Getting it right: responding to disclosures of sexual violence at universities
Last year Universities UK established a Taskforce to examine ‘violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students’ and this report was recently published on the 21st October 2016.
The recommendations from the report cover both preventative activities and how universities can respond to these issues more effectively in future.
Summary of key findings from the Taskforce:
- Universities need to be more systematic, consistent and effective in their approaches
- Sexual violence should be tackled from the senior leadership down
- Support and reporting mechanisms need to be visible and accessible
- Universities need to facilitate a culture of zero tolerance and implement bystander training
- Training on responding/supporting is relevant for all staff and training should be afforded priority status
The results of the Taskforce make it clear that there is huge room for growth in establishing a consistent response to sexual violence in universities. These recommendations will be key to the development of our current project, Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence: Guidance for Staff.
We are currently inviting universities to participate in this international collaboration to develop an online course to support all university staff to handle disclosures in line with best practice and respond to individuals empathetically and appropriately.
Under the guidance of a highly experienced Lead Advisor Professor Nicole Westmarland, and the valuable contribution from collaborating universities, the course will ensure all university staff are able to provide a consistent response.
Message from the Lead Advisor
Watch an exclusive video interview with Professor Nicole Westmarland about the challenges facing universities in addressing instances of sexual assault.
A launch workshop for all collaboration members is being held on the 6th December in London. Proposed course outlines will be discussed in detail and any key issues are highlighted and resolved prior to the intensive writing phase. It’s a fantastic chance for all involved to voice their individual opinions and ideas to ensure we create an outstanding resource.