Brigham Young University Rape Victim Could End Up Being Punished For Being Raped

Sophomore Madi Barney was raped in her off-campus apartment by a 39-year-old who lied about his age, name and marital status. She filed the report with the Provo police department who then filed the police case with the university. Under normal circumstances, this horrible event would end right there and Madi could begin to heal.

Madi’s problems are just beginning. She’s a sophomore at Brigham Young University, a school known for its strict rules against sex before marriage, dressing conservatively and having people sleep over in their dorms. But BYU really should improve its bylaws when it comes to rape.

Because Barney is being brought to the honor code office for a disciplinary hearing because she was raped. It’s pre-marital sex, after all.

A letter that was written to Barney in December according to the Salt Lake Tribune by a BYU official says,

“We have received information that you have been a victim of behavior that is addressed in the university Sexual Misconduct Policy. We have also received information that you have engaged in behavior that violates the BYU Honor Code. I would like to meet with you and provide you with the information that we have received and give you an opportunity to respond.”

Advised by her attorney, she did not attend the hearing as it would complicate her legal case and as a result, the school has blocked her from registering for new classes. She also tried to withdraw from some classes because of the frequent court hearings and the school denied her request for that as well stating they, “can’t prove the rape occurred.”

Barney went public with her case last week and filed a petition demanding that BYU grant victims of sexual assault immunity from honor code punishments. The petition has since garnered over 90,000 signatures and as a result, many students participated in a rally outside BYU to protest the school’s treatment of sexual assault victims.

She has since filed a complaint with the Department of Education saying, “BYU denied her services that under federal law should be available to sexual assault victims in accordance with Title IX, the gender equity rule that requires schools to address reports of sexual assault and harassment.”

The University came out with a response saying it was meeting Title IX compliance standards when it started investigating Barney’s case. But really all they did was victimize her and that’s exactly what she said in her Facebook post on Wednesday claiming,

“Nothing a survivor does makes rape or any sexual assault OK. By investigating victims for violations of the honor code, BYU is revictimizing those who come forward and blaming them for what happened.”

BYU President Kevin Worthen has since issued a statement saying he will “study” the relationship between its Title IX office and honor code office and the further investigate the case itself.

So once again, a woman is being punished for defending herself and her rights and fighting the system that is not protecting her.

Featured image via Facebook.



  1. Joseph Herzgo

    April 22, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    This would be a disgrace if it had happened in the 11th century. To be treated in such abhorrent fashion in the 21st century is beyond words. BYU is diminished in the most profound fashion and one would hope that this “religious” institution would have a long discussion with the thoughts and philosophy of Jesus Christ….

  2. TJ

    April 25, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    She is not being punished for being raped. Starting at the title, this article is completely misleading. There is a rape exception in the honor code, and it is not considered a breach of standards. She is not being punished for being raped.
    The honor code violation is something separate from her rape, and something she has not elaborated on to avoid self-incrimination. Please don’t believe or disseminate this garbage.

  3. Marti Leimbach

    April 26, 2016 at 11:16 am

    This is victim-blaming in the extreme. Thank you, Joseph Herzog, for your comment. I could not agree more!

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