You have probably heard about the increase in reports of drink spiking and injections in recent years. This type of illegal activity happens to our students too. We also know they are subjected to many other types of sexual violence and harassment. This must stop. As a students’ union, we want you to do something about it, but we cannot do this without you. Preventing sexual violence is not the responsibility of the person subjected to that sexual violence. As a student community, it is our responsibility to help keep each other safe. We all have a part to play in stopping sexual violence.
The first thing you can do to help is to complete the Consent Matters training course (three 20-minute online modules). You can learn about sexual consent, building healthier relationships and being an active bystander who looks out for others. It is not mandatory, but we hope that you will be willing to do it if you are serious about helping us to solve this problem. It is not targeted at any particular group of students; it is for everybody.
We know that most incidents of sexual violence and harassment are not reported and it is hard to tackle the problem if we do not know what it happening. The University has a reporting system – Report and Support – which allows students to report incidents of sexual violence and harassment either anonymously or to ask for support. Please use this system to report any incident you know about because this will help us to build our understanding of what happens here.
You can also join our campaign group which will be campaigning for more change in this area. Click here if you are interested.