Menu Courey's parents search for answers
Updated On: Jan 28 2014 11:40:00 PM CST
Mike Menu and Lynn Courey are looking for clarity.
In an interview with ABC 17, the parents of the late Sasha Menu Courey say they are "satisfied" investigations by Missouri and Columbia Police are taking place.
"We really want to make sure that it is up to the investigation to find out all the facts and where improvements can be made," Mike Menu said. "We put our faith in the investigation to do the proper job to address all these issues."
Menu and Lynn Courey, Sasha's mother, hope to bring more awareness to the issues of mental health and sexual assault on college campuses.
Before her suicide in June 2011, Menu Courey was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, which an estimated 1.6 percent of adults in the United State have according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
After ESPN's Outside The Lines report aired, the story has gone international and has sparked a massive response from the University of Missouri as well as a call for an investigation by UM System President Tim Wolfe.
"to tell you the truth, I don't think we were ready for this."
"I always believe our daughter is here with us and giving us the strength to be able to do this in her name.," said Lynn Courey. "Many things failed her. We need to change this."
When asked what exactly failed her daughter, Courey said the culture needed to change. She said when they visited the University of Missouri for her daughter's memorial on campus, she talked with a few of her daughter's friends.
"Some of them were telling us that on campus, there is the mentality that the woman can be touched by the other athletes," Courey recalls. "I told them, 'this is unacceptable.' The school has to be strong, telling the students, 'this is not the mentality or the culture we want on campus.' It is the same thing with students. They cannot be afraid. They have to be able to vocalize what is happening."
Menu Courey was allegedly raped off-campus in February of 2010 by an unnamed Missouri football player, according to ESPN. She died in the summer of 2011.
The mother of the late MU swimmer added the athletic department needs to send a clear message to its student-athletes about the resources available.
Missouri released another statement on Tuesday, saying it did not kick Menu Courey off the swimming team after she was given a withdrawal form. The parents say they still believe she was, adding they stand by ESPN's report.
In an interview with the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Swimming and Diving Coach Greg Rhodenbaugh believes he and his staff took proper action when trying to get Sasha Menu Courey help. Rhodenbaugh also told the Tribune the ESPN report was "sensationalized."
When asked to characterize the statements from the University of Missouri, Menu and Courey said the tone was "defensive." They added the statements' tone conflicted with the message Tim Wolfe sent out, which called for an investigation.
Overall, the parents hope there are swift changes coming soon.
"It is our belief that we need to be cognizant and aware of the the mental health state of the athlete," Menu said.
"We need to determine what rules weren't followed correctly and correct them. When the rules are followed correctly and the system did not work, we need to make sure we reach out and do better. We really need a transformation of the system. We need to transform the system to ensure the support is there, not just student-athletes but students and staff."
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