Rape on campus: Ateneo de Manila University opens probe

November 26, 2018 - 12:46 PM
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Ateneo de Manila University map
Campus map of the Loyola Schools of Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Philippines. (Ateneo.edu)

The Ateneo de Manila University is conducting another investigation into the alleged rape and sexual assault of one of its students inside campus grounds.

The school’s Sexual Misconduct Task Force in a statement on Saturday said that it would be “taking seriously” an anonymous submission on the ADMU Freedom Wall Facebook page from a student who claimed to have been raped inside the comfort room of a building inside the campus.

The post dated November 24 claims the victim was punched by two muscular men while she was in the bathroom who covered her head with a towel before proceeding to violate her.

She said that was not able to take note of their faces as the act “happened so fast” and that she was not able to fight back as they threatened to hit her again if she resisted.

The anonymous poster however said that she knew one of the assailants had facial after after she felt his beard when the assailant forcibly kissed her on the lips.

“I feel so scared typing this but I just can’t take it anymore. I don’t feel safe in our school anymore,” the post now with 458 shares, read.

The task force in its statement said that it has started verifying the incident and called out students and faculty to report any suspicious news or movement in the campus.

Students have called for the school’s administration to immediately act on the report.

The reports, if found to be true, could lead to expulsion if the perpetrators are students of the university.

They may also be sentenced to 20 to 40 years of prison if found guilty in a criminal proceeding.

Second sexual abuse scandal in 2018

This is the second time the Jesuit-run university conducted an investigation into allegations of sexual assault this year.

In October that year, an anonymous submission to the ADMU Freedom Wall page accusing an unnamed professor of sexual misconduct by holding private consultations with students in his classroom and asking for pictures of their feet prompted  the school to open an investigation.

The school’s administration said that it would be enforcing a stricter policy on sexual misconduct allegations.

Hyacenth Bendaña, president of the school’s student council, said that updates on the ongoing investigations into the allegations could not be broadcast due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

“I understand that we all demand updates on the situation, but we cant have details of it. It is not fair to demand public access when the victims want silence and confidentiality of their experiences. Let us respect their healing,” she said in a tweet.

Apart from the sexual abuse allegations, the school is investigating reports about the mauling of one its students in a nearby bar.