March 23, 2016 — Pepperdine Law professor Tanya Asim Cooper spoke today at the University General Counsel Conference being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The topic of her speech is “Breaking the Code of Silence: Relationship Violence in Collegiate Greek Life.” The event is the premier conference for university general counsel administrators and higher-education law firms.
From the General Counsel Conference website:
Domestic or dating violence is an epidemic affecting millions of students, and those who participate in the Panhellenic system (Greek-letter fraternities and sororities in American colleges and universities), are especially vulnerable. Studies show 1 in 5 students have been victimized during their college career, but because of a number of related factors, the problem’s magnitude on campus remains unknown. As social societies bent on secrecy, Greek life hides its violence. Scandals on campus and in sports, however, have recently sparked public outrage against the widespread problem of relationship violence, which disproportionately affects women although men are victimized too. Laws and policies offer little help to victims, who are often secondarily traumatized by the different systems in which they report crime and seek relief and recourse. Without collective action, we will continue to put millions of American youth at risk of great harm that jeopardizes their education and health. Many Greek organizations already educate their members, and their philanthropy helps victims. Many campuses model collaborative and interdisciplinary programs that produce better outcomes. This latest national furor rekindles hope and spurs strategies to create safer havens for our students.