'Morally inept' uni sex case NDAs must be scrapped, Minister demands

18 January 2022, 16:22 | Updated: 18 January 2022, 17:29

By Seán Hickey

It is 'absolutely crucial' that universities abolish the practice of using NDAs in the aftermath of sex abuse cases, a Conservative Minister has told LBC.

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The Minister for Further and Higher Education Michelle Donelan called on universities across the UK to scrap the practice of using NDAs in sexual abuse cases.

The announcement comes amid news that the use of NDAs following legal and internal investigations into sexual abuse in universities allow staff and students to move to other institutes without their record being made public.

"About a third of universities are using [NDAs] in the context of sexual assault" Ms Donelan told Shelagh Fogarty, insisting "it is absolutely crucial that we stamp it out now."

Shelagh wondered what the minister has learned about "how universities tackle the whole question of allegations coming to their attention."

Ms Donelan suggested it sexual abuse cases are not taken seriously enough on the whole.

The widespread practice of NDA use "is morally inept" she maintained, telling LBC that "the victim is silenced" in such a policy, it "prevents other victims coming forward and it actually assists the perpetrator."

"It is astonishing that this is happening in today's age."

Ms Donelan concluded by telling Shelagh she is "making sure universities are more transparent in the future" when it comes to sexual crimes.

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