At the University of Lincoln we will shortly be advising that all of our staff and students complete bystander intervention modules. If you are wondering what bystander intervention is, how it works or why you should complete the module, please have a look at the information below.

 

What is bystander intervention?

Bystander intervention programmes are all about helping you to be an active bystander. An active bystander is someone who is able to recognise problematic behaviour, decide on the most appropriate course of action and then take it. This is something that most of us do on a regular basis, but when it comes to sexual misconduct we might find this more difficult. Sometimes you might want to intervene in an incident you have witnessed, but you may not know how. You may also think you are the only person who is uncomfortable, and therefore decide not to take any action. In fact, there is probably at least one other person thinking the same way as you, and by speaking up you might give them to confidence to speak up too.

Being an active bystander is about taking the responsibility off survivors of sexual misconduct to challenge cultures that enable sexual misconduct. It is down to all of us to challenge abusive or discriminatory behaviour and to support those who experience it.

 

How does bystander intervention work?

Bystander intervention works by changing social norms, which we can use to help us change cultures on campus. By challenging something, you are sending a message to everyone around you that it is unacceptable. Although challenging an incident of ‘everyday’ behaviour, such as someone making an inappropriate joke, might feel quite small on its own, when lots of people make an intervention that makes a lot of interventions collectively! When a large enough group of people come to view that behaviour as unacceptable, then there has been a shift in social norms.

In the module you will find some suggestions for how you can intervene in different situations, it can be really helpful to learn a few of these to that they are easy to recall if you ever need them.

 

Why is it important that I do the module?

Bystander intervention works best when lots of people are reinforcing the same message, as this will create a new social norm much more quickly and effectively. This is why we are asking that all of our staff and students complete the modules.

Bystander intervention programmes are not about making you do something that you feel uncomfortable with. In a lot of scenarios, there will be no single right answer for how to react. Instead, bystander intervention education is about making sure that you have the right knowledge and strategies to feel confident enough to intervene, in a way that keeps you and others safe.

The modules will also provide you with information on how you can advise and support a friend or student who has experienced sexual misconduct. Whilst you may not have experienced someone disclosing to you before, it is really important that you think about the sorts of things you could say or do in that situation before it happens, so that you would be able to offer them the right advice and support.

If you ever do need support with advising a student who has experienced sexual misconduct, you can contact our Student Wellbeing Centre by calling 01522 886400 or emailing studentwellbeing@lincoln.ac.uk.

 

 

 

All students at the University of Lincoln will shortly be invited to take part in a survey about sexual misconduct on campus. Some information about the reason for and content of the survey is provided below. If you have any further questions about the survey, you should email Katy Brookfield at kbrookfield@lincoln.ac.uk.

Why is this survey being conducted?

The survey is being carried out by the Student Wellbeing Centre, who hope to use the findings to influence the work of their ‘Building Respect and Changing Cultures in the University Community’ project. By filling out this survey, students will be helping the Student Wellbeing Centre to understand where they need to target their prevention efforts, and how they can best support students who experience sexual misconduct to seek help and advice.

What will the survey ask?

The survey comprises of three parts, and begins by asking students about any incidents of sexual misconduct which they have witnessed on campus, or which other students at the University have disclosed to them. The second and third sections of the survey then ask students about incidents of sexual misconduct which they have personally experienced whilst they have been a student at the University.

We know that these questions may be difficult for some students, so we have ensured that there are regular pre-warnings about question content throughout the survey, with the ability to skip over sections which students do not feel comfortable answering. There is also contact information for the Student Wellbeing Centre and helplines for specialist organisations at various points throughout the survey, and students are encouraged to stop and seek support if they feel they need to.

Will the Student Wellbeing Centre be able to identify me?

All responses to the survey are anonymous, meaning that the Student Wellbeing Centre will not be able to identify any individual students from their responses. However, this does mean that the Student Wellbeing Centre will not be able to take action over any specific incidents which students share. If students would like to access support over a specific incident they should contact the Student Wellbeing Centre in person.

Call 01522 886400

Email studentwellbeing@lincoln.ac.uk

Make an online report at http://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/sexual-misconduct/

Online reporting pop-up stand

Between the 16th and the 26th October we held four pop-up stands at various points around campus, to share information with students about the option to report sexual misconduct online. If you would like to access the online reporting system you should visit http://studentservices.lincoln.ac.uk/sexual-misconduct/.

Online standOnline stand 2

Last week was the #NoMore sexual violence and abuse campaign, and we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to speak to us and get involved. Over the week we shared 97 photographs of staff and students with their #NoMore messages!

We would also like to thank Lincolnshire Rape Crisis, Spring Lodge and Victim Support for joining us on Thursday 28th, a number of our students learnt about the services they offer and took away some useful information with them.

You can see all of the #NoMore campaign week on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Project Steering Group

Last month we had the first official meeting of our Project Steering Group. The Project Steering Group is made up of six members, as follows:

  • Head of Student Services and Deputy Director of Student Affairs
  • Head of Equality Engagement and Development
  • Head of Student Wellbeing
  • Equalities Officer
  • Digital Officer
  • Project Assistant

We are all responsible for making sure that the project is progressing as planned, and so we will be meeting monthly to discuss our contributions towards and ideas for the project.

If you have any questions or comments about the project, #NoMore or the Project Steering Group, please send them to Katy Brookfield at kbrookfield@lincoln.ac.uk

 

#NoMore is a Lincolnshire wide campaign which takes place in September and February each year. The campaigns aim is to promote services in Lincolnshire who can offer support to someone who has experienced sexual violence and abuse, and to encourage a culture change in the county to prevent sexual violence from occurring. A number of organisations across the county get involved, including the police, County Council and various sexual violence and abuse support services. You can find out more about the #NoMore campaign here.

This year the #NoMore campaign is running from the 25th September to the 1st October. During this week the Student Wellbeing Centre will be out around campus talking to our staff and students about the campaign, and we will be asking you to get involved by sharing why you support the campaign. We are going to be collecting photos of people who get involved in the campaign and posting them on the Student Wellbeing Centre Facebook and Twitter accounts, so please follow what we’re doing! The week’s events will run from 10am-2pm each day as follows:

Monday 25th – Wednesday 27th September: Student Wellbeing will be located on the courtyard between Minerva and MHT between 10am and 2pm.

Thursday 28th September: Student Wellbeing will be holding a Services Fayre in the Atrium, with local sexual violence and victim support agencies joining us.

Friday 29th – Sunday 1st: Join us on social media and post your contribution to the campaign!

You may have seen us at the Sports and Societies Fayres last week, collecting photos for the campaign this week. We will be sharing these on our social media accounts throughout the week, so please share them with your societies and sports teams!

Online reporting is now available for all students at the University of Lincoln to report any form of sexual misconduct. Below is some information explaining our online reporting system and how our students can access it.

Why online reporting?

Providing online reporting means there are more options available to someone who wants to report sexual misconduct to us. We recognise that when someone has experienced sexual misconduct it can be really difficult to tell someone face to face. Online reporting means that our students can take that first step by submitting the information online, with the Student Wellbeing Centre then contacting them to discuss it further. Online reporting also allows a report to be made to us outside of University services opening hours, with an immediate list of local support services being provided once the report is submitted. We hope that having the option of making an online report first will help our students feel more confident in coming forward and reporting sexual misconduct to us.

Even if someone decides not to access support after they submit their report, the information they share with us will mean that we can see what is happening on campus, and where we need to target our prevention work.

How will the online reporting work?

The online form will ask the student making the report for details about themselves, the incident and whether they have previously reported what happened to a specialist agency or someone at the University. We have kept the online reporting form as short as possible, whilst making sure that we have enough information to offer the right advice and support.

Once the report is submitted, it will go directly to the Student Wellbeing Centre. The student who has made the report will immediately receive a list of local support agencies, in case they need support before the Student Wellbeing Centre can contact them. A Wellbeing Advisor from the Student Wellbeing Centre will then make contact with the reporting student within one working day, inviting them to come to the Student Wellbeing Centre to explore their options and any support they may need. It is always the decision of the student what support they might like, and the Student Wellbeing Centre will never pass a student’s details on to the police without their consent. That said, if the student would like to make a full or anonymous report to the police, the Student Wellbeing Centre can support them with this.

You can access the online reporting through the Student Wellbeing Centre site.