Violated by Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach

I work in Title IX on a university campus. I am very passionate about my job, but it is not easy work. Every day, I have some incredibly difficult conversations. Complainants have to relive an alleged traumatic experience. Respondents have to respond to these traumatic allegations. Witnesses have to unpack a whirlwind of information. Families and friends can be left in the dark. Students and peers feel abandoned or ignored. No matter the outcome of an investigation or hearing, there is rarely rejoicing.

Sexual assault is a very real problem in almost every facet of society. In higher education, sexual assault seems ever-present. From about 2009 to 2017, Baylor University appeared at the epicenter of sexual assault.

Violated details the scandals surrounding Baylor and the city of Waco. This book contains a long list of troublemakers: football players, athletes, coaches, athletic administration, university administrators, campus safety officers, police officers, and apathetic prosecutors. This book details the systemic problems that created such an abhorrent culture that allowed (or even promoted) sexual assaults at Baylor.

The Christian culture adds another layer of complexity to the culture. Baylor, like most Christian college campuses, explicitly prohibits alcohol, drugs, partying, and sex. Therefore, when sexual assault claims started to surface, the Baylor community dismissed these cases as anomalies or simple mistakes. The Baylor community just could not accept that their Christ-centered institution was no different from its secular peers.

Violated is a very interesting book. If you want a better understanding of sexual assault on college campuses and how the system can destroy a victim, this is the book to read.

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