Google Oxford University Artificial Intelligence
Hertford College's Bridge of Sighs, Oxford Brian Jeffery Beggerly/Creative Commons

The prestigious University of Oxford is at the centre of sexual violence allegations, after over a dozen students gave graphic accounts of alleged sex assaults and rapes.

In a pamphlet produced by the Oxford University Student Union, the college is accused of blaming and "betraying" those subjected to sexual assaults.

Writing anonymously, men and women students describe a "culture of silence" that they claim prevents them from reporting allegations of sexual violence.

The editor of the pamphlet says the collection of stories detailing sexual violence "express a whole spectrum of feelings from antagonism, anger and frustration to sadness, guilt and betrayal towards the university and its services.

"These stories indicate that rapists and abusers are fellow undergraduate students, post-grads, tutors, professors, friends, partners, dates and they are often polite, nice and friendly," the editor added.

Sarah Pine, the student union's vice-president for women, said in a Times report: "The overriding response is that those in positions of responsibility mediated by the university have had some victim-blaming views.

"When some students have tried to pursue complaints, some colleges have responded very badly – for example, referring students to alcohol awareness courses if they were assaulted when they were drunk."

In order to address the problem, an awareness campaign was set up called It Happens Here, raising awareness about sexual violence and working with members of the University of Oxford and the wider community to ensure that Oxford is a safe place.

The website states: "Sexual violence can happen anywhere. It can happen to anyone. And it is happening here to students at the University of Oxford. But far too many survivors of sexual violence are silenced. They may never tell their stories or have someone listen."

An Oxford University spokesman said: "Oxford has always taken complaints of harassment very seriously. It has a policy and procedures in place to help students make complaints in all such cases, including sexual harassment and assault."

Other students take the opinion that "laddish" drinking societies also added to an atmosphere and culture that could put uncomfortable albeit non-violent pressure on women.

Watch Julian Assange answering questions on rape allegations at the Oxford Union.