Rape Chat Scandal That Rocked Warwick University (Documentary) BBC Stories

I hate women I’m having an official month of disrespect sometimes it’s fun to just go wild and rape 100 girls rape the whole flat to teach them all a lesson which girl at uni would you like to pin down the most and I just remember reading that and seeing all of our names listed oh god I would hate to be in the firing line if I had a vagina please use the hashtag shame on you Warwick new revelations about the Warwick University online rape case I mean seems such horrific content like that I don’t understand how the University were willing to let these people return to campus secure unadulterated misogyny that run through that I would never class as banter people start to worry about the reputation of the university people going on radio tweeting saying I’m not sending my daughter there my son is not going to go there in September people start to panic I don’t feel like I could say to a parent your daughter should come to our University when they won’t be guaranteed their safety this is it that’s what you need one of them sent me a message saying like you can’t let these screenshots get up because there’s going to be severe consequences for all of us do it then ditch her in a field covered in your come from head to toe I was so happy I remember I cried and Happiness and I got my results because I was going to I always wanted to go to Warwick it was my first choice and I was really really excited on a level results day many students joined group chats on platforms like Facebook Messenger and what’s up join and a chat group is really important because it gives you that sense of not being alone when you’re starting University once you’ve actually met each other and you then get your friendship groups forming we’d all mess around in the library together get lunch together all the time just like 99% of the time they were just Normal University guys just always the life and soul of every event they used to speak about in front of us they used to tell us like anecdotes from what they’d been talking about in their last chat I’d sometimes asked like oh like you can let us see what you guys chat about us and then oh you won’t care like it’s just a football chat Anna was close friends with one of the members of the lads chat group we went on holidays together he’s come to my family home at Christmas time yeah we were very close we were sat in my apartment and he had his laptop out and he kept getting all of these messages through from this other mixed group chat obviously I could see them popping through and they were not nice messages and he just laughed at me and he said well if you think that’s bad you might want to see our lads chat yeah he then proceeded to show me the lads group chat as if he was showing off as if it was something that he should have been proud of and that I was going to be impressed by how vulgar and horrendous it was that’s when he took me through a year and a half worth of rape threats I swear to God if it’s that girl in my flat I’m going to go on 1945 advancing Soviet army on her and rape her in the street whilst everybody watches rape her and run I think I would have disabled her ha ha ha knock her out the stupid [ __ ] I was just taking pictures of the screen as he was growing he sat next to me while I was doing it I just told him that it was for my own peace of mind and he said it was okay I noticed that a lot of the conversation that was surrounding me and my friends was about rape and gang rape and genital mutilation so I searched my own name it was coming up like hundreds of times I think that he could see me getting more upset and more upset and I think that’s when it started to dawn on him that this was probably a lot more serious than he thought it was he then offered to stay over at Anna’s flat he said this was to make sure she was okay I think he thought while he was staying in close proximity with me that he could kind of monitor my movements and and manipulate me into thinking that it wasn’t that bad it’s just a joke you don’t understand this is how boys talk I can’t afford Johnny’s at the moment you may as well just rape her and – then it’ll be cheaper I get a phone call from her saying you have to come over look we found something that you need to you need to get here now we’d sat there for about probably an hour at least just looking through all

these screenshots of these disgusting messages one of the boys said which girl at uni would you like to pin down the most and I just remember reading that and seeing all of our names listed I there was one it was a really really difficult thing to read because these are men who you put in such a position of trust and you hold in such high regard but they make a game out of raping and sexually assaulting you the despicable nurse of what what some people tried to classes banter that I would never classes banter you know the pure unadulterated misogyny that run through that the threats that were being made and was sickening yeah they were talking about drugging people or nights out and there was a particular conversation where they were talking about how one of them had drugged another female student the university would later decide that one sexually explicit video shared in the chat needed to be handed to the police West Midlands sent specialist officers to investigate the chat we’re told the BBC having considered the wishes of those affected no formal police action will be taken at this stage if you’re making something so normalized to talk about such as rape you are creating an environment in which you’re telling that them that that’s okay while the women mentioned in the messages were deciding what to do worried about the lads chat was already spreading more and more girls started to find out through various means what was going on someone pulled us to one side missus oh by the way guys there’s this story happening there’s a group chat involving some student you man to take a look at it the more that people start to talk about it that angrier that the men got that this was starting to come out one of them who I was especially close with actually sent me a message saying like you can’t let these screenshots get up because there’s going to be severe consequences for all of us no one else can see this I didn’t know what to do because these people were a huge part of my life and I don’t want to lose my friends and I was giving me a lot of anxiety and panic attacks and that’s when I decided that I was going to have to complain because otherwise I couldn’t go back to university I felt like I should have said something and I was so happy that someone was doing something at least so whilst I didn’t campaign forward in the end I wrote a statement all universities have a student complaint system these allow students to report offenses that break University rules and codes of conduct they’ve got a dignity in morick policy that addresses the issue of social networking I’m not sure to be honest how many students have actually read this document often they’re hidden deep in the bowels of the University website on the 25th of April 2018 Anna and another woman discussed in the chat submitted a formal complaint two days later at 10:09 p.m. on a Friday Anna received an email from a man called Peter dawn dear Ana I have been appointed to act as the investigating officer regarding your formal complaint so please forgive the relatively short notice and this evening email but would you be available to attend an interview with me on Tuesday the 1st of May at 9:30 a.m. in university house that victim needs time to digest time to understand and time to get the appropriate support herself to help her through that process if you receive something that completely shocks you and you’re without support across the weekend and you’re about to face it early next week what’s the likely impact of that I mean quite frankly the lucky the individual didn’t just say I’ve had enough the email also revealed that Peter Dunne’s main job was as the University of Warwick’s director of press his responsibilities include issuing press releases dealing with the media and looking after Warwick’s reputation as one of the top universities in the UK while we knew there was a link with the press office as soon as we got the documents and that was a problem but you can imagine a situation where the press officer thinks well I think they’re the just thing to do would be to do this so if I put my press officer hat on we’re good in terms of their perception and the reputation of the University and in

order to avoid that risk my view is that it would have been prudent and wise to pick somebody who didn’t have these two potentially conflicting hats as the investigation got underway eleven men involved in the chat were suspended from campus pending Peter Dunne’s inquiries meanwhile the Warrick borer the University student newspaper managed to get hold of screenshots of the chat and information about the investigation ivan was on board let me click publish on that moment I remember vividly and then looking at the page views on the website just seeing it but completely as media interest in the story increased Peter Dunne’s role as both investigating officer and director of press started to concern the two women who had complained when the first news story started to break we were told that he would delegate his press role to other members of the press team while he was working on this investigation but emails seen by the BBC suggest Peter Dunne was still continuing in his press role dear Anna as you might imagine we are now being asked by a number of journalists if all 11 precautionary suspensions still stand obviously we cannot continue to simply ignore those questions I therefore intend to issue a press statement in response because a very surreal experience for us to be receiving draft press statements and investigator II notes from the same person throughout the disciplinary process the university has defended its decision to appoint Peter Dunne as the investigating officer and denied he had a conflict of interest I was just going with 94 pages of evidence and hoping that they could help me because I didn’t know what to do having been called for interview late on a Friday night Anna arrived on campus on the following Tuesday morning to meet Peter Dunne he was very accusatory from the beginning in the way that he was questioning us and we were told straight away that our stories didn’t line up which was very I was very scared I remember coming out of that meeting crying I mean I find this all the time that students are invited to hearings or interviews whether it’s something like they’re so they’ve been accused of cheating or something and they are completely shocked at what happens in the interview they’re just not they didn’t expect that level of scrutiny or even aggression and so on he went through it one by one and asked me if I had any sexual relations with any of them he made me go through every single page and he asked me how did that make you feel and the things that he was talking me through and he was asking me to repeat me were very very very violent rape threats against me and my friends the BBC has seen the interview notes taken from the meetings between Peter Dunne and the two women Anna was asked about the reference to her and in Prague and I said they were not in a relationship at the time and I thought that the chat that said raped the whole flat teach them a lesson referred to and I thought that rape the limbus freak referred to and I said that the quote mate the first time you [ __ ] is a reference to it plain that if you are going to have an investigator go down a particular line when you’re asking about sexual history and so on that they’re adequately trained to deal with these issues and to ask these questions sensitively and compassionately I think you need to ask in a way that absolutely conveys belief and preferably having a gender that the individual chooses as the investigating officer we asked the University of Warwick for information on any training Peter Dunne had received but they refused to provide any details saying it would be a breach of his privacy I started to feel like I was under investigation and that I was being put on trial for coming forward about this Peter Dunne would later put in writing that Anna’s account of events revealed deeply wearing facts that undermined the credibility of Anna as a witness at several if not all key points of these events I’m I’m not aware of why you would say you’re not a credible witness you will not remember exact

times and dates necessarily you know so much depends on how traumatized you’ve been by what’s happened to you Anna was never provided with the full evidence as to why Peter Dunne felt this was the case the University has told the BBC we continue to support the investigating officer for this case Peter Dunne and we appreciate there are legitimate questions raised by the university’s handling of this extremely delicate case honestly at the start of this I really did have a lot of trust in my university that they’d be able to deal with it properly and that was completely completely broken down every single point like every single time I thought it couldn’t get worse it would get worse after Peter dawn had interviewed the women he then interviewed each of the eleven men mentioned in the complaint these interviews led to a new discovery one of the men accidentally revealed that after the chat had been shut down a second group was set up the new chat was called boys 2.0 if you open this chat when you were not in it you were asking to be offended let’s do it all again read some of my chats from home this was literally nothing compared to them were they expecting compliments or something Peter Dunn felt that these messages revealed in stark detail some of the men’s lack of remorse this became a key part of the report he then compiled on the case in that report Peter Dunn gave his recommendations for how each man should be disciplined out of the eleven men he found that too had not done anything wrong three more were deemed to have committed minor disciplinary offenses examples of minor offenses at Warwick University includes ignoring no smoking areas and bringing shopping trolleys onto campus the two women at the heart of the complaint brought this up when they confronted one high ranking University official about the disciplinary process so why is it for being considered the same as bringing a shopping trolley from tesco onto campus you have it’s the one that made this threatening by showing it to me he made that an active threat by showing me that someone wanted to rape me just to say anything that’s actually a threat this is it if that’s what you need this left six more men Peter Dunne recommended that they had all committed major disciplinary offenses that meant they would have to appear before a disciplinary panel these are made up of University staff academics and student representatives one of them was hope for as Dale then student union president we are literally just kind of sent an email saying this is being convened on this day at this time we need you to nominate two kind of representatives and so it’s kind of first and foremost who is actually available to be able to do this hope sat on the first day of the panel we’re just in a room in main kind of like a university building in a sort of round table people kind of just sat all around it basically and you know I think it’s it’s an incredibly tense situation to be in because that is you know the certainly the first time for me that I was directly communicating with anyone that had been you know kind of accused with in this case one at a time the men would appear before the panel give a statement and then respond to questions is there kind of a genuine sense of remorse what’s happened is there a genuine understanding for why this is so severe they know what the charges are against and therefore the severity of them they know what the potential range of penalties is that could be kind of applied to them and they I imagine they probably had an idea that it would come towards the more sign of severe end it took two days to question all the men at which point the panel agreed on a range of punishments it was kind of tiring but I think also came out of it feeling like you know we’ve done what we need to do basically and that these are kind of this is a range of penalties including some incredibly or sort of the harsher penalties you can get in June 2018 the university announced the results of the disciplinary hearing one of the men was banned from the university for life two of the men received bans of ten years two were banned for one year and the sixth man’s case was deemed not proven we were never told that outcomes of the Disciplinary procedure I found out when the press found out some people were satisfied I remember some people saying the university had handled it quite well and they taken a tough stance there’s always a constant anxiety and constant fear that you don’t know when you’re going to see these people obviously they were still anger that this had happened in the first place and that kind of stuff could happen at Warwick but I think there’s a sense of okay putting it to bed almost the women knew the men

would have the chance to appeal against their punishments and the two who received 10-year bans decided to do so four months passed before the women heard the outcome of those appeals something the university partly put down to a staff member taking a late summer holiday it’s a horrendous process to go through and for it to be so elongated would be really insensitive and inappropriate and I also think that you know it’s a question of priority for me you know if you prioritize something then you get it done in a timely fashion the result of the appeal saw the two men have their ten-year bans reduced to just one year we heard about the outcome of the appeals before the actual complainants and that’s a recurring theme throughout the whole of his story we hear things before they do I was never given an explanation we were told that new evidence had come to light and that’s why the sentence have been reduced from 10 years to 1 but I don’t know what the new evidence is this meant the two men will be returning in 2019 when some of the girls affected by the chart like Nicole would still be studying at the University no one in the administration of the people dealing with the case ever contacted me about this back Ferno I didn’t feel like I was being heard I didn’t want to go out I was in the middle of a year abroad finally a world away from this nightmare that had completely ruined my second year of university for me completely destroyed my friendship group and had left me with anxiety I didn’t want to come back to that the appeals panel had been made up of a key Amyx and student representatives with no prior connections to the case this meant that those that gave the original punishments like hope Wars Dale weren’t included I just felt very confused very frustrated people have been expelled like the harshest possible punishment in some cases which reflects the severity of the situation obviously and that men that was essentially I’m done the university has been very not transparent about kind of like the reasons why the university has said the new sentences made the punishments comparable across all of those individuals sanctioned by Christmas 2018 the university had confirmed that they had officially closed the investigation at the start of term in 2019 the outcome of the appeals was beginning to spread around campus one of the girls that was involved she’d found out that the appeals had gone through and she decided to take to Twitter and put some of the screenshots up when I used that hashtag she and when you work initially I thought this is showing that work you will not be able to get away with this like we will not be ignored that’s the kind of moment that it all blew up and got the attention that it deserved and it became a bigger story than the original story news hashtag shame on you worried new revelations about the Warwick University online rape case now in the last few moments we’ve got a response from Norwich University they’ve apologized that their processes have distressed so many people it wasn’t just students who are critical of the university’s decision many staff at Warwick felt the same I sent out a an irate tweet in which I I said that I will not promote the University new cast events I will not encourage students to come to this university when they won’t be guaranteed their safety we started to have all of the support that I’ve never been provided by my universe and never had anyone to talk to about it and now suddenly I had thousands of people giving me support from across the country which is lovely I wanted this hashtag and all the attention to take the very system that was going to allow these men back on campus and wanted that to bring that system down it was shame I think the shame on you Warrick hashtag was was absolutely accurate I was ashamed to be part of a university that would so quickly abandon the victims in a case like this where it’s the first story in broke in May the anger was directed at the nature of the group chat this time around if the angle is fully directed at the university their decisions how the disciplinary process according to some people is failed

departments at the University were distancing themselves from management at the University originally the English department put out a letter to say they disagreed with what had happened and then that started snowballing I was on the March with with the students it was very much a positive vibe of wanting to enact real positive change and wanting to support those people who are being let down in this situation two days before the protests Stewart crafts the Vice Chancellor announced that the two men who’d had their sentences reduced would no longer be returning to the University they themselves have said as I understand it that they will not take up their places at the University there’s nothing to prevent them changing their mind if you speak to basically any student and particularly any female student they will be able to tell you the types of things that they experience on a daily weekly monthly basis at university there definitely feed into this kind of issue of rape culture whether it’s words or whether it’s actual actions it’s the bigger story about Warwick in recent history it kind of puts a cloud over the university it’s on their Wikipedia page No so it’s there for good at the time Warwick released a statement saying it was deeply sorry and understood the distress that this had caused the victims of this abuse it then announced an independent review of disciplinary procedures when the BBC approached the university during the making of this film it said we are committed to ensuring the safety of the Warwick community and we take complaints of sexual misconduct extremely seriously we hope that the publication of the outcome of our reviews in summer 2019 will enable the university to seek to answer those concerns demonstrate our learnings and help our community to better our values they absolutely are speaking out there support of a zero tolerance around sexual misconduct how you then get that zero tolerance into action that will be what we have to judge by it may be that one of the silver linings of this case in Warwick is that universities will suddenly realize the importance of doing a professional job when it comes to investigations and hearings and appeals while the Warwick group chat is the most high-profile case it’s not the only one in the last year students at Loughborough Exeter Bournemouth and Sheffield have been investigated suspended or expelled in similar cases and during the making of this film another case was exposed at Warwick we are seeing far more women and girls stepping forward and going we will not tolerate this and they’re being supported by their male yes I see movement now that I haven’t seen over the last 40 years and it feels timely so I don’t think any university any institution can afford to get this wrong it’s not acceptable to have an amateurish system when day-in day-out there are students out there who are the victims of injustice at university hearings and their lives and careers are being affected by poor decisions taken by university appeal panels had such an impact on me as a person it had such an impact on the wider student community and I’m sure it’s had an impact on them but I don’t understand what it was all for so I just I just want to know why we were completely objectified and sexualized to the point where it was almost a ranking system of which girl was more desirable to rape and having these guys who also my best friends at the hands of that was a really really hurtful thing to see and it still gets to me it still does that was okay