a failure on the part of the Waco police department to properly handle a case of gang rape. However, doesn’t absolve him of claiming that rape victims are mentally ill by pointing to one victim that was suicidal due to her particular trauma.
Featured image via screen capture from embedded tweet