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Hanover College Accused of Telling Rape Victim to Stop Harassing Alleged Rapist

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By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
January 28, 2014|11:22 am

A Hanover College student has alleged that the college is being unsupportive and has told her to stop harassing the man she claims raped her. The College has said that the situation is not a school matter but should be handled by the local police.

According to the student, who has chosen to go by the singular name Samantha, she was raped, harassed and physically abused by a former boyfriend. She has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. That organization then notified Hanover, a small private institution that it is under investigation.

According to Samantha, after the assault, Hanover told her to take her allegations to the police and tried to prevent her from living on campus. She also alleges that the school did nothing to prevent the former boyfriend and his girlfriend from harassing her. Samantha and Hanover reached a mediation agreement in 2013, but in November, the college decided that the boyfriend and girlfriend were not responsible for harassment and allowed them to file harassment charges against Samantha.

The Hanover student misconduct board told Samantha that her attempts to see her alleged persecutor punished "whether through campus security, the campus conduct review process, his fraternity, the court system, or the Department of Education, do appear to be a type of harassment," in a notice obtained by the Huffington Post.

"Even though they didn't end up imposing disciplinary actions, just sending a letter condemning her for speaking out is intimidating enough," Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, told the Huffington Post. "Certainly if word gets around that the college regards telling people that there's a sexual predator on campus as harassment, then people are going to be intimidated into staying silent."

"The College is confident that the evidence will demonstrate its commitment to creating and fostering a welcoming educational environment for all students," Hanover spokeswoman Rhonda L. Burch said in a statement.

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