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Sexual Harassment and Violence Statistics

Madeleine Wright made this Freedom of Information request to Merton College, Oxford

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Dear Merton College, Oxford,

I write to request information regarding your Sexual Harassment and Violence policies and statistics over the past four years (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017). I would like to know:

1. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received by Merton College, broken down by category and year

2. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received by the College concerning an event that took place during freshers' week

3. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received by the College that resulted in disciplinary action

4. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received by the College made by students against members of staff

5. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received by the College made by students in younger years against students in older years

6. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received by the College made by undergraduate students and the number made by post-graduate students

7. The college's policy on sexual harassment and violence

For the above requests, please provide information for the past 4 years (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017). For the year 2020, please provide as much information as currently exists.

Yours faithfully,

Madeleine Wright

Merton College Freedom of Information, Merton College, Oxford

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 11 September, 2020.

Your request is being dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within the statutory period of 20 working days, subject to any clarification that may be required.

Yours sincerely,
John Eidinow

Fra’ John Eidinow
Dean and Keeper of the Statutes

Merton College
Oxford OX1 4JD

www.merton.ox.ac.uk

College Lodge:+44(0)1865 276310
[email address]

Merton College is a Registered Charity | No. 1139022

show quoted sections

Merton College Freedom of Information, Merton College, Oxford

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Wright,

 

I refer to your request of 11 September 2020 for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

Your request

 

Your request was made in the following terms:

 

I write to request information regarding your Sexual Harassment and
Violence policies and statistics over the past four years (2020, 2019,
2018, 2017). I would like to know:

 

1. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received
by Merton College, broken down by category and year

2. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received
by the College concerning an event that took place during freshers' week

3. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received
by the College that resulted in disciplinary action

4. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received
by the College made by students against members of staff

5. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received
by the College made by students in younger years against students in older
years

6. The number of sexual harassment/sexual assault/rape complaints received
by the College made by undergraduate students and the number made by
post-graduate students

7. The college's policy on sexual harassment and violence

 

For the above requests, please provide information for the past 4 years
(2020, 2019, 2018, 2017). For the year 2020, please provide as much
information as currently exists.

 

Requests 1 to 6

 

Requests 1 to 6 as they relate to sexual harassment: the College has
received no complaint within the relevant period.

 

Otherwise in relation to requests 1 to 6: the College is applying the
exemption under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to
withhold the information.  I have set out the College’s position in
relation to the exemption below.

Information is exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) where a request
is made by someone other than the data subject and disclosure of the
information would contravene the data protection principles.

The College has considered your request and is satisfied that the
information requested constitutes the personal data of third parties and
that disclosure of this information would breach the data protection
principles. The requested information comprises personal data because,
even when the College combines the number of complaints across the whole
of the relevant period, the total figure is below five.  Taking into
account the size of the College population, it is clear that disclosing
such low numbers could lead to the identification of individuals and
impart extremely private information about them, which they would
reasonably expect to remain confidential. In reaching this decision, we
have considered the nature of the requested information, which is highly
personal or special category data relating to allegations of sexual
assault or rape. Any individual who chooses to come forward and make a
report of this nature would reasonably expect it to be treated with the
utmost confidence. They would not expect it to be released into the public
domain. Equally, an individual about whom an allegation is made would also
expect that information to remain private.

The exemption under section 40 is an absolute exemption and is not subject
to the public interest test.

Request 7

The College does not tolerate any form of harassment, bullying, or
victimisation and expects all members of the College community, its
visitors and contractors to treat each other with respect, courtesy and
consideration. The College is committed to fostering an inclusive culture
which promotes equality, values diversity, and maintains a working,
learning, and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all
members of the College community are respected.

The College’s policy on harassment is a publicly available document, which
may be found on the College’s website here:
[1]https://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/college-poli....

For your convenience I have attached the policy to this message.

The College’s regulations on harassment and on serious misconduct, which
is defined as including violence and harassment, are contained in the
Handbook for Junior Members, a publicly available document, which may be
found on the College’s website here:
[2]https://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/college-poli....

For your convenience I have attached the Handbook to this message and
refer you in particular to pages 56-7.

In addition, please note that workshops on sexual consent for freshers
have been included in the graduate and undergraduate Freshers’ Week
programmes for the last seven years.

Review

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you may ask for
an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within
two months of the date of receipt of the response to your request and
should be addressed to: Professor Irene Tracey, The Warden, Merton
College, Merton Street, Oxford OX1 4JD.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s
Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

John Eidinow

 

Fra’ John Eidinow

Dean and Keeper of the Statutes

 

Merton College

Oxford OX1 4JD

 

[3]www.merton.ox.ac.uk

 

College Lodge:+44(0)1865 276310

[4][email address]

 

Merton College is a Registered Charity | No. 1139022

 

 

References

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Madeleine Wright please sign in and let everyone know.