OUR VIEW: Boren's changes to sexual assault policy unacceptable
President David Boren has recommended changing the university’s sexual assault policy. As it stands, victims of sexual assault only have 30 days to file a student code complaint.
Boren’s recommendations include increasing the statute of limitations to 180 days to — as he put it — go along with the federal statute of limitations for sexual-assault. While the increase is a step in the right direction, Boren’s request is far from adequate.
Sexual-assault victims have both physical and mental scars. Allowing them only six months to emotionally ground themselves and file sexual assault charges with university police is a joke.
Victims shouldn’t be forced into action until they are prepared to — not when an establishment says they should.
OU should strive to protect its students at every possible moment. Forcing students recovering from a traumatic experience to come forward in such a short time frame fails to accomplish this goal.
If a female was sexually assaulted and impregnated, by the time she gave birth she will have missed her window for filing charges by three months.
Forcing a student who is already emotionally distressed, dealing with course work and who may be dealing with the physical effects of sexual assault in a span of six months is unacceptable.
The statute of limitations for rape in Oklahoma is 12 years — more than 24 times the amount of time Boren’s requested extension is. There should be no limit on when you can file charges. Just because an established time frame has ended doesn’t mean the damage has gone away.
Sexual-assault victims are often reluctant to discussing their experience, and by limiting their window to file charges OU is silencing the silent. Sexual assault is too serious an issue to limit a victim’s response.
OU should be considered a safe haven for all of its students. But an establishment that forces an emotionally unstable individual to come forward and talk about what is possibly the worst experience of his or her lives seems anything but protective.
We urge Boren to reevaluate his recommendations for changes to OU’s rape policy. We hope he would recommend changing our policy to mirror our state’s statute of limitations.