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University denies 'culture of silence' on sex attacks
8:30am Monday 24th March 2014 in News
OXFORD University has denied claims in a student union publication that some staff are not responding properly to sexual assault and rape allegations.
The booklet, published in October, includes comments from men and women who describe “a culture of silence” at the university which prevented them from reporting incidents of sexual violence.
Sarah Pine, the Oxford University Student Union’s vice-president for women, told The Times that while the university had taken some positive steps, some members of staff still had the wrong attitudes. She said “those in positions of responsibility mediated by the university have had some victim-blaming views”, a claim denied by the university.
University spokesman Stephen Rouse said: “Oxford has always taken complaints of harassment very seriously.
“It has policy and procedures in place to help students make complaints in all such cases, including sexual harassment and assault.
“The university’s culture has always been one of offering comfort and support to victims.
“We are committed to continually educating our staff and students on how best to offer relevant and sensitive support, working closely with OUSU on this.”
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