Tuesday 6 December 2016

'I feel like I have zero protection on campus' - Alleged rape victim slams response of Irish universities to sexual assault cases

Published 13/02/2016 | 15:16

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A third-level student has come forward to criticise the response of Irish universities in sexual assault and rape cases.

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The university student, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that she was raped by a former student and that the college's response has been "very bad".

"They way they reacted.... they way they treat rape victims is.... interesting".

She says that she went forward to college authorities with proof and was told they "don't need to see that" and all they need was "a letter from the rape crisis centre" in order to defer her exams on extenuating circumstances.

"The response from the University was that if he came back on campus they would email me that he was there".

"There is no way to sign in on campus... there's no checking. There's no way they'd know if he was on campus".

"I (feel like) I have zero protection on campus".

She presented the evidence to the Gardaí and a file is being brought before the DPP.

It is understood that up to four other students have come forward since the complaint was made.

She says that she's been informed that her alleged rapist is in the application process to begin a postgraduate course at the University.

She explained to Independent.ie that she has been told "rape cases take up to a year" and that it's her understanding that her college "have no rules" about ongoing cases. "Under the rules they have, (I understand) they have to accept the student as if nothing's happened".

"He would be doing the same subjects... he'd be in my building".

"College is supposed to be a nice space where you can achieve things, both personally and academically. Rape changes your life, it's a traumatic experience... it's distressing enough to have go through everything as it is".

"He still comes back to visit the campus... 'we'll email you if we see him'... I've gone from upset to angry now".

The criticism come shortly after a number of Dublin universities proposed or implemented mandatory 'consent classes' on campus.

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