Wits failed rape victim - report

2016-11-25 22:21
Professor Adam Habib (Picture: Supplied)

Professor Adam Habib (Picture: Supplied)

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Johannesburg - Wits University officials failed a rape victim after she reported the attack in one of its residences, the institution’s sexual harassment advisory committee said on Friday. 

"The report is quite categorical that while one individual from Residence Life in particular was empathetic and continuously supportive, other officials did not demonstrate sufficient empathy and care, and failed the complainant by not meeting the university’s commitment to providing a safe space for complainants of gender-based harm," Vice Chancellor Adam Habib said.

He was referring to the committee's report, which was compiled following the rape at the Wits Junction residence in October.   

It contained a recommendation that the university should consider sanctioning officials who failed to abide by its processes and who were not sufficiently supportive when empathy was required. Measures should immediately be implemented in residences to ensure such lapses were not repeated.

Wits should have intervened to ensure the victim and alleged rapist did not continue living in the same residence.

"The report also recommends that executive management needs to act on previous recommendations and communicate more effectively on progress with regard to complaints of rape and/or gender-based harm that are reported within the university community," Habib said.

Wits spokesperson Shirona Patel said a case had been opened against the alleged rapist with police.


Read more on:    wits university  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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