Seccuro speaks out on violence at UVA

In a May 27 op-ed on the Huffington Post, UVA alum Liz Seccuro, whose 1984 sexual assault in a fraternity house and her assailant's apology sent 22 years later made international news, weighs in on the deaths of Yeardley Love and Morgan Harrington and on violence against women at UVA.

49 comments

"JPJ is UVA property."

Yes but she was last seen walking on the road hitchhiking, correct? Is that UVa property too?

Not that it really matters...but I think his point is that there is no indication that her dissappearance and murder had anything to do with someone related to UVa, let alone with UVa's sexual assault policies.

Oh, Sean, your OTC pills arguments have been shown to lack the necessary evidence to be even presentable, and yet here you are, still yammering on.

And this time instead of trolling Yeardley Love, you are now trolling Ms. Seccuro.

How respectful.

THE FACTS.

The pill arrived in the US in 1960. Abortion became legal in 1973.

1960: One in 2 US women used tobacco products.

1973: One in 3 US women used tobacoo products.

Now: One in 5 US women use tobacco products.

You can't argue with the FACTS.

Two weeks later, the Crime log records were changed to ââ?¬Å?suspicious circumstance”. After a few phone calls with Lt Gibson (promoted to Chief in 2006) and letters to Pres Casteen and Mr Sandridge, the Crime Log was returned to the original wording..

Susan-What was his explanation???

Not surprising that nobody can answer my simple questions regarding the beheaded female pictured on our website. Killing is a rush for some. And if there are more kids with birth defects afterward also - that's OK with the vast majority of Charlottesville and UVA. It's an essential part of being part of the looney left ME generation. Nothing, nothing whatsoever, is going to stop them from getting high and getting laid whenever they feel like it. If someone gets pregnant, just behead the little bastard. If thousands die in Mexico from the drug trade, who cares?

But for those of you still hoping that the evidence does NOT suggest that someone at UVA was involved with Morgan Harrington's murdere.. well, you're just making a fool of yourself again. Basically ALL of the evidence suggests exactly that. That's why the media in this town was so slow to dare speak of it, and why much of it has never been printed/mentioned in some local media outlets.

SHe vanished at a concert at UVA. She was spotted on the lawn at 3:45 am, her body was found where they had UVA frat parties, and her shirt was found right in the heart of fraternity row. The reaction all winter to this evidence was the presumption that a murderer could not POSSIBLY be amongst the oh so prestigious UVA student body. Two murders later, I think we have dispensed with that notion - no?

Keep in mind folks, that Mr. Casteen has enabled the Class of 2010 to get their asses outta here before any kind of boom fell down on them. 21 year olds can drop dead in frat houses, sexual assaults and other violence can be commonplace, and details in a missing person's/murder investigation can be hushed up. Through it all, the Code of Silence has survived. Not even Ms. Love's own friends dared speak up about the previous violence. Now we have the very convenient sealings of the further warrants to ensure that what was in Mr. Huguely's blood stream remains a secret. Of course..

The drug culture at UVA, along with ALL that happens between 10 pm and 4 am, has been protected and kept under wraps. They protect their own, and their own (women included) go along with that. Nobody will break the Code of Silence as to what really happens to women at UVA. And that includes the breast cancers they are sold at Elson, and the preterm births they are sold at the hospital (8th. floor, east wing). These are facts that people do not want to know. None of you will even talk about them.

So lets face reality here. Come August, every frat house - including the ones where people died, were assaulted, housed murderers, and dealt drugs - will ALL be filled to capacity with 17 and 18 year old girls drinking free liquor into the wee hours of the morning surrounded by horny men with a huge sense of entitlement. They will also have access to many other interesting intoxicants. The Peer Health Educators will be out in force selling pills and making sure that nobody is being a prude and being UNCOOL. And the process begins anew. As the last few months have shown, the perps have nothing at all to fear.

Who wants to bet that if Mr. Huguely were released, he would hook up his first night back out on the town in Charlottesville?

Saying Liz Seccuro is trying to "single out" UVA is ridiculous. This is where she went to school. This is where she was raped. This is the University that, through the faculty and staff, served to cover up this crime.

Generalizing these issues to point out that they exist everywhere is a great way to feel ok about not doing anything about the fact that they exist in your backyard.

Sean should go back to repeatedly stating that no other publication would dare report on the t-shirt find, even though he has been shown that the C-ville Weekly first covered the story.

"Or are you saying that we should be discussing UVA but not in any negative way?"

No, but chouva and others, including myself, take exception to over-the-top generalizations ("the paradigm of violence at UVA") about U.Va. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement, and these threads often feature constructive dialogue toward achieving this. I don't have a problem with people discussing ways to increase awareness and decrease violence, which includes pointing out UVA's flaws. I DO have a problem with people using isolated instances as an excuse to bash UVA in an alienating, non-constructive forum for personal reasons (I'm thinking of a certain troll of this site and other sites...).

So it's just fine to give lots women breast cancer, and lie about doing so - because more of them are surviving it once they get it.

Great.. Another wonderful idea from the killing lobby trying to fudge statistics.

THE FACTS.

The pill arrived in the US in 1960. Abortion became allowable is 1973.

1960 One in 25 US women got breast cancer.

1973 One in 14 US women got breast cancer.

Now One in 8 US women gets breast cancer.

http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/prod_consump/groups/cr_common/@nre/@sta...

Gee, in what countries have women been taking steroids en masse sfor decades??

But again, folks. No amount of facts or science will dissuade these folks. These are the tobacco industry lobbyists from the 1970's reincarnated here among us today.

@Sean: YES. We DO KNOW that it was the prosecution

Why, you might ask? Because ONLY the prosecution is ENTITLED to seek that a warrant be sealed. Va Code 19.2-54: "[The] affidavit may be temporarily sealed by the appropriate court upon application of the *attorney for the Commonwealth* for good cause shown in an ex parte hearing. Any individual arrested and claiming to be aggrieved by such search and seizure or any person who claims to be entitled to lawful possession of such property seized may move the appropriate court for the unsealing of such affidavit, and the burden of proof with respect to continued sealing shall be upon the Commonwealth."

You are WRONG, so how many times do I need to explain this to you? It's not a rational presumption at all to think that the defense attorney or a third party could make a request that they're not legally entitled to make.

Sean, clearly you still haven't gotten the news that the links between breast cancer and OTC pills are still tenuous. Read the editorial that came with your favorite graph? That absolute difference was ridiculously low compared to the socioeconomic and medical benefits of OTC pills.

It is also clear you haven't taken statistic courses. An increase in two different things over time does not signify a correlation between the two.

Are you accusing a UVA student to have murdered Harrington? Resorting to libel, now, aren't we? Congratulations, you just took a new step towards absurdity.

Every bottle of alcohol, and pack of cigarettes, has a VERY clear warning about birth defects thereon. Can anyone show me where this warning is communicated to women in either of these two documents?

http://www.virginia.edu/studenthealth/Birth%20Control%20Options%202006%2...

http://www.virginia.edu/uvaprint/HSC/pdf/040360.pdf

Same goes for breast cancer.. Show me. Show us all.

How is it that only SOME of the things that cause breast cancer and birth defects are communicated, but the others are NOT. Gasp, could it be the politics of some people who just want to bury their heads in the sand?!? What makes the science with some matter, but the science of others kept so very quiet?

I know this is really difficult for people who have been brainwashed for so long, but consider what your fervent wish to keep medical science from women does to them and their children. Consider the stark INCREASES in both breast cancer and birth defects since 1960, in spite of all the advances we have made medically and environmentally since then. There has got to be a few of you with a conscience..

As for Harrington, your retorts to every stitch of evidence linking UVA to what happened to her is just your wishful thinking. A murderer could never be in their midst, of course! (oh yeah, we gotta amend that now that there were two this year already..) But still the insistence that it could NEVER be one of them persists. You'd think people would have woken up recently. Nah, too many people around here depend on the UVA gravy train, and UVA's reputation must be upheld no matter what. Damage control over murder investigations. It's how this place works.

Whatever frats partied there, and whichever students knew what - didn't break the Code of Silence. Corpse or no corpse. And local media was rather cooperative also. Whatever the cops said about UVA students and frat parties just isn't news, of course. Not around here. Just don't cover it. And Casteen didn't even find the decency to sign the Letter of Condolences after her body was found. The case is probably getting cold now.

"Congratulations"

Liz Seccuro is an important and articulate national spokesperson for her cause. She has turned her personal story into a great positive for many. Good to see her continued good work and her piece in Huffington Post.

You are a dolt, Sean. Only the prosecutor has the power to ask for the sealing of the warrants/request.

You are the one bringing up the rumors. Back it up yourself, or is this country turning into conspiracy-mania fest?

It might hurt your brain cells (or what little of it) to think of this, but the guy who died in a frat house didn't exactly make news across the nation. AKA: No one cares except you. Why didn't cavalier daily report this earlier? The family requested privacy. Are you saying your desire "to expose the drunken culture" (that almost every Americans know about exist in college) trump the family's wishes? Why don't you call the Arwood family to discuss this issue with the father?

Liz,

Thank you for speaking out and being a voice for women. UVa should face their weaknesses and strive to provide a safe environment for women and the tools necessary to bring justice when it fails.

Alcohol is a Class I carcinogen, Sean, responsible for more deaths (and birth defects) by many orders of magnitude than oral contraceptives.

Of course, Sean thinks that it's ok for him to drink, and bed multiple U.Va. coeds, and infuriate grieving parents who have just lost a child, and be his usual anti-social self.

"SHe vanished at a concert at UVA. She was spotted on the lawn at 3:45 am, her body was found where they had UVA frat parties, and her shirt was found right in the heart of fraternity row"

They never had UVa frat parties there. What frat had a party there? You keep on claiming a fraternity had a party there based on a the Chief of Police saying he didn't know if a frat had rented it for a party at any time or not. Even if a frat had a party there years ago, there was no party that night. A fraternity doesn't own the farm, or any farms around there. They would have had to rent it out for one night.

Her shirt was found 3 blocks from the nearest frat house...and not near chancelor st and rugby road which are the only roads one would call "frat row".

Like I've said before, it's a mental illness that has people thinking that steroids ause cancer and should be illegal, but only for men. All the overwhelming science proving that the same is just as true regarding women is simply to be ignored because, well, politics is more important. That 1 in 25 women suffered from breast cancer when the pill arrived, and one in 8 do now - is also of no consequence. Those pills have made unwanted pregnancies and abortions vanish. Oh wait, they made both epidemics far worse. But that also does not matter of we just decide that we don't want to think about it.

I don't pretend to know for sure who killed Morgan, or who sealed the warrants in the Huguely case. Both are unknown. The prosecution would have no need to keep their identity itself sealed. Casteen would. We'll see.

But does ANYONE here honestly believe that there has not been a single rape assault at UVA the last 20 years? Or is it 1000 times more likely that, as happens with other violence and/or drug issues involving UVA studenta, that's it's all kept under wraps and shielded from prosecution and ignored by local media? There are two UVA students in jail right now on murder charges from 2010 alone. But you really think these were just two bad apples among the tens of thousands of others??

@JJ: Lt Gibson told me that when the case was closed out by Detective Coles, someone in the department "misinterpreted" her writings and changed the log. He could not identify the "someone". He apologized and told me he would "take care of it." I have my suspicions who and how much they were paid off.

Even though I sent my question in writing, Gibson answered me verbally over the phone. I asked him to provide me his answer in writing but he did not.

When the Dept of Education investigated my Clery Act complaint, Pres Casteen denied that Lt Gibson and I ever spoke. Tampering with the Clery Log is a federal offense. And that's just one more illustration of how the school covers up crime.

I hope she has a sit-down with Dr. Sullivan. Someone needs to change the paradigm of violence at UVA and SOON! Hopefully Sullivan will step up.

How about the little girl featured here:

http://uvalies.org/peerdeath.html

A victim of violence if ever there was one.. Violence Mr. Casteen personally brought to UVA, along with the usual medical misinformation and lying to women that accompanies it.

How about what happens to her younger sister born preterm years later with severe birth defects?

How about all the UVA women who will now get breast cancer thanks to all those steroids Mr. Casteen sold to them as cancer inhibitors?

Sexual assaults were just one segment of the cover ups the UVA administration has consistently coordinated the last 20 years. How very fitting he'll soon be off with his pockets full of money (and divorce settlements) to go sell cigarettes to teenagers with Altria..

Sean, what exactly were you planning on doing if one of the UVA student you boast of sharing a bed with had gotten pregnant? What might they have done without your approval if they found themselves carrying your baaastard child? None of them were married to you I presume.

Liz, you should come back to Charlottesville to head up an new entity at UVA which spearheads violence against women. No better person for this important job.

Liz was raped before John Casteen was president. But the culture at UVA, the one he has protected and given shelter to for the last 20 years, continues. Fundamental to that culture is that whatever happens late at night at UVA didn't really happen at all - in a Las Vegas advertisement sort of way.

It is not exclusive to UVA, of course. Heavy drinking at frat houses to avoid the drinking age in bars is a fixture at most American colleges. But even that system is designed to let very few "other" boys in, and indeed get as many attractive, naive teenage girls as drunk as they can. What happens after that is anyone's guess come morning in many cases.

What sets UVA apart is their incredible ability to make bad news vanish, and prevent the media from so much as even mentioning names when arrests for violent and/or drug felonies happen. The Casteen Cloaking Device pretty much made the story of a frat brother dropping dead a few months ago vanish. Elsewhere, it's national news overnight.

The Harrington details are another example. The sighting of her on the lawn that night is STILL a well kept secret to every news outlet save the Hook. Even in cases like the Huguely/Love tragedy, warrants can be sealed by sealed request so as to keep what was in Huguely's blood that night a secret. The reputation of the university always comes first, and last. That includes all the sexual assaults. Not even Ms. Love's friends will dare open up about what came before. There is a Code. It is not broken even in the case of students dropping dead, or being beat to death. Casteen can spin it as "gender violence" only and make sure nobody finds out about what lies beneath at UVA late at night. But these things don't happen at noon on a Wednesday. They don't happen when everyone is sober and not doing anything illegal.

Lazy, lazy, lazy ...

The violence against women has not been dealt with and it should have been and should be going forward.

Any program to combat this needs to include dealing with womens responsibilities to not place themselves in harms way by getting wasted at frat parties while dressed like a hooker.

I have no problem with castrating a rapist. I have no problem with expelling guys who get caught taking advantage of women who are in a compromised state.

I do have a problem with women who think that it is societies responsibility to provide them with an imaginary bodyguard so they can choose to get wasted in at a party full of drunk guys.

Rights come with responsibilites and both sides of this problem need to be addressed.

3 totally separate incidents at separate times. Thank God Ms Seccuro's attacker was brought to some type of justice, albeit rather weak and late, but that does not prove UVA has a culture of violence against women. Educating college kids about these issues is a good thing; but to single out UVA as some bastion of abusive culture is way across the line. the unfortunate miss harrington was not at uva and we have no idea if her death is connected to uva in anyway; simply setting foot in the JPJ does not make that a uva event. her death was horribly tragic, but its a long road from that to a culture of systematic abuse.

Seriously, folks. Do you automatically believe everything you read? Apprently Huffington Post does not believe in fact checking. Securro's statements about the services available and orientation required at UVA are 100% INcorrect. These services and orientations have been in place for more than a decade. You should be a wee bit more discerning before ranting.

Fascinating how Sean knows that Harrington was on the Lawn when police and her parents have said that at this point they cannot determine whether or not the sighting was accurate.

None of the 4 people spotted on the lawn that night ever came forward to explain anything. The eye witness even identified the room they came out of. Confirmed sighting or not, the Code of Silence came down and that was that. Zero interest in looking into it further. You think that would have been the same had she been spotted at Friendship Court?? Hmm??

I am making a very rational presumption (educated guess, if you will..) that it was UVA that had the warrants sealed, because the request itself was also sealed. But none of us know if it was them, the prosecution, or whoever for sure.

What was the date of the C-Ville issue that reported Harrington's shirt found on 15th. street in November? What page? Webpages can be updated anytime. I want to see what page, and in what issue it was covered by C-Ville. If I was wrong, so be it. I rarely pick up that propaganda rag - so maybe I missed it. Show me.

Sorry chouva. Your statement: "the unfortunate Miss Harrington was not at UVA" is both cruel and incorrect.

JPJ is UVA property.

And one is unfortunate if they misplace their car keys or cell phone. Murder goes well beyond the most extreme definition of misfortune.

re:"to single out UVA as some bastion of abusive culture is way across the line."

chouva, so which University should be the subject of discussion in the Charlottesville media?

Should we be discussing the culture of violence at the University of Missouri? Minnesota?

Or are you saying that we should be discussing UVA but not in any negative way? That's what C-ville Weakly is for, it seems to me.....

Liz Seccuro went to UVA and what happened to her happened at UVA. Yeardley Love went to UVA and what happened to her happened at UVA.

If you honestly believe that UVA cannot be improved in regards to violence against women, ok. But that is merely one point of view on the spectrum of opinion and I would dare to say that that is an extreme view.

At this point, I doubt that John Casteen would say that UVA could not improve on this score. And the new UVA president will be working hard to improve the reality and image of UVA as it relates to violence against women. I'm sorry if that bothers you for some reason.

Can someone remind me when it became John Casteen's fault that Liz Securro was raped, and not...say...her rapist's fault. Sorry--I just forgot when that happened.

I was probably busy blaming Volvo for the driver that nealry hit me running a stop sign this morning. My fault.

I for one certainly can't cast the stone with regard to alcohol. My points have been directed at the illegal drug culture, and the silence surrounding ANYTHING that might cast UVA in a bad light. And that includes murder investigations and sexual assaults as we've seen. As usual, all you guys (gals?) can do is try to divert and distract, or maybe suggest "everybody's doing it." The culture is just fine with you, regardless of how many victims it produces.

Oh, and she didn't vanish at a concert. She left the concert and was not allowed back in. Then she was seen hitchhiking...and then she vanished.

Time out! Everyone to their respective corners for several deep breaths.

"As for Harrington, your retorts to every stitch of evidence linking UVA to what happened to her is just your wishful thinking."

I merely corrected several lies you repeat on here over and over.

Thanks

maybe a horrible criminal is responsible for killing MH? did anyone think of that? you UVA haters amaze me.

She did not "vanish, " JJ. No one, save for characters on Star Trek, are capable of "vanishing."
She was forcibly abducted, right here, chouva, on the property of your employer.

For those who question the number of reported rapes at UVA, you can always check the statistics at:
http://www.virginia.edu/uvapolice/casisUVA1.html

The questioning of the number of rapes at UVA is valid -- but the number of reported rapes is not the same as the number of actual rapes. Not all women report the crime top police. University publicly acknowledged (and was quoted in the Cavalier Daily) that no one found guilty of sexual assault during the previous five years had been suspended or expelled from the University. In contrast, 38 students were expelled for "honor" offenses such as cheating or stealing in 2003. As of 2010, this statement continues to be accurate.

Annual statistics provided by the state universities reveal that the number of reported rapes at UVA is among the highest in the state. Although the number of reported rapes has increased, many students and parents are unaware simply because the University does not inform the student population when a sexual assault is reported; the Clery Act requires schools to make timely warnings to the campus community when crimes occur. UVA has repeatedly violated this law.

In addition, the wording of the Crime Log for sexual assault is now "suspicious circumstance in XXX" rather than detail the crime as it is recorded - so a review of the crime log no longer presents any serious crimes to potential students. In my own experience, my daughter filed a report which states the reported crime as "rape". The web-based Crime Log entry recorded the crime as "sexual assault". Two weeks later, the Crime log records were changed to "suspicious circumstance". After a few phone calls with Lt Gibson (promoted to Chief in 2006) and letters to Pres Casteen and Mr Sandridge, the Crime Log was returned to the original wording. Not only did the University violate the Clery Act, they had the audacity to try and cover it up! It's easy to see how parents and donors can review the Crime Log and come away thinking that there is no serious crime at UVA.

In addition, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to query the number of rapes reported to the school in 2003/4 to the ER, SARA, and the Women's Center. The University response revealed 11 women in 2003/4 reported their rape to the UVA police, 20 to the Sexual Assault Education Office, and 35 to SARA (additional info available). Yet no one person sanctioned or expelled?

How surprising, Sean's much vaunted breast cancer statistics don't really pan out. Age-adjusted breast cancer mortality rates were stable from 1930 to 1990 and have then consistently declined.

http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2007PWSecured.pdf (page 3)

Of course, he probably thinks that the American Cancer Society is part of the big conspiracy.

Speaking of mental illness ...

Age-standardized breast cancer incidence rates do not show nearly the increase that Sean is suggesting:

http://www.cancer.org/downloads/stt/bcff-final.pdf (Figure 5)

Again, it's those American Cancer Society people.

Thank you. I hope that Dr. Sullivan, who now has a much different job than she ever imagined, will sit with me or the Harringtons or other fighters of campus violence. You can be sure that I will be requesting a meeting.

Ms Securro is speaking from her own experience,which is what she is best qualified to do. Along with the father of Morgan Harrington her speech at Take Back the Night made this year's one of the most moving ever- and I have attended nearly everyone since the first one in Charlottesville that took place in 1989.
There is a billboard about the Harrington case that has been erected near Free Bridge. I don't want to sound like I am being critical of all the attention being given this case, but I would like to remind us that there are other horrific murders and disappearances of young women in this area that have never been solved. Like Alice Showalter Reynolds on 29North. Or Julie Williams and Lollie Winans in Shenandoah National Park, which appears to be an anti-gay hate crime. Lets remember them too.

can you point out where someone blames John Casteen for Liz Seccuro getting raped?

Nice attempt at creating a straw man, but I don't see a single instance where someone blamed John Casteen for LIz Securro's rape.

"@Sean: Even in cases like the Huguely/Love tragedy, warrants can be sealed by sealed request so as to keep what was in Huguely’s blood that night a secret."

By the PROSECUTOR, so that Huguely can be convicted by an untainted jury. I will continue to call you out on this nonsense every, single time that you post it.

Sean believes that the request of a grieving family for privacy and the request of a prosecutor wanting an untainted jury pool are solid, rock-hard evidences of Casteen magically erasing anything that would sound bad about UVA. Oh yeah.

1. Sean still doesn't understand that only the prosecutor has the power to seal the Huguely warrant, and that the motive is as simple as wanting an untainted jury pool.

2. Are you accusing UVA of 1000 rapes and murders over the past 20 years, and Casteen himself hid it all? Bravo.

3. Sean, you still don't understand basic statistics do you? Just because two indicators have been rising does not mean correlation. A high school kid who took a statistic course could have told you as much. The studies you claimed to show a correlation itself indicated an absolute increase of 0.5-4 cases per 10,000 women that could have been attributed to OC pills, and even then the authors know the need for more studies. Stop being so clueless, please. Science does not work this way. How about I claim that due to the invention of the computer, breast cancer has been rising? After all, both numbers are increasing since the years you have been citing.

Get a grip.

In 1960, about 30% of women smoked. In 1973, about 30% of women smoked. Now about 20% of women smoke.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762370.html