University is depicted as a safe place of learning and growth, however, as more and more stories emerge, it looks as though the UK’s universities are far from pleasant places to be.
The BBC released a documentary detailing a rape scandal at Warwick University which took place in 2018.
Although they had no idea to begin with, two female students were at the centre of a sexually violent group chat which included people they thought were their friends.
Airing for the first time on Wednesday, August 14th was BBC One’s documentary on the Warwick Uni rape scandal.
What is the Warwick Uni rape scandal?
In 2019 two female university students found themselves at the centre of a ‘lads’ group chat which involved the topics of genital mutilation, sexual violence and rape threats.
The men in the group chat weren’t just course mates of the women but actually close friends.
Details emerged of the men’s conversations about drugging people on nights out emerged with a particular conversation detailing how one of the men had actually drugged a female university student.
West Midlands police receive a sexually explicit video from the same group chat but no formal police action was taken at that stage.
Anna (a false name for one of the women in the chat) said: “I didn’t know what to do because these people were a huge part of my life”. She then decided to complain to the university.
What happened when the group chat was reported?
Two days after her report was filed on April 25th 2018, Peter Dunn emailed Anna and explained that he was appointed as the investigating officer for the case.
Peter Dunn’s main job was the University of Warwick’s Director of Press. Because of this, Barrister Daniel Sokol said on the BBC documentary that Peter Dunn could have had a conflict of interest in dealing with the case.
Anna said in the documentary that she had a lot of trust in her university to deal with the issue correctly but the trust was completely broken at each point of the case.
Later, a second group chat was created by the boys and at this point, Peter Dunn established that this in itself showed that they had no remorse for what they’d done.
Peter decided that two of the men hadn’t done anything wrong, three were guilty of minor disciplinary offences and six men had committed major disciplinary offences.
What happened to the Warwick students involved?
Of the men in the group chat, one was banned from Warwick University for life. Two were banned for 10 years and one was banned for one year. The sixth member of the group chat’s case was deemed ‘not proven’.
The victims of the group chat weren’t told of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. Four months went by before the women heard anything about the result of the hearing. And after an appeal, the two men with 10-year bans had them reduced to one year.
Nicole, who features in the documentary, explained how she didn’t want to go back to university because of the case. And on a year abroad she heard that the men could be returning back to the university at the same time that she would be there.
She created the hashtag “Shame On You Warwick” and the story ended up in the mainstream news. Teachers and students took to Twitter to rally around the girls in the group chat and marches took place at the university.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university apologised, telling the BBC “profound changes will be made to the way complaints are handled”.
How to watch the Warwick Uni rape documentary
The 30-minute documentary aired on BBC One on August 14th – the same day as A-Level results day in the UK.
The documentary is available to watch via BBC’s iPlayer. Many viewers have taken to Twitter since the programme aired.
One Twitter user wrote: “If you’re interested in #shameonyouwarwick check out prog on BBC 1 now”.
Well done to all the brave victims for speaking out. It was right to expose the failings of the university. I only hope this horrid experience doesn’t impact the rest of your life’s. #ShameOnYouWarwick
— Nikki (@gllnkk) August 14, 2019
WATCH THE WARWICK UNI RAPE SCANDAL ON BBC IPLAYER NOW.