Cardiff University add sexual assault to extenuating circumstances

There will now be a specific clause in the code of practice

Cardiff University have added sexual assault to their extenuating circumstances for exams.

The University has changed its welfare policy after two local Cardiff MPs, Jo Stevens and Stephen Doughty expressed their views on the issue.

The issue was raised after a third year student at Birmingham University created a petition requesting all universities to add as specific clause for sexual assault in extenuating circumstances after she was denied them after being raped. Universities across the country have been reviewing their codes of practice due to thousands of students signing the petition in support of the change.

Today, Cardiff University followed Birmingham University and announced that they would include the new clause in their extenuating circumstances.

Cardiff University have now changed their extenuating circumstances

A spokesperson for Cardiff University commented: “We treat sexual assault and rape as extenuating circumstances and provide support accordingly.

“We recognise the serious impact of rape or sexual assault upon the victim and any allegation is taken very seriously. We have revised the relevant guidance issued to this effect.”

“We take this matter seriously and have modified the code of practice accordingly.”

“We have modified the specific published guidance on criminal acts as extenuating circumstances to specifically include mention of sexual assault and rape.”

A petition calling for all universities to include a sexual assault clause is the reason for the change

Shadow Justice Minister Jo Stevens had expressed her support for the change in the code of practice. Before the announcement, she said: “I am absolutely in support of this campaign. Experiencing sexual assault is a significant and traumatic event and can have serious lasting effects on victims.

“I am raising the issue directly with the Vice Chancellor, and hope that Cardiff University will recognise rape as an extenuating circumstance and a reason for students to take a break from their studies if they need to.”

Sam, a third year Medic, commented: “I think it’s really good that the university is recognising that sexual assault is a serious issue for victims.

“Exams are a stressful time and being able to focus on work and moving on from what can be a very traumatic experience must be very difficult for those affected.

“It encourages those affected to report it to the police so that it can be dealt with appropriately.”