Toward a Civilized System of Justice: Re-Conceptualizing the Response To Sexual Violence in Higher Education

Cornell Law Review Online, Volume 102, No. 127, 2017

California Western School of Law Research Paper No. 17-12

33 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2017

See all articles by Hannah Brenner

Hannah Brenner

California Western School of Law

Kathleen Darcy

Michigan State University, College of Social Science, School of Criminal Justice

Date Written: July 23, 2017

Abstract

The reporting, investigation, and prevention of sexual violence in settings that are closed off from the greater community and subject to their own laws, rules, norms and biases present special challenges for survivors of sexual violence. This essay builds on our existing scholarship that explores the pervasive problem and exceedingly high incidence of sexual violence perpetrated against women in closed institutional systems like prison, the military, and immigration detention centers. Survivors in these contexts are routinely denied access to justice internally and from the external criminal justice system; they also face major limitations (imposed by both federal law and Supreme Court jurisprudence) surrounding their ability to pursue civil litigation against the institutions for harms they endure. There are important lessons to be learned from comparing these closed systems as relates to the operationalization of sexual violence that is perpetrated within. To this end, this work significantly broadens the conversation and considers whether institutions of higher education — in which sexual violence also occurs at high rates — should be similarly contextualized.

Keywords: sexual violence, higher education, closed systems, Title IX, rape, prison, civil liability

Suggested Citation

Brenner, Hannah and Darcy, Kathleen, Toward a Civilized System of Justice: Re-Conceptualizing the Response To Sexual Violence in Higher Education (July 23, 2017). Cornell Law Review Online, Volume 102, No. 127, 2017; California Western School of Law Research Paper No. 17-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3007355

Hannah Brenner (Contact Author)

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

Kathleen Darcy

Michigan State University, College of Social Science, School of Criminal Justice ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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