Annie Teriba, editor of the No Heterox** zine, People of Colour and Racial Equality Officer at Wadham SU, member of both NCAFC’s National Committee and the NUS’s Black Students’ Committee, and third-year Wadham student, has admitted she failed to establish consent for a sex act at this year’s NUS Black Students’ Conference, which ran from 30-31st of May. She also admitted to having been sexually inappropriate under the influence of alcohol prior to this incident.
She made the admission in a statement on Facebook, in which she also announced that she would be taking a step back from her political campaigning and resigning all the posts she currently holds. Teriba’s Facebook account was deleted a few hours after posting the statement.
Shortly after Teriba’s statement was posted, OUSU Women’s Campaign posted a statement in response. It referred to her comments as “rife with apologism”, and is printed in full below.
Annie Teriba has been approached for comment. Wadham College and the University have also been approached for comment. Her full statement can be read here:
[TW sexual assault, sexual violence]
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#RhodesMustFallâ€¬ 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
OUSU Women’s Campaign has also issued the following statement:
The Women’s Campaign stands behind and believes all survivors of sexual assault and violence – whether or not the incident moves through the courts. Believing and supporting survivors who make the incredibly brave step of sharing their traumatic experience is the first step toward justice: the next is excising abusers and those who enable them from spaces that should be safe for all. Rape apologism manifests in infinite forms: we define it as any discourse that refers to sexual assault as anything other than what it is – unacceptable and appalling abuse. The statement recently shared [above] is, unfortunately, rife with apologism and we do not condone it nor the violence it describes.
WomCam is committed to ensuring that liberation spaces remain abuser-free – without our full-hearted commitment to this cause, we have no business campaigning on women’s issues. Any institution that protects abusers at the expense of survivors’ wellbeing is one that must be dismantled and reformed.
Moreover, sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes, especially at universities. Holding those responsible for sexual violence accountable means acknowledging the terrifying fact that violence against women is deeply ingrained in and normalized in our culture: education about the issues, campaigning for the rights of those affected, and continued vigilance about the behavior we do not condone in our organization is the only way forward.
Sincerely, the Women’s Campaign Committee
Lucy Delaney, OUSU’s Vice-President for Women, added, “In my capacity as Vice President for Women I am adding my voice to that of the Women’s Campaign in standing behind and believing all survivors of sexual assault and violence, and in committing to keeping liberation spaces free from perpetrators.
“In a society which silences survivors and which tolerates rape apologism it is essential that liberation spaces do not harbour or protect abusers, otherwise they are no better than the institutions which perpetuate oppression. In my role, I am committed to ensuring that this happens.”
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