UK report recommends collaboration to make university campuses safer

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The amazing folks at Safer Campus blogged about a recent report “Hidden Marks” from the United Kingdom issued by the National Union of Students (NUS), an organization of 600 student unions in the UK, the first national survey on campus sexual assault.  To read the full report, click here.

The report has similar findings to those in the United States:

  • One in seven survey respondents has experienced a serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student.
  • 68% of respondents have been a victim of one or more kinds of sexual harassment on campus during their time as a student.
  • 12% of respondents reported being subject to stalking.
  • More than one in ten has been a victim of serious physical violence.
  • 16% of respondents have experienced unwanted kissing, touching or molesting during their time as a student, the majority of which has taken place in public.
  • 7% have been subject to a serious sexual assault, the majority of which occurred in somebody’s home.

Policy recommendations for making campuses safer for students include the following:

  • Set out how the institution and students’ union will develop and implement activities to change attitudes and raise awareness of violence;
  • Enable students and staff to recognise and effectively deal with violence and harassment against women students;
  • Discuss how to best utilise peer support in tackling violence and harassment;
  • Contain plans for improving campus design and security so as to help students feel safe;
  • Outline how the institution will work with relevant agencies to ensure that students access the support services that they need;
  • Contain steps explaining how reporting will be encouraged;
  • Set out how the institution will respond to violence against women perpetrated by its students.

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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