Oz students' 'pro-rape' Facebook page shut after criticism

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 09, 2009 10:00 hrs

A 'pro-rape' page on Facebook started by students from the University of Sydney has been shut after receiving harsh criticism.

The online community featuring in the sports and recreation section on the social networking site primarily included students from all-male St Paul's College.

Michael Spence, the vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney, condemned the Facebook page.

"It is in every way abhorrent and in every way at odds with what we are trying to achieve at the university," Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, experts have claimed that the page was reflective of a broader culture at the residential colleges that demeans women in a sexist and often sexually violent way.

According to the commander of the NSW Police sex crimes squad, Detective Superintendent John Kerlat, the page tagged "anti-consent" was "inciting people to sexual violence".

He said: "This is the first occasion I have heard of a Facebook site being set up to promote, or publicise ... sexual assault or any other behaviour that is criminal behaviour."

The Facebook page has since shut but ran from August until late last month.

Karen Willis, manager of the Rape Crisis Centre believes that educational institutions need to do more to protect women.

She said: "It is fairly clear to me that if this culture remains, the colleges have responded poorly." (ANI)

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