Activists call for a review of Fu Ren’s handling of rape

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 14, 2016 - Page 4

Fu Jen Catholic University’s handling of a rape case yesterday drew criticism from civil activists, who called for an investigation to review what went wrong in the university’s response.

“Fu Ren has not been proactive in handling the case and the Ministry of Education should step forward to act as referee,” Taiwan Alliance for the Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare secretary-general Yeh Ta-hua (葉大華) said, adding that there had been clear violations of procedural justice.

“Both Fu Ren and the ministry should explain whether there were any problems with their handling of the case,” Yeh said.

The alleged rape last year of a psychology student, surnamed Wu (巫), by a classmate, surnamed Wang (王), was brought to the public’s attention last month after Wu’s boyfriend, a student surnamed Zhu (朱), posted a lengthy essay on Facebook.

Zhu accused College of Social Sciences dean Hsia Lin-ching (夏林清) of trying to sweep Wu’s complaint under the carpet by setting up a separate working group to investigate the incident instead of sending it to the university’s gender equality committee.

While Hsia defended her actions in a news conference and public forum, the university’s administration last month stripped psychology professor Ho Tung-hung (何東洪) of his chairmanship of the department, citing the inappropriate establishment of the working group.

Yeh said the university’s handling of controversy over the working group was perfunctory and criticized it for allowing the case to get out of hand.

“Campus rapes are not easy to handle and are definitely not suited for public discussion because they end up becoming some combination of ‘he said, she said,’ along with gossip and rumors — all of which just harms the affected parties more,” Yeh said, adding that Hsia’s news conference and forum had ignored the best interests of students by increasing publicity about the incident.