Woman at center of BYU Honor Code controversy files complaint against Title IX office

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PROVO — A BYU student who earlier this month publicly questioned the university's treatment of victims of sexual assault says she has filed a formal complaint against the school's Title IX office.

Madi Barney, who reported that she was raped last fall, said she submitted the complaint to the U.S. Department of Education on Monday, though both she and the federal agency declined to turn over the complaint Thursday.

Barney spoke out at an April 7 rape awareness meeting on BYU's campus, saying the friend of her accused rapist had reached out to the school to incriminate her for Honor Code violations.

Barney later started an online petition, asking for BYU to "stop punishing victims of sexual assault," that had gained more than 100,000 signatures as of Thursday. Protestors handed a hard copy of Barney's petition to BYU administrators on Wednesday.

BYU officials have promised in recent days to review the relationship between the Honor Code and Title IX offices and how to better encourage victims of sexual crimes to report such incidents.

Barney claims BYU's Title IX office was unsympathetic to her situation and inappropriately focused on investigating her with regard to the LDS Church-owned school's conduct policies.

"Instead of … contacting me and being like, 'Oh, my gosh. What can we do for you?' They just said, 'We're going to have to turn you over to the Honor Code office,'" she said Thursday.

Barney also said the Title IX office wasn't upfront with her about how it received the police report that raised issues with regard to school conduct. She said the office didn't have adequate information about how she could withdraw from classes in light of a new schedule affected by the criminal case against her alleged rapist.

"I don't think anything is ever going to change unless we start talking about (it), and nobody is going to talk about it if nobody is listening," she said.

Contributing: Ashley Moser

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