Edinburgh Uni investigates student for defamation after she spoke out about sexual assault

The uni only started looking into the assault, which she didn’t want to report, after she was forced to defend herself

TW: Sexual assault.

The University of Edinburgh is investigating a first year student after she outed her alleged sexual abuser on Instagram and he issued a complaint on the grounds of defamation and harassment.

The alleged perpetrator admitted to the Edinburgh Tab that he did “touch her bum,” but regrets doing so and doesn’t think what he did qualifies as sexual assault.

The first year student, who has requested to remain anonymous, only reported the alleged sexual assault to the university after the alleged perpetrator had issued the complaint against her.

After she reported the alleged sexual assault, the uni pointed her in the direction of support services and informed her that her complaint was being processed. She told The Edinburgh Tab: “I have no clue as to whether he is going to have any consequences for what he has said.”

The alleged perpetrator has since sent a volley of aggressive abuse to the female student, saying: “I hope you have a terrible remainder of your miserable little life and you never mention my name or think about me again.”

Screenshot from a message sent by the alleged abuser to the accuser

The first year student outed the alleged abuser on Instagram, including his name and face in her posts.

Edinburgh University told the student: “I am writing as allegations of misconduct have been made against by a current student of the university.

“It is alleged that you posted serious allegations and defamatory personal messages about [the individual] on social media.”

In response to these allegations, the student then filed her own complaint of sexual assault against the accused to the university.

‘They won’t tell me what’s happening’

The student says that she has been left in the dark as to what’s going on in the investigation into the alleged sexual assault.

She claims she has no idea if her abuser is still a student at the university or living in university accommodation and is worried about her own safety due to the violent nature of the threats directed towards her.

In one message, her alleged abuser wrote: “No one fucking cares about your stupid lies you dirty evil little skank.”

A text message sent by the alleged abuser to the female student

He also said in a Snapchat story: “Me when I walk out court with a fat settlement and see [her] and any other bitch who comes at me marched away in cuffs to lesbian prison to go eat each others muffs.”

The first year student told The Edinburgh Tab: “When I got assaulted, it affected my mental health. I’ve had to take a study break this semester because of the pressure put on me from the university.”

‘I’ve had my arse grabbed many times as well’

The alleged abuser told The Edinburgh Tab that he did “touch her bum for a very quick moment” but claimed she told him to stop and he did and apologised.

However, before this admission, he had messaged the student saying she was “looking forward to five years minimum in prison”, and added “I haven’t done a thing wrong and you know that.”

In another message he said: “You’re a fucking idiot and you’re going to rot in a cell and I’m taking all your daddies money you fucking twat.”

He also told The Edinburgh Tab: “I’ve had my arse grabbed many times while in Edinburgh as well.

“But no one will care about that because I’m a man.”

“We have to do something about it”

The student feels that she has grown from her experience of speaking out. She plans to start a podcast, “No Taboo” in which sexual assault, the process of coming forward as well and discussions of what harassment means will all be touched upon, with guests of all genders taking part.

She feels that getting men involved in these conversations is vital to creating a safer environment for everyone, and is a necessary part of removing the taboo from discussions about sexual and gender based violence. She said: “I take the positive outlook that if he hadn’t don’t it to me he would keep doing it to other girls.”

Having been able to create her own platform to speak out against gender based violence and harassment, the student feels that she has “found her calling” and aims to change degree programs in order to carry on helping more women to come forward against their abusers.

A spokesperson for The University of Edinburgh told The Edinburgh Tab: “All of these matters are currently under investigation and we cannot comment on ongoing investigations.

“However we take all complaints about any students or staff members seriously, and deal with any incidents that are brought to our attention in a sensitive manner.

“We encourage students to use our official reporting channels so that we are then able to fully investigate any incidents and provide those affected with the help and support they need.”

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