Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, the former president of George Washington University, is under fire for comments that he made regarding sexual assault, though he contends that his words were “taken out of context.”
Appearing on the Diane Rehm Show on Tuesday, Trachtenberg was part of a panel discussing Greek Life at U.S. Colleges, according to the Daily Mail.
As the debate turned toward sexual assault, Trachtenberg said, “Without making the victims responsible for what happens, one of the groups that have to be trained not to drink in excess are women.”
While some may have taken issue with his contention that groups need to be “trained,” he continued:
“They need to be in the position to punch the guys in the nose if they misbehave. And so part of the problem is that you have men who take advantage of women who drink too much and there are women who drink too much. And we need to educate our daughters and our children in that regard.”
Trachtenberg’s comments ignited a flood of responses from the GWU community. As In The Capitol reports, a Change.org petition was launched, calling on Trachtenberg to apologize for his comments. The petition, which has over 300 signatures, calls for mandatory sexual assault training and employment of a full time survivor’s advocate.
Other members of the George Washington University community lashed out at Trachtenberg via Twitter for his views on sexual assault:
Victim-blaming and disparaging comments about survivors of sexual assault have no place in our community and should not be tolerated.
— GW FSU (@GW_FSU) August 28, 2014
— Katherine Howell (@ProfessorHowell) August 27, 2014
I’m a sorority woman and a student at GWU, and my behavior should not have to be changed to accommodate rapists. https://t.co/LueJcgWfIT
— Maddie Beecher (@madzbeech) August 28, 2014
Trachtenberg made an effort to clarify his views on sexual assault through the GW Hatchet:
“I don’t believe that because a woman drinks, that shifts responsibility from a predator to her. What I’m saying is you want to have somebody you care about like your daughter, granddaughter, or girlfriend to understand her limits because she will be less likely [able] to fight off somebody who is attacking her”
As The Inquisitr has previously noted, sexual assault has become a major issue on campuses nationwide. Sixty schools are currently under investigation by federal authorities for their handling of sexual assault cases.
[Image via In The Capitol]