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Gov, AG Disturbed by UVA Sexual Violence Allegations

Posted: Updated: Dec 04, 2014 02:27 PM
Wednesday, Rolling Stone magazine published a graphic article focusing on what it calls "a culture of rape" at the University of Virginia. The article, titled "A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA", details stories - as told by female students - of being raped at fraternities and then struggling to deal with both the personal and cultural impact at the university. 

Thursday, Governor Terry McAuliffe weighed in on the controversy. In a statement he says: “I was deeply disturbed to read about the sexual assault allegations in Rolling Stone magazine. Now is the time to act, we must ensure that survivors are treated with the dignity and respect. They deserve and we must do more to hold perpetrators accountable.”  Read the full statement below. 

Governor McAuliffe is calling for a zero tolerance strategy to combat campus sexual assault, asking university officials to conduct a full review of all of their policies and procedures.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring also commented on the article Thursday, calling the Rolling Stone report disturbing.  

"Sexual violence on college campuses, and the societal culture that condones it, will not be tolerated. While there's been progress at a number of schools and colleges in Virginia, we need to work to make sure that we do a lot more,”  he stated.

Herring also cited the ongoing work of the Governor's Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, which he is leading.  He did not say if his office will investigate UVA's response at the state level. 



Governor Terry McAuliffe's statement on campus sexual violence

RICHMOND – I was deeply disturbed to read about the sexual assault allegations outlined in Rolling Stone magazine. Sexual violence is a nationwide problem, and it is critical that our schools acknowledge that this is a pervasive issue and take bold action to end it.

Earlier today, I spoke to the university leadership and conveyed my deep concerns with what has been reported. We are in agreement that a full and fair investigation must be pursued, and I have called for a zero tolerance strategy to combat campus sexual assault. I have asked university officials to conduct a full review of all of their policies and procedures and if decided, to bring in outside experts to assist in this effort.

We must also find ways that our local law enforcement and prosecution efforts can better align with university actions. Earlier this year, I signed Executive Order 25 establishing the Governor's Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, sending a message that Virginia will not tolerate sexual violence on our campuses or in our communities. Now is the time to act — we must ensure that survivors are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and we must do more to hold perpetrators accountable.

As the parents of five children, this is an issue Dorothy and I care deeply about. I look forward to seeing strong recommendations from the task force that will help keep more Virginians safe and ensure that our students are free from the threat of sexual violence.