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Louis Theroux's latest documentary, The Night In Question, hit screens last night, tackling sexual consent by speaking to alleged perpetrators as well as survivors at US universities. And the hour-long special finally got people engaging in vital conversations on consent on Twitter.
The documentary-maker met with Yale student Saifullah Khan, who was accused of raping a fellow female student after a house party. While he was cleared of all charges in a court of law, 'Saif' awaited the outcome of a university probe into the allegations when he met with Louis.
Neuroscience student Khan maintained that he had consensual sex with the unnamed woman, adding that she had thrown up after drinking alcohol at the party.
"I got woken up with her slapping me, and she said we shouldn't have had sex," the Yale student told Louis. "A few days later, I found out she is accusing me of rape."
Louis confronted Saifullah over the allegations time and time again, prompting Twitter users to spark important conversations around consent and sexual assault.
One person wrote: ""I didn't suffer a broken nose, I suffered a broken sense of security." Perfect quote to sum up the mental trauma of sexual violence often not seen or taken into account."
In a tweet liked over 450 times, another shared: ""It's not my job to prove my innocence." - Male student accused of rape. Yet it's every woman's job to prove hers."
To which one person declared: "This." And another added: "Summed him up brilliantly."
Discussing a sexual assault survivor's account in the documentary, somebody else tweeted: ""Did I punch him...no." Why is it so rarely understood that women often won't fight back, we know that the consequences of doing that can lead to much worse.
"When up against guys that are stronger, bigger. Fighting is not our response."
Someone responded: "Also many people freeze when being abused. It can be shock, fear or a sense of unreality at what is happening."
People shouting at the woman for wanting an apology for being raped, you really don't understand how freeing it is to know the person is understanding & remorseful. Obvs she's not advocating for flippant apologies #thenightinquestion- Jade (@louisejosie) March 4, 2019
"I think girls feel that once they go into a guys room they have to" I think this relates to soooo many girls and it's sad :sob: no we DO NOT have to do anything we don't want to do :two_hearts: #LouisTheroux- Leanne O'Toole (@Leanne_OT_91) March 4, 2019
"It's not my job to prove my innocence." - Male student accused of rape.- Sammy (@ThirdPlaceBtn) March 4, 2019
Yet it's every woman's job to prove hers. #LouisTheroux
Louis later met with another Yale student, Jonathan, who made separate allegations against Khan, involving a threesome.
And when Louis went back to Saifullah to confront him, the student became defensive yet the documentary-maker kept his cool.
He told Louis: "Why do I have to confirm or deny rumours or allegations? This is not a court, and obviously I deny I've had that sort of relationship with him."
"I did not have sexual relationships with John."
When Louis asked for more details after the alleged threesome, Khan denied it all: "I don't know why you're focusing on that."
"It's not my job to prove my innocence," he continued. "Maybe that is what's wrong with me in the sense.
"I don't go out of my way to quash that, I just let the truth surface on its own."
At the end of the episode, it was revealed that Khan was expelled from Yale after a university investigation found him 'responsible for sexual assault' in December 2018.
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