University sexual misconduct complaint statistics

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Cardiff University,

I'd like access to the sexual misconduct statistics for your institution from 2015-2020. Please include the number of allegations of sexual misconduct made by students against fellow students, students against staff, and a breakdown of the numbers for each category of sexual misconduct offence (sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape etc).

I'd also like to know the number of students expelled from their studies and staff suspended because of sexual misconduct complaints made against them by students.

Thank you in advance for your time.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Redfern

InfoRequest, Cardiff University

Dear Mark Redfern

I acknowledge receipt of your email received by this office on 23 January 2021.

Your request will now be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and has been allocated reference FOI21-033 which should be quoted in all correspondence. We will respond to your request within 20 working days starting the next working day after receipt, therefore you can expect to receive a response no later than 19 February 2021.

Please note that in order to fulfil your request we need to liaise with other teams across the University. Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic most staff are now working remotely, and it is likely that there will be a delay in responding to your request. Staff may not be able to assist as they may need to prioritise other work, cover for colleagues who are ill or be away from work themselves due to illness. However, we will do our best to meet this deadline and keep you informed should we be unable to do so.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and, if that is the case, we will let you know. A fees notice will be issued to you, and you will be required to pay before we will proceed to deal with your request.

Kind regards

Swyddfa Ysgrifenydd y Brifysgol
Prifysgol Caerdydd
Ebost : [email address]  

Mae'r Brifysgol yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg neu'n Saesneg.  Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn creu unrhwy oedi.
University Secretary's Office
Cardiff University
Email: [email address] 

The University welcomes correspondence in Welsh or English.  Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to any delay.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

InfoRequest, Cardiff University

Dear Mark Redfern

Further to our email of 25 January 2021 unfortunately we are not in a position to provide you with a response by the original deadline. We anticipate that we will require a further 7 working days and you can therefore expect to receive a response no later than 2 March 2021.

We apologise for the inconvenience.

Kind regards

Swyddfa Ysgrifenydd y Brifysgol
Prifysgol Caerdydd
Ebost : [email address]  

Mae'r Brifysgol yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg neu'n Saesneg.  Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn creu unrhwy oedi.
University Secretary's Office
Cardiff University
Email: [email address] 

The University welcomes correspondence in Welsh or English.  Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to any delay.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

InfoRequest, Cardiff University

Dear Mark Redfern

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information request dated 23
January 2021.

For ease of reference, I have reproduced your questions below and set out
our corresponding responses.

 1. I'd like access to the sexual misconduct statistics for your
institution from 2015-2020. Please include the number of allegations
of sexual misconduct made by students against fellow students,
students against staff, and a breakdown of the numbers for each
category of sexual misconduct offence (sexual harassment, sexual
assault, rape etc).

 

Students may make disclosures of this nature in various ways across the
University, including to academic staff, through the University
counselling and wellbeing services and through the Students’ Union. Where
a student raises a matter informally this may be dealt with initially by
the Academic School or Department and is not collated centrally. As there
are 24 Academic Schools it would take more than 18 hours to collate the
information. The University is not obliged to spend more than 18 hours (as
set by the Freedom of Information and Data  Protection (Appropriate Limit
and Fees) Regulations 2004) collating such information and accordingly the
exemption provided by section 12(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
will apply. At present not all disclosures are recorded and some are made
confidentially,

therefore no accurate data can be provided on the total number of unique
disclosures we receive as some students may report via more than one
route.

 

We have a professional and dedicated Disclosure Response Team. The team
manage immediate or ongoing safety concerns; listen and talk directly to
students outlining options available for both specialist support and
reporting and provide practical advice. Having a dedicated team has helped
students feel confident to come forward and liaison with external services
such as police ensures students are aware how to formally report if that
decision is right for them. Our approach to encouraging disclosure and
reporting since 2017 is different to many other Universities. We have
actively promoted and encouraged the full range of disclosures to help
ensure those affected can access support and services, either provided by
the University or in the community. We are pleased with the success of our
approach, and the numbers of informal disclosures, in part, also reflect
the proactive measures we’ve put in place to make it easier for students
come forward. We have worked closely with students to understand the
barriers they face in reporting such incidents.

 

The Disclosure Response Team holds some information on disclosures made by
students seeking support and advice, those reporting on behalf of another
and anonymous disclosures. Many of those disclosing have experienced more
than one incident, and more than one type of violence. These figures
should be considered within the context that Cardiff University has a
student population in excess of 31,000, a staff body of nearly 7,000 and
is set within a major city with a population of over 300,000. Other
universities do not record such incidents in the same way as we do
therefore any attempt to compare our figures with other universities would
be extremely misleading.

 

The following table shows numbers of disclosures of incidents, not numbers
of students, made to the Disclosure Response Team:

 

Academic year            Unwanted sexual contact       Sexual Assault
           Rape

2017-18                       54
                                           76
                               49

2018-19                       63
                                           67
                               34

2019–20                      77                                           
93                                48

 

Cases of serious sexual assault would usually be referred centrally for
consideration. Where an allegation relates to concerns about the behaviour
of a Cardiff University student this will be considered under the Student
Behaviour Procedure for concerns raised prior to the 2019/20 academic
year. Since 2019/20 the Student Conduct Procedure has been in place.
Alternatively, if the student is studying on a programme which leads to
professional registration, the concerns would be considered under the
Fitness to Practise Procedure. Both procedures provide for concerns to be
investigated and for the student to have a right of response. A range of
sanctions is available where a breach of the procedures is found to have
taken place. Additionally, both the procedures permit the University to
suspend a student from academic studies and University premises (and from
a placement) pending investigation, if the severity of the allegations and
assessment of potential risk require it.

 

The following numbers of cases were considered under the Student Behaviour
Procedure, Student Conduct Procedure or Fitness to Practise in respect of
allegations of sexual assault, harassment or abuse by a student. Please
note that records do not differentiate between different types of sexual
offences. Accordingly, these figures may include incidents of sexual
assault, abuse and or harassment. Please note that for the purposes of
this data, the academic year is from 1 September to 31 August in each
year. Under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 I am
unable to provide a greater level of detail. Due to the low numbers
involved, the disclosure of information from which the individuals
concerned may be identified would be unfair and a breach of the data
protection principles.

 

Number of accusations of sexual violence brought to the university which
resulted in some action (removal from college premises, no contact
agreement) on the university’s part against the accused party

 

Outcomes – the range of outcomes is set out in our Procedures;
Additionally, it is open to the University to take pre-procedure action to
address the concerns raised e.g. via a behaviour commitment. Our records
may record that no further action has been taken in cases for a number of
reasons, including where a reporting student decides not to proceed with
the concern; where a student under investigation withdraws from their
programme or graduates.

2015-16 - 6

2016-17 - 7

2017-18: 4

2018-19: 5

2019-20: 9

2021-21: to date 6

 

In relation to allegations made by students against staff, this breakdown
represents number of disciplinary cases relating to student complaints
which fit the definition of sexual misconduct as outlined below. Specific
category of misconduct offence is not held centrally.

 

Definition - Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct is unwelcome conduct of
a sexual nature which is committed by force, intimidation or coercion. The
conduct can relate to physical acts against individuals or acts which
create a hostile environment. It can occur between individuals whether or
not they are previously known to each other, individuals in an established
relationship as well as individuals who have previously engaged in sexual
activity.

 

2019/20- 1; 2018/19- 1; 2017/18- 1; 2016/17- 3

 

 2. I'd also like to know the number of students expelled from their
studies and staff suspended because of sexual misconduct complaints
made against them by students.

 

Students: During the period in question one student was permanently
excluded as a sanction in 2017-18. No student was permanently excluded in
2018-19 and 2019-20.

 

2015-16 One student was permanently excluded

2016-17 No student was permanently excluded

2017-18 One student was permanently excluded

2018-19 No student was permanently excluded

2019-20 No student was permanently excluded

2020-21 – No student permanently excluded to date this academic year

Staff: No staff were suspended based on the sexual misconduct disciplinary
case.

I trust this information satisfies your enquiry. The University has a
Freedom of Information Complaints Procedure should you feel dissatisfied
with this response or the way in which your request was handled.
Complaints must be made in writing and must set out why you believe the
University has not met its obligations under the Freedom of Information
Act. You may email your complaint to [1][email address] where it
will be forwarded to the Head of Compliance and Risk who will be
responsible for overseeing the review.

If you remain dissatisfied following the outcome of your complaint, you
have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for
consideration. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at the
following address: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House,
Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
Cardiff University. If you require further assistance please feel free to
contact me.

Kind regards

 

Swyddfa Ysgrifenydd y Brifysgol University Secretary’s Office

Prifysgol Caerdydd Cardiff University

Ebost : [2][email address] Email: [3][email address] 
 
 
 
The University welcomes
Mae'r Brifysgol yn croesawu correspondence in Welsh or English. 
gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg neu'n Saesneg.  Corresponding in Welsh will not lead
Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn creu to any delay.
unrhwy oedi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

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Dear InfoRequest,

Thank you very much for your thorough response. I'm using whatdotheyknow.com to field requests and am having some trouble with viewing the information provided when it is automatically formatted by the WDTK.com website.

Can you be kind enough to export your response as a PDF and attach it to make it accessible for me to read please? It is a previously unknown issue that has recently affected other requests, so it is by no fault of your own that this has happened.

Thank you again for the thorough information.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Redfern

InfoRequest, Cardiff University

1 Atodiad

Dear Mark Redfern

As requested, please see attached our response as a PDF.

Kind regards

Swyddfa Ysgrifenydd y Brifysgol
Prifysgol Caerdydd
Ebost : [email address]  

Mae'r Brifysgol yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg neu'n Saesneg.  Ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn creu unrhwy oedi.
University Secretary's Office
Cardiff University
Email: [email address] 

The University welcomes correspondence in Welsh or English.  Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to any delay.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear InfoRequest,

Thank you for your time, I appreciate your response.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Redfern