4 May 2021

Victoria University hall of residence sexual assault reports prompt meeting

5:58 pm on 4 May 2021

Victoria University of Wellington, the students association and police will meet with students after allegations of sexual assault at the Te Puni Village hall of residence.

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File photo. Photo: 123rf.com

It comes after an investigation was launched over the assault at the Te Puni Village hall of residence.

Students at the university, who wished to remain anonymous, said concerns were raised because a number of students felt unsafe after hearing of the allegations.

In a letter to the university, students called for greater transparency and said the hall's management had failed to create a safe environment.

A meeting will be held on Wednesday between Te Puni residents, the students association (VUWSA), the university and police, to ensure people know how to report sexual harm.

A Victoria university spokesperson said an investigation was under way, but would not confirm whether a formal complaint had been laid and declined to state how many allegations been made.

"Issues are being taken very seriously, and support is available for students who came forward," the university spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Campus Living Villages, which operates Te Puni Village, said the "main priority is the safety and wellbeing of all our residents and our staff, and we do not tolerate inappropriate or harmful behaviour, and we take these issues very seriously.

"When made aware, management worked swiftly and professionally to address these concerns, and continue to work closely with the university to provide support to residents as required. All residents have been informed on where they are able to access information on how to take action and that if required, support people are available."

Campus Living Villages also operates Sonoda Village, a hall of residence at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch where student Mason Pendrous died and whose body was not found for up to four weeks later.

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