Documentary About The Warwick University Rape Chat Speaks To The Women Named
A documentary following the aftermath of the Warwick University rape chat scandal, where male students made rape threats to fellow students in a Facebook group chat, has been released on BBC iPlayer.
Last summer, the university newspaper, The Boar, published screen grabs from a Facebook chat in which several males from the University made disgusting rape jokes.
"It's sometimes fun to go wild and rape 100 girls," one message read, while another said: "Rape the whole flat to teach them a lesson."
In other instances, the perpetrators named specific women from the uni, with one described as looking "like a rape victim".
At one point, when discussing a student from the history department who accounted her sexual assault, one male wrote: "She's simply not attractive enough for those things to happen to her."
The group name was changed to 'Fuck Women, Disrespect Them All' and the members changed their names to infamous rapists such as Josef Fritzl.
The documentary interviews the women directly involved in the case, who detail the moments they first saw their names in the horrific messages.
Nicole, a History and Modern Language Student, was one of the women talked about in the group chat.
"We sat there for probably about an hour at least looking through these screen shots of these disgusting messages," she describes. "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."
She continues: "It was a really, really difficult thing to read because these are men who you've put in such a position of trust, and you hold in such a high regard, but they make a game out of raping and sexually assaulting you."
Another student, 'Anna', was the first to take screen shots of the vile messages after being shown them by one of the men involved.
She describes how who that man involved showed her "as if he was showing off, as if it was something he should be proud of, and that I was going to be impressed by".
Anna explained: "I was just taking pictures of the screen as he was scrolling next to me doing it. I just told him it was for my own piece of mind and he said it was ok.
"I noticed that a lot of the conversation that was surrounding me and my friends was about rape and gang rape and genital mutilation."
She added: "I think he saw me getting more upset and more upset and I think that's when it started to dawn on him that this was a lot more serious than he thought it was."
Initially, 11 students were temporarily suspended over their involvement in the chat when it was first reported to to the uni.
Later, following the revelation that a second group chat had been started up, six out of the 11 were found to have committed "major disciplinary offences".
Following this, one student was banned from the university for life, two students were banned from the campus for 10 years, two were banned for one year and one man's case was deemed "not proven".
Following this, the students who were banned for 10 years successfully appealed and had their bans reduced to just one year.
What followed was a massive public backlash - Vice Chancellor Stuart Croft confirmed that the students would not be returning for their studies in September. "We are committed to ensuring the safety of our community," he said.
"I have today spoken to the two young men concerned and confirm that neither of them will be returning to the university.
"I am continuing to listen to the views of students, staff and all members of our community here at Warwick and support them so that we can learn from this experience."
A group of Warwick uni lads make a chat about how they want to rape you and mutilate girls you know, admit that they'd do it again and still get invited back with open arms the following academic year. Nah I'm mad
- Megan Wain (@meg_wain) January 28, 2019
One of the women named in the group chat was Megan Wain, who spoke to BBC Newsbeat about the effect it's had on her studies.
"It really affected my university experience last year," she said. "I didn't go to a lot of lectures or seminars in my final time at university which really affected my degree because that was exam season."
If you need support or advice, visit Rape Crisis here
Featured Image Credit: BBC