Tell Harvard & Tufts to apologize for failing rape survivors

Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University; Martha Minow, Dean, Harvard Law School; Anthony Monaco, President, Tufts University

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Both Harvard Law School and Tufts University have been found in violation of Title IX by the Department of Education for their mishandling of sexual assault.

Survivors who trusted their institutions to protect and help them have been failed by these schools. Even the government agrees.

So why have they not apologized?

Higher education institutions have been consistently failing to properly prevent and respond to sexual violence. Although we’ve seen some progress in recent years, they've been getting it wrong for a very long time.

In early August 2016, Survivors Eradicating Rape Culture co-founders Wagatwe Wanjuki and Kamilah Willingham took to social media using #JustSaySorry to demand apologies from these institutions for how they handled their sexual assaults. Despite widespread support and media attention, Harvard and Tufts remain silent.

Apologizing for wrongdoing isn't just the right thing to do. Trauma experts deem it to be a transformative act that helps both communities and individual survivors heal.

Join us in urging both Harvard and Tufts to step up and meet their self-proclaimed commitments to "rededicating [them]selves to the the hard work of eradicating not just symbols of injustice but injustice itself"[1] and "a campus culture in which every member of our community is respected, supported and safe."[2] respectively.

1. Harvard Law School to retire shield - Harvard Gazette

2. Tufts Reaffirms Commitment to Title IX Compliance - Tufts University

Wagatwe Wanjuki
Petition by
Cranford, New Jersey

To: Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University; Martha Minow, Dean, Harvard Law School; Anthony Monaco, President, Tufts University
From: [Your Name]

I support survivors Wagatwe Wanjuki and Kamilah Willingham as they demand a very overdue apology for your institution's failure to properly handle their sexual assault reports.

There is no question that you have failed to properly survivors of sexual violence on your campuses. The Department of Education finding Tufts University and Harvard Law School in violation of Title IX proves that.

I urge you to establish yourselves as leaders of integrity within higher education and apologize. You are uniquely positioned to lead other schools by example in properly responding to sexual violence.

It is never too late to apologize and condemn the harm done to them and other survivors who have had their bodies and trust violated by their assailants and your institution.

Please take this opportunity to do the right thing by the many survivors — known and unknown — to acknowledge the harm done to them and condemn the injustice they've endured.

Just say sorry.