Exposing Rape at Baylor University amid College Football's Sexual Assault Crisis


By Paula Lavigne

By Mark Schlabach

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Written by ESPN investigative reporters Violated narrates the sexual abuse by members of Baylor’s football team and the university’s attempt to silence the victims. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to RAINN to help fight sexual abuse.

Throughout its history, Baylor University has presented itself as something special: As the world’s largest Baptist university, it was unabashedly Christian. It condemned any sex outside of marriage, and drinking alcohol was grounds for dismissal. Students weren’t even allowed to dance on campus until 1996.

During the last several years, however, Baylor officials were hiding a dark secret: Female students were being sexually assaulted at an alarming rate. Baylor administrators did very little to help victims, and their assailants rarely faced discipline for their abhorrent behavior.

Finally, after a pair of high-profile criminal cases involving football players, an independent examination of Baylor’s handling of allegations of sexual assault led to sweeping changes, including the unprecedented ouster of its president, athletics director, and popular, highly successful football coach.

For several years, campuses and sports teams across the country have been plagued with accusations of sexual violence, and they’ve been criticized for how they responded to the students involved. But Baylor stands out. A culture reigned in which people believed that any type of sex, especially violent non-consensual sex, simply “doesn’t happen here.” Yet it was happening. Many people within Baylor’s leadership knew about it. And they chose not to act.

Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach weave together the complex – and at times contradictory – narrative of how a university and football program ascending in national prominence came crashing down amidst the stories of woman after woman coming forward describing their assaults, and a university system they found indifferent to their pain.



The Bible tells a story, in the second book of Samuel, about a young woman named Tamar, who was the daughter of King David. Her half brother Amnon was in love with her. He wanted to have her so badly he pretended to be sick one day, and he tricked their father into ordering Tamar to take care of him. As she was making him bread, he ordered the servants out of the room.

And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, “Come lie with me, my sister.” And she answered him, “Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Do not thou this folly. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? And as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel.”

But Amnon didn’t listen. He raped her. And then he cast her out. She tore off her long, beautiful robe signifying her as one of the king’s virgin daughters. With her face in her hands, she went away crying. She was told to keep quiet. She would live as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house.

To make matters worse, their father, King David—no stranger to sexual scandal himself—did not punish Amnon. The king loved him and he was his firstborn son. The king’s inaction would breed a hatred and desire for revenge within the family. Soon Amnon was murdered and the entire kingdom of David was in turmoil.


In January 2014, Jasmin Hernandez saw her accused rapist sent to prison. Some would say she received justice. And, truthfully, she did get a lot more than most sexual assault victims. But her life was forever altered. She now lives with her parents in Southern California, attends a nearby college, sees a therapist regularly, and is unsure of her future. It’s not the life she planned when she enrolled at Baylor University in the fall of 2011, on an academic scholarship, with plans to become a nurse anesthetist, and full of all the energy and ambition of a college freshman embarking on her own.

There are lots of Jasmins out there. According to national statistics, at least one in five college women experience some type of sexual assault. Many survivors’ stories are never told, but their dreams are shattered and their lives are turned upside down nonetheless. Their friends don’t know why they dropped out of college. Why they became addicted to painkillers. Why they can’t sleep without a bolt on their bedroom door. But those women are out there, and their stories need to be heard.

In this book, you’ll read many stories about women like Jasmin. You’ll read about Erica, a Baylor volleyball player, who alleged she was gang raped by several football players at an off-campus party in 2012. You’ll learn about Jennifer, a Baylor student, who said she and another woman were gang raped by several football players at a party in 2012, and you’ll find out what was happening behind the scenes as a university resisted, but eventually had to confront, the realities playing out on its campus.

Many details of the women’s stories are difficult to read. Not only were they violated sexually and physically while attending Baylor, but school officials who were supposed to be there to protect and support them also ignored them. That’s why so many of the women we interviewed for this book say they were incredibly offended by Baylor officials’ indifference to allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence. They are offended because they expected more from the world’s largest Baptist university.

Many things stood in their way. They encountered a city police department that was inconsistent in its investigations and withheld police reports involving students and student-athletes. A campus police department operating in a veil of secrecy that was more interested in issuing parking tickets and liquor violations than in helping women who came to them for help after an assault. An honor code that made women afraid to report being raped lest they get in trouble with the university for being at a party and drinking. And administrators, employees, and coaches who received reports of domestic violence or sexual assault and never shared the information, keeping secret the heightened and growing risk to women as they stepped foot on the Waco campus.

Jasmin, a Baylor freshman at the time, was one of five women who reported to police that they were either raped or assaulted by football player Tevin Elliott in incidents from October 2009 to April 2012. In August 2015, a jury convicted Sam Ukwuachu of sexual assault (his conviction was later overturned by an appellate court, which ordered a new criminal trial), and in April 2016, a woman accused Bears defensive end Shawn Oakman of raping her.

Throughout the spring of 2016, details emerged of other cases—some years ago—where women came forth with stories of rape or domestic violence, often naming Baylor football players as their alleged perpetrators. For months, the scandal played out on TV, radio, and online, in message boards and social media: Who knew? What did they do? Did Bears football coach Art Briles know? Did Baylor president Kenneth Starr know? The victims were cast as villains, jeopardizing the future of a successful and sacrosanct football program. And Baylor’s Christian values were called into question.

Behind closed doors, the thirty-two voting members of Baylor’s board of regents—a who’s who of Texas’s tony elite and mostly Baylor Baptist alums—were being briefed on a most important investigation, one the university itself commissioned shortly after the Ukwuachu conviction. Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton was tasked with reviewing the school’s response to sexual assault complaints, and after eight months, it didn’t have much good to say about Baylor or its football program.

Finally, in May 2016, the regents broke their silence: The findings were damning and worse than they could have imagined. They found not just ignorance, but willful intent in trying to silence women who reported being sexually assaulted by some Baylor football players. They found university officials retaliated against victims and ignored survivors’ needs for counseling, academic support, and, most of all, justice. And they found a problem that went far beyond their beloved football program.

Action was swift. Briles, who had guided the Bears to at least a share of its first two Big 12 championships and was rewarded with more than $5 million per season, was suspended with the intent to terminate. Starr, a former federal judge and independent counselor, who investigated U.S. president Bill Clinton’s infamous affair with a White House intern, was removed as president but allowed to stay as chancellor. Athletic Director Ian McCaw was sanctioned and put on probation. Within weeks, they all either resigned or were fired.

For the first time ever, a major Division I university ousted its president, athletic director, and head coach of one of the most prominent football programs in the country, playing in a brand-new, multimillion-dollar stadium. It gave the women of Baylor something denied their peers at other universities—accountability. Finally, there was an acknowledgment of wrongdoing and penance.

But it wasn’t over for Baylor. Within a year, it would end up defending seven federal Title IX lawsuits (with one dismissed in late May 2017), facing two U.S. Department of Education investigations, and an inquiry by the NCAA. The Big 12 Conference voted to withhold a portion of Baylor’s share of millions of dollars in revenue until it was convinced actual changes were being made. And there was still the possibility of more criminal charges, after the McLennan County District Attorney’s office and Texas Rangers, the state’s highest law enforcement agency, launched an investigation into whether student-athletes should be charged for unprosecuted assaults, and if university staff in any way might have hindered a woman from reporting her assault.

It’s astonishing and head shaking that there were so many reported sexual assaults at Baylor. But there was power in numbers, a power that a single incident at a school that hits the news here and there doesn’t have. That’s not to say those other schools don’t have the same volume; they might, and the numbers indicate that some indeed do, but the threats, intimidation, deterrence, and hopelessness keep victims from coming forward.

The struggle and the fight of women like Jasmin has been out there before. But never has the struggle, the fight, and the victory. And that is a game changer not just for her and the other women at Baylor, but for all the Jasmins at all the schools on all the campuses across America. If they can win at a minefield like Baylor, they can win anywhere.

Jasmin is still in Southern California. It’s unknown whether she’ll prevail in her lawsuit against Baylor. But she’s no longer a face in the shadows. She’s the face of a revolution.



Waco, Texas
April 14, 2012

Parties were happening all over Waco, Texas, on the night of April 14, 2012, as Jasmin Hernandez and her friends left their South Russell dormitory and headed off the Baylor University campus, singing along to rap music and ready to have a good time. They’d dressed up a bit—Jasmin wearing a camisole top under a loose-fitting shimmery teal sweater that her friend Shannon encouraged her to buy at Forever 21 to brighten up her wardrobe, instead of wearing the same old plaid flannel shirts and grandpa sweaters Shannon thought made Jasmin look too much like a tomboy.

Shannon and her friends lived in the same dorm as Jasmin, who had been invited into their group earlier that spring after running into them at parties. They’d spotted her riding her longboard around campus, and a few of them longboarded too. One of them approached her with a compliment about her funky hunter’s cap with fuzzy earflaps, and they started talking. Jasmin, who had left the towering palms and ocean views of Southern California in the fall of 2011 for the landlocked, stubby landscape of central Texas, was in her second semester at Baylor and looking for a new group of friends. She’d had a falling-out with the ones she’d met the previous fall. She’d had a brief fling with another female student in the group, and she felt outed among those friends.

Since high school, Jasmin knew she was different, that she had feelings for other girls, and wasn’t as interested in boys as her friends were. But she saw how her classmates at the private Lutheran high school she attended in Yorba Linda, California, mocked the one girl who came out as being gay, and Jasmin kept quiet. She knew her parents also wouldn’t approve. The message she heard at home from her parents was that God loves everyone, but being gay was not okay and anyone who is, needs to change. She knew the people in her life cared about her and loved her, but she thought if they knew the truth about who she really was, they would leave her.

Escaping that fear was one of the allures of Baylor; she felt freedom in being 1,200 miles from home, even if it was at a Christian college that, at the time, listed homosexual acts as a violation of its sexual conduct policy. But it was a constant struggle. For Jasmin, religion was a source of security, as it was all she had known. But it was also a source of shame and guilt. As she headed into college, she at first decided she was going to put religion first, and a place like Baylor would help her do that. She figured if she didn’t act on her urges, and never told anyone about her sexuality, then it wouldn’t matter who she was inside, and God would be happy with her for her restraint. A campus visit to Baylor sealed the deal for her that it was where she wanted to be. “Everyone just seemed so excited to be there,” Jasmin said. “It wasn’t even like they were talking about Baylor as a school. It’s like they were talking about it as a friend.”

Attending Baylor also fit her desire to become a nurse anesthetist, because she could get into the nursing program there much easier than she could at any of the California schools she’d considered, and, always a good student in high school, she had qualified for an academic scholarship. At Baylor, Jasmin branched out. She was so invested in the fact that “things would be different.” She had been a varsity swimmer for all four years in high school, and although she wasn’t on par to become a varsity college athlete at a Division I school like Baylor, she wanted to stay in athletics. She joined an intramural rowing team, getting up well before dawn to glide through the still waters of the Brazos River, counting the seemingly endless yards every morning by familiar landmarks on the bank. And on weekends, she went with her friends to football games and fraternity parties where drinking alcohol was the norm.

Drinking at parties wasn’t the tame, restricted Jasmin from high school, but she was having fun and she felt safe among her group. That was until she found herself attracted to another girl—an attraction she had believed was mutual—but the other girl confided in their friends that she was uncomfortable with Jasmin’s advances. Jasmin dropped out of their group, afraid of the ridicule she’d witnessed among her high school classmates. Her new friends were less into football, but they still enjoyed parties and going on adventures in and around Waco. Jasmin didn’t have a car, so she appreciated the opportunities to get off campus.

Shannon Valverde was one of Jasmin’s new friends. So was Catrina Gonzales, or “Cat,” as everyone called her. And that night as they headed off to the party, Cat was excited. She’d been hanging out with a Baylor football player, Tevin Elliott, whom she’d met on the way to chapel services awhile back. He’d invited her to a party to celebrate his friend and teammate Glasco Martin’s birthday and the end of spring football practices. Cat talked to her friends excitedly about it. She wasn’t exactly dating the football player, but they’d been having sex and to her friends, at least, he was “Cat’s guy.” The group of friends took two cars, and eventually ended up heading toward Aspen Heights, a complex of townhome-style rental houses southeast of campus. The fact it was gated really didn’t matter, because Baylor students knew the security code, and cars soon lined the street along the house Martin shared with two other teammates near the back of the complex, not far from a swimming pool and sand volleyball court.

Jasmin and her friends were among the first to arrive, but the crowd grew quickly. The lights were off, hip-hop music was blaring, and people were soon packed shoulder to shoulder to where students had to elbow their way through the crowd to come in or out, juggling their red Solo cups filled with alcoholic punch, and spilling out on the front porch and out the back door. The party would grow so big and so loud that someone eventually called Waco police to have it shut down. Jasmin and her friends knew no one at the party outside of their group, and for a brief time some of the girls left to check out another party down the street, but they soon returned. At one point, Cat started introducing Tevin to her friends.

Several were excited to meet Tevin. Jasmin wasn’t awestruck like the rest of her friends. She’d never heard his name before, and although she’d gone to football games that year and enjoyed the pageantry and social aspect of cheering on the Bears, she didn’t really follow the sport. At the time, the only player she could name was quarterback Robert Griffin III, who would go on to win the school’s first Heisman Trophy that fall.

When Jasmin was introduced to Tevin that night, she exchanged a polite, “Nice to meet you,” and stepped aside as her friends were vying to get one-on-one photos with him. Tevin asked her, “You don’t want a photo with me? Don’t you know me?” She told him she didn’t. He was surprised and shook his head. “He was like, ‘You should want a photo with me,’” Jasmin said. But she didn’t. Moments later, all the friends gathered for a group picture, and Jasmin joined in. She didn’t stand next to Tevin, but she soon noticed him reach around, put his hand on her waist, and pull her in close. It was a small tug, but one strong enough to give Jasmin a weird vibe. Tevin himself wasn’t drinking, but Jasmin and her friends said he was pouring shots of vodka for others.

Jasmin usually loved to dance at parties, mostly out on the dance floor alone or shaking to the beat in a group in a style her friend Caitlin Sears described as “jumpy.” That night, she doesn’t remember dancing. Her friends don’t recall seeing her dance with anyone. Tevin, his brother, Tarnaine Elliott, and a teammate, who were also at the party that night, would say years later under oath that Jasmin was dancing with Tevin.

All the bodies crammed together had turned the dance floor into a sauna, and the football players, including Tevin, had taken their shirts off (he later testified in court that Baylor players liked to call themselves the “shirt-off boys”). Tevin remembers Jasmin twirling and dancing to the blaring music. Dancing so close, in fact, that she was rubbing on his chest and making him think she wanted to go down on him. But Jasmin denies all of that. Her next memory is of making her way through the crowd to find the bathroom, and returning to the party to find her friends gone. Jasmin, only five feet, three inches tall, strained to see her friends over the crowd, but she spotted Tevin. She asked him if he knew where her friends were, and he told her they went outside. She didn’t believe him. She didn’t understand why they would dart out of the house while she was in the bathroom. She tried to search the dark room, and moved into the kitchen with Tevin. She remembered him saying, “Here, they went outside. They went outside,” and then his hand closed around her wrist. As he started to lead her out, Jasmin thought he was being odd, but she had been drinking and was having trouble standing her ground. There was that bad vibe she had gotten from him earlier, but she countered by reasoning that, as he was dating her friend Cat, she had nothing to fear from him.

As Tevin led her out of the house, Jasmin asked him where they were going, and he insisted they were looking for her friends. Jasmin became defiant and demanded he take her back in. She tried to pull her wrist away, but Tevin wouldn’t let go. Instead he picked her up and started to carry her, cradled like a child and gripping her tight. He kept walking away from the house, across the parking lot and street that ran along the back of the complex, and toward a grassy sloped area by a set of stairs near the clubhouse and volleyball court.

Jasmin was plagued more with confusion, anger, and frustration than fear, and even though other partygoers were still within earshot, she did not scream. Years later she would be asked why she didn’t shout out, shriek at the top of her lungs, and she wished she had a better answer. But the truth is, she says she doesn’t really know, other than assuming that she could still reason her way out of his grasp without making a scene.

She kept her focus on Tevin. She’d said no, shouldn’t that be enough? Then she clawed at him, trying to get him to let her go. She pleaded with him, thinking if she convinced him this wasn’t a good idea, he would take her back: She wasn’t interested in him. He was dating her friend. If he put her down now, they could go back to the party and he could find someone who was interested in him. No. No. No. No.

And then Jasmin dropped her last bargaining chip. “Hey, look, I am gay. I do not like men. Just take me back, just take me back. I bet there are people who would love to be with you. So how about we both go back and hang out with girls who want to be with us?” But Tevin ignored her.

There was a single yellow bulb on a storage shed casting a dim light on the muddy slope where Tevin put her down. For Jasmin, that’s when the reality of what was about to happen hit her, that despite her protests, her belief that “no means no,” she was being overpowered by a six-foot-three, 250-pound football player. Instead of becoming frantic or fighting or screaming for help, she shut down. She remembered what a girl she had met at a Baylor orientation camp told her about being raped: If you stop resisting, it hurts less.

As Tevin pulled her underwear and jeans down, spread her legs, and entered her, she looked up at the dark sky. She felt like an object, like a thing that was being used. She disassociated herself from her body, a body that was being violated. She felt pain. Her vagina was on fire. She had been shoved into the dirt and someone was on top of her. It hurt, and she waited for it to be over. When he finished, they both got up.

Disoriented, Jasmin let Tevin lead her away, but they ended up walking toward a gated swimming pool. Suddenly, near the swimming pool gate, Tevin grabbed Jasmin and pushed her up against the fence. Pulling down her jeans and underwear a second time, he stuck his penis in her vagina from behind, crushing her against the fence as he thrust into her.

Once Tevin finished, he started to head back to the party. Somewhere, Jasmin doesn’t remember when or how, her sweater and top were removed, and she said out loud that she couldn’t find them. Tevin found her shirt for her, and then walked off into the night.

Once Jasmin had her clothes on, she got her bearings and started to walk back toward the houses. Mud stained her knees and the back of her jeans near the waistband, pollen strands hung off her sweater, and leaves were in her hair. Still not sure which direction to go, Jasmin approached a group of students and asked if she could walk with them to the party. As soon as she reached the house, she saw some of her friends standing outside. Cat had returned from taking one of their friends back to the dorms. She pushed the lock button on her car, looked up, and saw something that shocked her: Jasmin, walking toward her, crying, shaking, and completely disheveled. Cat grabbed her hand and led her through the crowd to find their other friends.

Jasmin hadn’t said a word through her sobs until she saw her friend Kandace Little. Jasmin blurted out, “I think I was just raped.”



Waco, Texas
April 15, 2012

After Jasmin Hernandez frantically exclaimed to her friends that she’d been raped, Kandace Little asked if she was joking, and the question set Jasmin off into an expletive-filled rage: “Of course I’m not joking. Why do you think I would make that up?” She told her friends that “some asshole” had picked her up, carried her to the volleyball court, and raped her. Catrina Gonzalez drilled her: What color shirt was he wearing? Did he have tattoos? Was he black or white? Jasmin shook her head. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” she repeated, although something about her made Cat suspect that Jasmin knew more than she was saying.

Jasmin’s friends immediately called Shannon Valverde, the mother hen of the group. As Shannon came out the back door, Jasmin was crying so hard it was almost impossible to make out what she was saying. But Shannon did hear the word rape. That put her into action, making a decision right then that would cement Jasmin’s future. Shannon was the one who’d stay calm under pressure. She was a titan, a real badass who had once, as a lifeguard in high school, saved a man from drowning at a pool and performed CPR on him until medics arrived. And she was the one, that night, who told everyone: “We’re going to the hospital. Everyone in the car, right now.”

Shannon wasn’t thinking about how her actions would affect the future, and certainly not a future almost two years away in a courtroom in Waco, Texas. She was worried about getting help for Jasmin, even if it was only something to calm her nerves in that very moment. On the way to the hospital in Shannon’s car, Jasmin sat in the front passenger seat, crying and holding Shannon’s hand as the latter gave her the rundown of what was likely going to happen: They’re going to ask you a lot of questions. They’ll want to do an exam and take pictures. The police will come to talk to you.

It was around 2:00 a.m. when Jasmin and her friends pulled into the emergency room at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Hillcrest and went into a mostly empty lobby. Jasmin hadn’t spoken much on the car ride there about what happened. She’d asked Shannon if she was going to get in trouble for drinking alcohol because she was only eighteen. She cried, and both Shannon and Caitlin assured her it wasn’t her fault and that she was going to be okay. The only thing Jasmin really said about the assault was that “it was Cat’s man who had done it.” She hadn’t remembered his name, but Shannon figured it was Tevin.

The triage nurse took Jasmin into a room right away, and Shannon and Caitlin later joined her, turning on the television and trying to joke with her about a nature show featuring a giraffe. Shannon and Caitlin were only trying to keep the mood light, because some serious things were to come. A Waco police sergeant showed up, and the first thing he noted in his report was that Jasmin was “cutting up and joking and she was making light of being sexually assaulted.” When he asked her what happened, she said, “He stuck his dick in my pussy and I told him I don’t like dick.” Jasmin was loud—there’s no disputing that—but she was not amused, despite what the officer observed. She was angry. Someone had overpowered her, she had lost control, and she was there—at a hospital, having to write down what happened to her in a statement for the police. She was angry at having to recount every detail, as best she could, about what just happened, and to confront her own struggles with sexuality in such a crass way. “I’ve been violated as much as I can,” she later told an officer.

When Jasmin reached the part in her statement where she was trying to tell Tevin to take her back to the party, she stopped writing. She paused. She had told him she was gay. Should she put that in there? Could she put it in an official record that her mom—maybe her friends, maybe anyone—would be able to see? Yes, she decided, and began to write: I told him, no, that I’m gay. He said that that’s alright. I tried telling him maybe 3 more times before he took off my jeans and underwear and started rubbing his penis on me. I told him please no. He said it was okay and I continued to tell him I only like girls. She described the second assault: I said no, I really don’t like penis and I didn’t want to, but once again he had sex with me (his big black penis was inside me) and I hated it and it hurt and I almost couldn’t breathe.

As Jasmin wrote she reasoned that her friends would either support her, or they would take her back to the dorms and never speak to her again. It was a risk. She turned to Shannon and Caitlin, and while sobbing, said, “I’m gay. I’m gay.” Shannon responded, “I know.” In fact, Shannon had had a hunch since she first met Jasmin, noting her tomboy attire and her chill demeanor. Instead of being repulsed, both friends told Jasmin they loved her.


  • "Lavigne and Schlabach have dug deep on the No. 1 scourge in college athletics. Violence against women in any form is unacceptable and yet it has been enabled (at least) by those who either don't want to know or are actively covering up. College athletics in general has been woefully weak in addressing this issue. Thanks to 'Violated' the game is about to change. This is not only a Baylor problem; it is a national problem brought to light by the fine reporting of the authors."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 10.0px Helvetica}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}Dennis Dodd, Senior Reporter, CBS Sports
  • "VIOLATED is the most comprehensive book about college football sexual assault to date. It exposes all of the components of a destructive, win-at-all-costs football culture that shelters predators and cultivates a destructive campus environment. The book gives an in depth, explicit view at the toll on victims when a university decides to afford protection to an elite, powerful group of students and administrators rather than its most vulnerable and injured. It is a cautionary tale about what happens when a university allows an athletic department to operate under autonomy and insulate itself from protocols, procedures, and even laws. VIOLATED describes in painful, gut-wrenching detail, a university who sacrificed character, its Christian values, and moral decency for a run at college football greatness and the entrenched system that supported it. VIOLATED is a must read for athletes, coaches, administrators, and politicians who are committed to understanding the culture surrounding sexual assault that has led to its epidemic status and the inarguable need for Title IX guidelines. VIOLATED literally kept me awake at night, not only reading it, but absorbing the many similarities to my own college experience at Nebraska."—Katherine Redmond, founder, National Coalition Against Violent Athletes
  • "Through a comprehensive timeline and the stories of survivors, VIOLATED exposes our societies "win-at-all-cost" attitude and the devastation that ensues when we value winning more than human life. The harrowing intersection of sports and violence is undeniable and VIOLATED gives us a look at how things can go so terribly wrong while also celebrating the heroic courage of sexual assault survivors.

A must-read for everyone, you will be disturbed and horrified by the details, but you will also be better prepared to confront a culture that dismisses, ignores and minimizes the impact of sexual violence on its victims and our campus communities. There is no other more pressing issue on our college campuses than sexual violence. There is no other crime aside from murder that is more devastating for its victims and families. There is no other book needed more right now than VIOLATED."—Brenda Tracy, survivor and activist
  • "VIOLATED is meticulously researched and reported by Lavigne and Schlabach. It's a deep-sea dive into the cold, dark waters of a Baylor program undone by its indifference ... and worse."—Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN College GameDay reporter, and author of The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball
  • "Authors Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach - who spent years reporting on Baylor for ESPN in advance of this book - meticulously lay out how exactly each of those levees failed before the entire campus was submerged by this flood."—Zach Barnett,
  • "VIOLATED is a heavy read, but it's important work by Lavigne and Schlabach, who were at the forefront of reporting the story as it unfolded in real time. Though in many ways it feels from the outside like Baylor is on a better trajectory and much of the world has moved on from the scandal, the book reminds us why it can't be forgotten."—Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
  • ESPN reporters Lavigne and Schlabach spare no detail in this shocking account of rampant sexual violence at one of America's most revered religious universities. Between 2011 and 2015, there were 125 reports of sexual assault at Baylor University in Waco, Tex., according to the school's legal office, though other school officials suggest the number of assaults was much higher. In that period, 17 women reported allegations of sexual assault or domestic violence involving 19 Baylor University football players. Using extensive research, including interviews with victims, coaches, players, and university officials, Lavigne and Schlabach chronicle the ways the football program fueled a hostile and abusive environment toward women and the school's epic failure to address it. The damning account is made all the more horrific by graphic descriptions of the abuse-including multiple gang rapes-and the authors show how the school's administrators, who refused to believe that a school with such deep Christian roots could foster an environment for sexual assault, built a "doesn't happen here" culture that resulted in both implicit and explicit victim blaming among campus officials. In one instance, a student had to recount her sexual assault to 27 people before she was allowed to switch majors to avoid encountering her alleged attacker. This is a comprehensive and disturbing account of a particularly stark example of an epidemic facing American universities. (Aug.)—Publishers Weekly
  • "Through the painstaking research of VIOLATED, Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach illustrate what happens when the voices of survivors of gender based violence are ignored, or silenced. The epidemic of campus sexual assault is given voice by 17 women at Baylor University, and through their stories we are given a clear window into rape culture, and the structures of power that perpetuate abuse. The stories in VIOLATED are a testament to the bravery of survivors, and the passion of Lavigne and Schlabach for justice. VIOLATED is an excellent book, and a crash course on the importance of listening to survivors, believing their story, and mobilizing the create change."—Anne K. Ream, author of Lived Through This, founder of The Voices and Faces Project
  • "The book effectively portrayed each victim as more than just victims, digging into their background, showing each woman to be a regular person with lives that were derailed due to their treatment at Baylor University.[..] Lavigne and Schlabach reach past the shell of the assaults and got down into the twisted system in which Baylor officials would punish women for being at the parties where their rape occurred rather than punishing the rapists themselves."—Will Stone, The Daily Nebraskan
  • "VIOLATED is an inspiring story of a woman who refused to remain silent and decided to openly tell the world that she had been raped by football player Tevin Elliott. That had a domino effect and several other women broke their silence and spoke up about football player Tevin Elliott as well as other sports icons. It is also an indictment of our social system which victims of rape are named and shamed. VIOLATED inspires and encourages you to speak up against injustice. The moral of this true story is that speaking against injustice is the best way to get justice. This is a book every American must read to understand our social and legal system."—The Washington Book Review
  • On Sale
    Aug 22, 2017
    Page Count
    368 pages
    Center Street

    Paula Lavigne

    About the Author

    PAULA LAVIGNE is an ESPN investigative reporter for television and online, working primarily for the show “Outside the Lines.” She is a specialist in data journalism and statistics. Her work has won several awards, including a 2014 Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for an investigative series on high-stakes gambling in youth football. She worked previously as a reporter at The Dallas Morning NewsThe Des Moines Register, and The News-Tribune in Tacoma, Washington.

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    Mark Schlabach

    About the Author

    MARK SCHLABACH is one of the country’s most respected college football reporters and columnists through his work with ESPN. He is a regular contributor to ESPN TV and radio programming, such as Outside the LinesSportsCenterCollege Football LiveCollege GameDay, and College Football Live. He previously worked as a college football and investigative reporter for the Washington Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is the author or collaborator of more than a dozen books, including seven New York Times best-sellers.

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