As of noon Monday, Feb. 23, a petition to UO trustees entitled “Stop suing rape survivors University of Oregon” has garnered more than 500 signatures. The Change.org petition is in response to the UO and basketball coach Dana Altman’s counter-suit against an alleged rape victim.* According to The Oregonian, “Oregon and Altman’s suit seeks to have the original ‘frivolous, unreasonable’ complaint’ dismissed and recover legal fees from either the alleged victim or her attorneys.”
The petition, which was started two days ago, reads:
The University of Oregon has become the first institution in higher education to sue a rape survivor pursuing her rights under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act — all after violating medical privacy laws by seizing her counseling records from the campus health center, and asking campus counselors to give her substandard care.
Send the UO a message: suing rape survivors will not make campus safer for the 1 in 5 women who will be sexually assaulted, harassed, or raped each year on campus.
The petition provides links to both The Oregonian‘s story and to an R-G story detailing an email from a UO therapist who alleges she was told to alter counseling care for the student and that the “student’s clinical records were accessed without her knowledge, without the student’s permission and without any court authorization.”
Names of those listed as having signed include those of UO faculty, graduate students, alumni and undergrads.
* EW uses the word alleged not to indicate doubt in a rape victim’s story but for legal reasons to indicate that the accusations have not been proven in a court of law.
Update: the UO has dropped the suit.