Book Review: Violated-Exposing Rape at Baylor University Amid College Football’s Sexual Assault Crisis by Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach (9781478974086)

cover117931-mediumAccording to national statistics, at least one in five college women experience some type of sexual assault. 

Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach are ESPN reporters who have done a comprehensive investigation into injustices and cover ups of a prominent Christian college, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas.

The book contains many stories of Baylor female students who reported sexual assaults by athletes to their university over a period of several years which went unanswered until the administration had to confront the realities happening on its campus.  Not only did the university ignore the victims’ cries, but the city police department was inconsistent in their investigations and withheld police reports involving students and student athletes.  One case included five victim reports involving the same male football player, a serial rapist.  Once this sexual assault case came out, other cases (old and new) started surfacing.

Under pressure from the public, the Baylor board of regents hired a Philadelphia law firm to review the school’s response to sexual assault complaints which did not fair well for the university or the football program.  It found “willful intent” of college employees to silence women who reported sexual assaults by some Baylor football players.   For the first time ever, a major Division I university ousted its president, athletic director, and head coach of one of the most prominent football program in the country.  Victims were getting justice by seeing their rapists pay for their crimes and federal Title IX lawsuits were being filed against Baylor as well as U.S. Department of Education investigations, and an NCAA inquiry.   Once this travesty came out about Baylor in the media, more and more colleges and universities started experiencing reports of inaction by administrators and athletic departments to help sexual assault victims.

As one who works in a liberal arts college, it was a very eye-opening read.   The authors did a thorough job of research for this book which can be seen in the timeline of the Baylor sexual assault scandal and a detailed bibliography with resources worth reading.  This book will bring out many emotions in the reader such as disbelief, disgust, anger and so much anguish for the victims.  I highly recommend this book!

Thank you to authors Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach, Center Street Publishing and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

 

 

 

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