In recent years, universities and colleges across the world have begun to take steps to address the widespread problem of gender-based violence (GBV). There has been considerable attention paid to universities’ historical inaction on these issues, or where responses have been inadequate at best, and deeply harmful at worst. Research has highlighted ‘lad culture’ on campus and evidenced the high rates at which women students experience GBV. The NUS revealed 1 in 7 women students in the UK had experienced serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student. The study also found that 12% had been subjected to stalking, and over two thirds had experienced some kind of verbal or non-verbal harassment in or around their institution, including groping, flashing and unwanted sexual comments.
Many students may have experienced GBV before coming to university. One in three (35%) women worldwide has experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. GBV takes many forms, including sexual harassment and intimidation; rape and sexual assault; domestic abuse; coercive and controlling behaviour; child abuse and child sexual exploitation; trafficking; forced marriage; female genital mutilation; and so called ‘honour’ crimes. These experiences, before or during a university career, may impact on someone’s ability to be fully part of the university community and can have implications for their learning experience. Given what we know about prevalence, those employed in universities and those visiting the university campus are also likely to be affected.Continue reading “Day Fifteen | Harnessing Community Power to Prevent Gender Based Violence: The #erasethegrey Campaign”