|Patrick Henry College in Purcellville is an Evangelical institution with an enrollment of approximately 325. Times-Mirror File Photo/Trevor Baratko|
Officials at Patrick Henry College, the small, deeply-religious Christian school in Purcellville, responded to and repudiated Wednesday a longform report in the New Republic that accused the Patrick Henry administration of “victim-blaming” females in the cases of sexual assault.
The New Republic story, now entitled “Sexual Assault at God's Harvard” and published online Monday, highlights accounts from several female former students who reported assaults during their time at the school.
“ … other female students who say they reported sexual assault or harassment to the administration also left feeling that school officials blamed them instead of holding the accused male students accountable," the story, written by Kiera Feldman, notes. "The administration, they say, seemed much more concerned with protecting Patrick Henry’s pristine public image.”
In the school's response, sent to students, PHC officials stated: “Because you have invested your hearts, minds, and resources in this College, you should know that Patrick Henry College is absolutely committed to the protection and care of our students, male and female equally. When and if issues arise, we take each allegation seriously and try to conduct appropriate investigations with a spirit of emotional support while seeking truth. We may not perfectly achieve this objective every time, but this is our aim; this is our heart. The thesis of the article, that women are somehow treated less favorably than men, especially in difficult situations involving physical interactions between a male and female student, is categorically false.”
Click here to read the New Republic story
Click here to read the official Patrick Henry response
Click here to read 2012's "Queer at Patrick Henry College vexes school's chancellor" - part of a Virginia Press Association award-winning package
This story has been updated from an earlier version.