Despite Record Number of Allegations, Many Assaults on College Campuses Go Uninvestigated
Allegations of sexual assault and misconduct on Maryland college campuses have been on the rise in recent years. More survivors are willing to come forward, and students are uniting to demand action. However, despite the increase in reports, many allegations of sexual abuse on college and university campuses still went uninvestigated.
The attorneys at Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A. represent survivors of sexual abuse. We handle all cases with personalized, dedicated representation, always working to protect our clients’ reputation and dignity. If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct on a college campus, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation.
Defining Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is a broad term that encompasses several forms of sexual abuse, misconduct, or violence. Any form of unwanted or inappropriate sexual conduct should be reported and handled by the administration of the college or university. In some cases, the offending party might be held liable in a civil injury case.
Common forms of sexual misconduct on college campuses include:
- Sexual harassment
- Dating violence
- Relationship violence
- Sexual exploitation
- Domestic violence
- Attempted rape
- Sexual coercion
Receiving Compensation After Sexual Assault
It can take years to recover from a sexual assault; for most individuals, it stays with them a lifetime. Holding a perpetrator or responsible third-party liable in a civil lawsuit can help a survivor to recover damages.
Financial compensation in a civil lawsuit may cover:
- The cost of counseling
- Medical bills related to the abuse
- Lost wages from taking time from work
- Compensation for pain and suffering
The most effective way to pursue a lawsuit against a responsible party is to retain an experienced attorney. An attorney will help you understand your rights and discuss your legal options for receiving compensation. While it can be difficult to come forward, it may be an essential step in recovery. You are not alone, and you should not feel afraid.
Sexual Assault on Maryland Campuses
Colleges and universities are required to provide a safe environment for their students. All reports of sexual misconduct, whether by another student or staff member, should be thoroughly investigated. When a college or university fails to protect their students or attempts to cover up allegations of sexual abuse, they may be held liable.
In sexual abuse or misconduct cases, there may be both a criminal and civil case. A prosecutor may file criminal charges against a perpetrator, while personal injury lawyers can pursue a civil lawsuit against multiple defendants, such as the perpetrator or the college where the abuse took place. In a civil suit, a victim of sexual abuse may receive compensation for any damages.
Reports of Sexual Assault at the University of Maryland
Last year, the Baltimore Sun reported an unprecedented number of sexual misconduct cases at the University of Maryland. During the 2017-2018 school year, the University’s Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct received a record 249 reports of sexual misconduct by students. 91 of those reports resulted in formal complaints, but only 16 became open investigations.
A review of the University’s Student Sexual Misconduct Report indicates that during the 2016-2017 school year, there were 208 reports of sexual misconduct. This resulted in 80 formal complaints and 27 opened investigations and only a small number of respondents received suspension or expulsion. Many had their suspensions withheld and were required to complete an ethics seminar or write a research paper.
A Reckoning Across College Campuses
Students are banding together to stand against college campus sexual abuse. Whether the perpetrator is a coach, professor, or co-ed, students are no longer letting universities off the hook when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct. The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have helped to propel the problem into the spotlight.
In 2019, The Baltimore Sun reported that petitions and protests have helped fuel action at universities and colleges across the state. According to their investigation, administrations began to be called out for their failure to investigate reports of sexual abuse and their attempts to cover up these allegations.
Maryland Colleges and Universities
There are over 100 colleges and universities in the State of Maryland. Several reputable campuses were called out in investigations conducted by the Baltimore Sun.
Some of the Maryland universities facing serious allegations of sexual abuse on their campuses include:
- Johns Hopkins University
- The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
- The University of Maryland Medical Center
- The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)
It is important to remember that sexual misconduct can happen anywhere to anyone. Perpetrators can include other students, staff members, professors, coaches, or other professionals and may occur on or off campus.
Reporting Sexual Assault and Abuse on College Campuses
If you experience any form of sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse, you should always feel confident in reporting it to law enforcement and campus administrators. Many colleges and universities have established offices for handling allegations of sexual misconduct, such as the University of Maryland’s Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct.
As a survivor of sexual assault, you have rights. You have the right to have your allegations be thoroughly investigated and for wrongful parties be held responsible. You should never feel ashamed to come forward, no matter who the perpetrator is or where the assault took place.
At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, we want to instill confidence in assault victims. You have a voice and you deserve to be heard.
How We Can Help
Were you the victim of sexual assault or abuse on a Maryland college campus? Contact the attorneys at Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A. for the compassionate, experienced representation you deserve. We have helped our clients recover millions in verdicts and settlements. Let us hold perpetrators and negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Call (410) 685-2022 or fill out our online contact form to speak directly with an attorney. We have been serving injury victims and sexual assault survivors throughout Maryland for over 40 years. With a team of 14 lawyers at four offices in the state, we can provide each of our clients with the highest quality of individualized legal representation.