A lawsuit against Howard University claiming that five former and current students were raped and sexually assaulted on campus and the University did little to nothing to help them. The lawsuit identifies the five victims as Jane Doe 1 to 5 in which incidents took place on campus from 2014-2016. In one case, a woman says she was raped in February 2016 by a fellow student, which he was an RA (room assistant) in the dorm. After she reported the initial attack, the RA still had access to a key to her room. Later she learned that another female student reported to the school about a similar assault including the same male.
In the suit it states “Howard’s failure to investigate and effectively resolve (the first alleged victim’s) complaint meant the assailant remained on campus as an RA and raped (the second alleged victim) over five months later,” the suit says. Two of the plaintiffs say they had to leave campus over safety concerns at the University.
The University didn’t act on the complaints until one of the women went public with a string of tweets that cued up an campus protest. After the tweets were up, the civil suit states that Howard’s Dean of Student Affairs told her, “You embarrassed your family by doing that.” The suit also states that Doe 1 says in the suit she was also fired as a resident assistant after reporting her rape, while Doe 2 says the university took away her financial aid and threatened to refer her debt to a collection agency.
“These young women experienced sexual assault and they were not supported by the university,” said Linda Correia, the attorney representing the students. With some of the women claiming that they were harassed and confronted by their attackers after reporting the attacks. Linda Correia added that “they have experienced depression, they have been suicidal and they expressed those things to the university and still the university failed to act,”.