Why is this project needed?
This project has been set up in response to the Universities UK ‘Changing the Culture’ report, which investigated the nature and scale of violence against women, harassment and hate crime on university campuses, and their effect on those who experience them. From their findings, Universities UK drew up a series of recommendations for universities on preventing and responding to sexual misconduct. These recommendations included taking an institution-wide approach, providing bystander intervention programmes and developing a clear, accessible reporting system.
It is important for universities to create a respectful culture on campus where no form of violence or discrimination is tolerated. It is also important that universities provide support to students if they do experience any form of sexual violence, as experiencing sexual violence can affect someone’s mental and physical health, personal relationships and studies. Additionally, university student demographics make preventing and responding to sexual violence necessary, as research has shown that young women aged 16-24 are at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence (British Crime Survey as cited in Hidden Marks). This is not to say that people of other ages and genders do not also experience sexual violence, and the outputs of the project will be accessible to all students at the University of Lincoln. For more statistics and information on sexual violence within university communities, a useful resource is the NUS ‘Hidden Marks’ report, which contains the findings from extensive research carried out in 2010.
What will the project be doing?
Two key aspects of the project are the design and implementation of bystander education programmes for our staff and students, and the creation of clear and accessible online reporting systems for students who experience any form of sexual violence whist at university. Both of these are currently being developed by the Student Wellbeing Centre and Human Resources, and should be available to staff and students for the beginning of the 17/18 academic year. More information will be available here soon, explaining what the bystander programmes are and why they are important, as well as how the online reporting system can be accessed.
In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about bystander intervention programmes you can access information here.
There will also be plenty of campaigns to get involved in over the next year, keep checking back to see what is coming up!
Who is the project working with?
For this project to be successful and effective it is important that we work together with local specialists in sexual violence. We will therefore be working alongside and consulting with a number of partners, including academic staff and Students’ Union representatives from within the University and specialist external agencies from the City of Lincoln more broadly. If you would like to know more about the services available in Lincolnshire, please visit the support page.