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CalArts students protest handling of rape cases

The US Department of Justice has heard recommendations that urge changes to the way in which rapes and sexual assaults in the US are counted.
The US Department of Justice has heard recommendations that urge changes to the way in which rapes and sexual assaults in the US are counted.
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A day after students at the California Institute of the Arts staged a protest about administrators' handling of a sex assault case, students at the prestigious art school said they will begin offering their own support to victims.

“We are creating a safe space for people who are assaulted or have been assaulted to come forward," said Cori Redstone, a masters of fine arts student studying painting and one of the protest organizers.

She said they intend to support those victims through the reporting process - and what happens next.

"We can stand with them as they decide what they want to do and how they want to handle their case," she said.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights launched an investigation into a case where the school punished the alleged perpetrator of a rape with a one-year suspension.

With CalArts, the agency is now investigating 86 campuses around the country for possible violation of federal law over the handling and reporting of sexual assault complaints. They include USC, UCLA and Occidental college.

CalArts officials issued a statement saying they followed all the proper protocols and procedures in the case, but can't discuss any details due to the federal investigation.

“We take matters of sexual misconduct like this very seriously and in this particular incident, we followed all Institute protocols and procedures," the statement read. "We are currently working with our students, faculty and staff to provide increased education and prevention resources and are fostering opportunities for community discussion to help stop these kinds of incidents from happening in the future."

Thursday's student protest at CalArts included a silent demonstration inside the administration building.

Redstone and other protestors insist school officials fail to adequately report or investigate allegations of sexual assault on campus.

The 86 post-secondary institutions currently under federal investigation for possible violations of Title IX regarding their handling of sex abuse allegations - and the dates the investigations were launched - are: