Lawsuit: Howard University Refused to Help Suicidal Rape Victims

A federal lawsuit against Howard University claims that a school official told a rape victim that she had “embarrassed her family” by talking about it and that other rape victims were fired from their jobs or had their financial aid stripped after reporting it. One of the five plaintiffs claims she was denied help despite telling the school she was considering suicide after her assault. One of the accused rapists—an RA—reportedly had access to a key to his victim's dorm room, according to the complaint. Two of the plaintiffs say they had to leave campus over safety concerns and the Washington D.C. school's lack of action. “If my case was handled the way it was supposed to be handled,” Jane Doe 2 told a BuzzFeed News reporter, Jane Doe 1 “would've never met her assailant. He would've been dismissed.” The male student allegedly transferred to the school after he was accused of sexual misconduct at UCLA, and the university—according to the suit—didn't act until one of the victims went public last year. Doe 1 said she was fired from her job as a resident assistant after she reported her rape, and Doe 2 claims the school took away her financial aid.