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Two officials removed over sex assault claim at college

Time: 2017-12-21 12:56  From :HZResearch  Author:HZResearch

Nanchang University removed two officials from their positions on Wednesday, following a report that a female student was sexually assaulted by one of them for half a year.

Cheng Shuijin, president of the Institute of Chinese Classics at the university and Zhou Bin, vice-president of the institute, were removed from their posts, according to the university's Weibo account. Zhou's teaching and research work was also suspended.

The university, in Jiangxi province, said the case is now being handled by the police.

"The school will handle the case seriously and hand down severe punishment based on the final investigative report," the announcement said.

On Tuesday, a post on a Weibo account called "A cat drinking coffee" said the student was sexually harassed and later assaulted by Zhou.

The behavior started in December last year when Zhou invited the student to his office and showed his affection, according to "A cat drinking coffee", who alleged that he sexually harassed her twice and forced her to have sexual relations over the ensuing months.

She neither reported the case to the school nor to local police at the time because she was afraid of retribution before graduation, she told ThePaper.cn.

In the interview, she said Zhou deleted all social media contacts with her in May, and that she recounted her experience two months later to Cheng, who suggested she play the case down.

"A cat drinking coffee" also posted screen shots of messages between the student and Cheng saying that if the case became public the reputation of the university would be ruined.

Last month, a teacher surnamed Liu at Chengdu University of Technology in Sichuan province was removed for talking to students in an "improper manner" and using "unethical words", according to the university's Weibo account.

In 2014, the All-China Women's Federation released a survey of 1,200 female college students from 15 universities nationwide showing that 44 percent had encountered sexual harassment, including sexually suggestive language or physical contact.

In the United States, a similar survey by the Association of American Universities in 2015 asked students at 27 universities about their experience with sexual assault and harassment. More than 150,000 students responded.

In that survey, 23 percent of undergraduate women and 5 percent of undergraduate men said they had been victims of nonconsensual sexual contact-ranging from penetration to sexual touching.

Hu Shenzhi, a physiologist in Guangdong province, said many victims of sexual harassment or assault in school will often blame themselves and don't tell others because the case happened at an institution that most people believed to be very safe.

"Schools should strengthen education about prevention and put more emphasis on providing psychological assistance for the victims," he said.

In October 2014, the Ministry of Education issued a notice that for the first time emphasized that teachers should not sexually harass or have sexual contact with students.

"But those behaviors usually happen in private and it's hard for victims to prove. I think prevention should be written into the law and should specify the responsibilities of the universities," said Liu Xiaonan, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law.


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