(UPDATED) The Justice for Janes movement has brought forth allegations of mishandled abuse cases and coverup and challenged the university to improve its response.
Liberty University students and alumni prayed and protested in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault as they called on the school’s board of trustees to authorize an independent investigation into its response to reports of abuse.
On Thursday evening, more than 100 people gathered behind a barrier along a traffic circle on campus—Lynchburg’s fall foliage aglow behind them—to hear from victims’ advocate Rachael Denhollander; former Liberty professor Karen Swallow Prior; and representatives of “Justice for Janes,” named for the Jane Does who have come forward with claims that their abuse cases were mishandled by Liberty.
They wore teal clothing and ribbons and held signs reading “We’re with the Does” and “Independent Audit Now.” Students plan to continue to rally on campus Friday afternoon.
With momentum around the movement and coverage of Liberty building for months, advocates have seen some signs of hope this week. The school announced plans to install surveillance cameras and blue-light call boxes on campus and may be moving toward an outside audit of the school’s Title IX and human resources offices.
“While Justice for Janes is grateful for the steps being taken, we understand that there is way more to be done,” Liberty senior and Justice for Janes founder Daniel Harris told the Liberty Champion. “That investigation needs to happen.”
After students struggled to secure university permission to hold Thursday night’s event on campus, interim president Jerry Prevo ended up attending and spoke with organizers and the media.
On Friday, a day …