Brigham Young University has formalized a new policy that provides amnesty to victims or witnesses of sexual assault. The university’s Advisory Council on Campus Response to Sexual Assault recommended the policy last October.
BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins announced in a news release that the university finalized the policy and completed a climate survey that collected data from BYU students on sexual assault and university policy. Jenkins said the policy is in effect at BYU’s main campus in Provo, as well as BYU-Idaho, BYU-Hawaii and LDS Business College.
The Amnesty Statement is now part of BYU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.
It encourages the reporting of all incidents of sexual misconduct and ensures victim confidentiality. Several BYU students came forward last year to complain that the school’s Title IX office, which handles sexual misconduct cases, had shared victims’ information with the BYU Honor Code office. In some cases, that sharing of information led to victims being punished for violations, like drinking or drug use during the time of the assault.
In addition to protections for victims and witnesses, the new policy promises that perpetrators of sexual assault are not entitled to confidentiality or amnesty.