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‘It’s a power game’: students accused in university rape hearings call in lawyers

Parents of young men facing conduct panels over assaults are raising the stakes by bringing barristers to them, academics say

  • Universities left to tackle rising tide of sexual assaults

Parents of male students accused of rape at university are starting to bring in barristers to help them avoid expulsion, the Observer has learned.

As the number of serious sexual assaults escalates across universities, experts say female students often do not want to go to the police, fearing delays and traumatising questioning, and knowing only 1% of rape cases end in conviction. Universities say increasing numbers of women are instead turning to them to investigate, leaving institutions wrestling with complex cases, including a rising trend of pornography-inspired strangulation during sex.

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