The Oxford student on trial for rape has been found not guilty

It took just 43 minutes for the jury to decide

The next chapter in the story of the Oxford student who was accused of rape has been revealed. On Monday the Oxford Crown Court found the student – who The Tab are not naming – not guilty of rape. It was a unanimous decision from the jury who took only 43 minutes to come to their decision. The relief on his face was clear for anyone who was present as he thanked the jury for their decision.

But while he celebrated this conclusion to his legal battle, it raises many questions about the nature of club culture in Britain. In university cities across the country there is the continuing battle with sexual assault and harassment which seems to no closer to being solved. Alcohol is such a large part of club culture and this only serves to further blur the line of what consent actually is.

With the problem so close to home, you would be forgiven for thinking that Oxford would be making drastic changes to combat the problem. However any efforts that have been made do not appear to be working. Whether the Oxford student was found guilty or not, we all still face the very real issue of how to deal with how sexual assaults are handled and reported.

Of course we need to encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward and to feel like they are going to receive the support that they need, but we also need to look at how we can educate people so that assaults do not happen in the first place. Consent is a subject that no one can claim to fully understand; there are blurred lines, uncertainties and definitely many ruined lives.

The Oxford student accused of rape has come close to experiencing the life changing effects of being convicted of rape, but should things have to be held up as an example for others to understand just how devastating rape is and how seriously the issue has to be taken? We all need to work harder to make sure the question of consent does not get side-lined in a world with a more and more dominant drinking culture.