Oxford student activist resigns over non-consensual sex act
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This statement explains why I will be stepping back from political campaigning from now.
(I owe you a proper explanation, so will go into details here which you may find triggering.)
At this year’s NUS Black Students’ Conference, I had sex with someone. The other party later informed me that the sex was not consensual. I failed to properly establish consent before every act. I apologise sincerely and profoundly for my actions. I should have taken sufficient steps to ensure that everything I did was consensual. I should have been more attentive to the person’s body language. In failing to clarify that the person consented to our entire encounter, I have caused serious irreparable harm.In a separate incident, in my first year of university, I was alerted to my inappropriate behaviour whilst drunk in a club, where I had touched somebody in a sexual manner without their consent. Therefore this is not an isolated incident. I apologise sincerely and profoundly for my actions. With these incidents I have rightly lost the trust of those who I organise with and fully intend to work to ensure that I both put my politics into practice in my personal relations and to prove to them that I am committed to transformation. As such, it would be wrong of me to accept platforms and access spaces until I have done so. In order to ensure the safety of others, I will be taking a number of steps:
i) I breached NUS’s safe spaces policy, so will not be attending future NUS events.
ii) I am resigning from all the political positions I hold – from NCAFC’s National Committee and from the NUS’s Black Students’ Committee, and as editor of the No Heterox** zine and as the People of Colour and Racial Equality Officer at Wadham SU, Oxford.
iii) I will be stepping back from prominent campaigning in other forums, includingâ€ª #RhodesMustFall and rs21.
iv) I commit to getting help with how I consume alcohol. It is clear that I lack self-awareness and become sexually entitled when I am drunk. This does not excuse my actions, I am wholly responsible for the damage that I have caused.
v) I commit to educating myself properly about consent by reading zines and other materials which have kindly been made available to me.vi) I commit to seeking help from perpetrator organisations - for example, I have taken steps to establish contact with RESPECT and will be seeking out organisations who specifically deal with sexual violence.
I am deeply sorry for the hurt I caused.
Yours, Annie Teriba