Student’s Petition Asks BYU to Stop Punishing Rape Victims

The petition has gained support from victim’s advocates around the world.

A Brigham Young University student’s petition asking the school to stop investigating students for violations when they report a rape has gathered thousands of signatures.

BYU student Madi Barney, who reported she’d been raped last year, has gathered more than 50,000 signatures for her petition.

“I want victims of sexual violence at BYU to have an immunity clause from the Honor Code so that they don’t feel afraid to report,” Barney states in the petition.

Barney reported that she’d been raped in her off-campus apartment to Provo City Police in September 2015. When the university was made aware of the incident, they referred her to the Title IX office before sending her to the Honor Code Office to be interviewed, according to

Barney has refused to answer questions from the honor code office because a criminal trial of her alleged rapist is pending. As a result, BYU has forbid her from registering for classes.

BYU’s honor code, which all students sign when they enroll at the university, bans students from having premarital sex and having people of the opposite sex in their bedrooms. Barney says she invited the man into her apartment but not into her bedroom.

As of this writing, Barney’s petition has 53,963 supporters from around the world.

A spokesperson for BYU said the university’s goal in every case of sexual assault is to give the victim support and protect their educational environment. “BYU takes these reports extremely seriously, with our first priority being the welfare and safety of the student,” the spokesperson said in an email.

The controversy has prompted BYU to study its sexual assault policy and structure, reports Fox 13. Barney, however, tells the TV station that she is concerned the move is a PR stunt.

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