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Incidents of sexual assault and harassment

Disclosure date: 14 August 2013

Reference: FOI2013/061

Request

Please state how many instances of sexual assault, sexual harassment or any other sexual offence have been reported to you since January 2012.

In each instance please state the month and year when the allegation was reported, the nature of the alleged offence, and all further action taken. 

Response

There have been three (3) reports of sexual harassment in three separate months since January 2012 (all were in 2012).

Further details are being withheld under the exemption set out at section 40(2) and section 40(3)(i) of the Freedom of Information Act. This exemption protects personal information where its disclosure would contravene any of the data protection principles. Firstly, it is SOAS’s view that this information is personal information because if this information was put together with other knowledge held by some members of the public (notably members of the SOAS community or friends or relatives of the people affected), individuals could be identified and sensitive personal information relating to them thereby disclosed. Given the low numbers involved, it is likely that individuals could be identified in this way if more details were provided for each case. Information disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act is effectively disclosed to all, so this possibility has to be considered. SOAS believes that disclosure would breach the first data protection principle as both those making such reports and those who are the subject of allegations would expect their identity to remain confidential. It would therefore be unfair to disclose further details that could allow them to be identified.