Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tell Congress: Keep sexual assault survivors' therapy records private!

Her rapists shattered her trust. Now her school is doing the same thing.
An unnamed student at the University of Oregon was brutally gang raped by three basketball players last year. The school ultimately expelled the three criminals — but waited months before taking action, did not pursue a court case, and had even recruited one of them despite knowing he had a record of sexual assault. It gets worse.
The sexual-assault survivor is suing the university — and the school is using her private therapy records from their campus health clinic against her in court.
Even in an era of gridlock, protecting sexual assault survivors' security and trust is a no-brainer. Sign the petition to Congress today and demand that private therapy records be kept private!
The school can get away with violating their students' privacy because of a loophole in FERPA — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. But legal or not, patients expect confidentiality when they go to counseling, or the counseling won't work. This is especially true for sexual assault survivors whose security and trust has already been shattered once.
Even if it's legal, what the University of Oregon is doing is shocking, cruel, and flat-out wrong. As Kelsey Jones, another student from the school's Organization Against Sexual Assault, told NPR, "It's ten times harder now to seek help and feel safe, and feel OK to share 100 percent of what you're feeling."
Our friends at UltraViolet and Daily Kos have taken the lead on this issue. Let's add our voices and send Congress 50,000 Care2 names demanding action!
Be kind to each other,
Nathan E.
The Care2 Petitions Team