York student jailed for sexual assault committed on university campus
His victim has said the University of York does not support victims of sexual assault
A University of York graduate, Daniel Andrew Dreyfus, has been sentenced to 10 months in jail for sexually assaulting a third-year student in her sleep whilst he was an undergraduate at York.
Dreyfus, now 23 years old, had been trusted by friends of the victim to look after her following a house party.
York Crown Court were told how the victim instead woke up that night to find him abusing her. Dreyfus pleaded guilty to the assault and was jailed for 10 months and added to the sex offenders' register for the next 10 years.
On the night of the assault he had taken a mixture of drugs and alcohol, Judge Simon Hickey told the court.
The woman Dreyfus assaulted said in her victim statement she was disappointed in the university's lack of support for her and for victims of sexual assault in general. Not only did she find that other students discouraged her from speaking out, but that the university offered no help:
"I thought it would be easier to die than live with this fear and powerlessness […] I feel very disillusioned with the university due to the lack of support. I could not cope with the pressure in my final year at university. My marks suffered and never recovered."
The university, which already ranks worst in the country for satisfaction with mental health services, responded to the claims that it does not support sex victims. A University of York spokesperson said:
"We take cases of sexual violence and harassment very seriously and work closely with the Student Union, the Graduate Students' Association, and local authorities in raising awareness of these issues.
"Our Open Door Team provides emotional and psychological support for students alongside a number of other support services, such as our College System, Chaplaincy team, Student Union Welfare and Advice, and Nightline and Night Safe.
"In addition, our Respect campaign for students and training schemes for staff provide information on the support available on and off campus. Our new sexual violence digital reporting system is aimed at making it easier for students to inform the proper authorities and seek support."
Information on how to contact the services mentioned for dealing with sexual harassment and assault can be found here.