Fu Jen Catholic University’s handling of a rape case last year contravened the law, and the school must submit a plan to address its shortcomings before the end of next month, the Ministry of Education said yesterday.
The ministry’s gender equality task force ruled that Fu Jen’s actions were against the Gender Equality Education Act (性別平等教育法), Department of Student Affairs and Special Education Director Cheng Nai-wen (鄭乃文) said.
The sexual assault case should have been handled by the university’s gender equality committee, but instead was given to its psychology department, which formed a counseling team, the ministry said.
The school failed to separate the investigation from the counseling process, the ministry said.
“If Fu Jen’s suggested improvements do not meet expectations, it could see some of its government subsidies cut,” Cheng said.
A psychology major surnamed Wu (吳) was allegedly raped in June last year by another student in the department after she became inebriated at an event.
Her boyfriend, surnamed Chu (朱), posted a long article on Facebook in May this year criticizing comments made by College of Social Sciences dean Hsia Lin-ching (夏林清), which he said had caused a “second injury” to the victim.
Chu also insinuated that Hsia tried to cover up the case.
Chu’s post triggered a heated debate on the Internet for months between those who supported Hsia and those who supported Wu.
In addition, some of those targeted by Chu said that his remarks were not consistent with the facts.
However, more controversy arose on Wednesday after the victim posted an apology to Hsia on Facebook, saying that during their conversation, she had been hurt, but “Hsia did not try to hush up the matter.”
People had gotten the idea that Hsia tried to cover up the case, but such accusations were “not my intention,” she wrote.
“However, the professor was hurt, and I want to say sorry to her,” the victim wrote.
While some netizens said it was ludicrous for a victim “to be apologetic” and suggested that she was probably “forced to apologize,” Hsia lauded the woman’s integrity for taking responsibility for the “twisted and slanderous” remarks her boyfriend made in May.
Hsia said that she had been invited to join the counseling team for the rape complaint, that she was only a member of the team and had no reason to try to cover up the case.
However, Fu Jen officials yesterday told a news conference that for administrative neutrality reasons, Hsia was being temporarily suspended from her duties pending an investigation.
The school’s gender equality committee suggested that the dean be suspended because she is one of the people whose actions are being reviewed as part of the investigation into the school’s handling of the rape complaint.
Whether Hsia was slandered by Chu’s post would be one focus of the investigation, the school said.
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