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What Message Does The Vanderbilt Rape Case Send?

Kathy Walsh, executive director of the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, said the message sent by the sentence may be a deterrent, but to victims more than perpetrators.

"While Batey has been given a 15-year sentence, the victim has been given a life sentence," she said. "She will have to cope with the trauma of this experience for the rest of her life.

"Certainly I believe perpetrators need to be held accountable for their actions. I hoped the judge would impose a stronger sentence to send a message that rape and abuse are unacceptable. I think that's part of prevention as well. We need to impose tougher sentences, that's one way to change the culture. It sends a message that behavior is unacceptable."

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The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence is the leading voice for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Tennessee. Established in 1983 as a nonprofit agency, the Coalition is a statewide network of domestic violence programs, rape crisis centers, allied programs, and individuals working together to end domestic and sexual violence in Tennessee. We advocate for laws that protect victims of rape and abuse, train police officers, judges and frontline workers, provide life-saving services to victims, and partner with communities to prevent and end violence. We invite you to stand with us to improve the lives of survivors and create a world in which rape and abuse no longer exist.


The Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence is a nonprofit organization composed of community leaders and program members who share a common vision of ending violence in the lives of Tennesseans.