Undeb Bangor are launching a campaign to tackle sexual violence at Bangor University
The campaign, No Grey Area, will launch on November 26th. There will also be a march to accompany the campaign called Reclaim The Night, designed to reinforce the message that women, in particular, can walk the streets completely safely at night.
Vice President of Education, Mark Barrow, has said: “The campaign is just the start. The Student Union will consistently confront sexual violence.
“I’ve realised that it is a massive problem at Universities generally, and have seen many things in the media to corroborate this. I therefore wanted to try and raise awareness and help in any way I can.”
No Grey Area will also focus on highlighting the definition of sexual violence according to the University’s policy.
A No Grey Area campaign video will be released. It will feature numerous students and members of staff who, besides from giving advice to people who may have experienced sexual violence, will make it explicitly clear when to report it.
In October 2016, the UUK Taskforce (Universities UK) published a report noting that universities didn’t always take a coherent and systematic approach to sexual violence across their whole institution.
UUK recommended that universities had visible reporting mechanisms in place for students, and staff who were appropriately trained and sufficiently aware of the support available.
In November 2017, Bangor University appointed a Student Equality and Diversity Officer, Helen Munro, based within the Student Support Team at Student Services. The focus of Helen’s role is to provide a specialised central support contact for sexual violence, harassment and hate crime. She is trained to receive disclosures of sexual violence and provide support to those affected. She can also advise students on the various reporting options and support them through those processes.
Helen told us that: “work carried out in this area since 2016 has meant that the University can build on the very excellent pastoral support already available to students by ensuring that approaches are co-ordinated and staff are trained and supported to respond effectively to all reports of sexual
“The clear guidelines published by UUK encouraged Universities to develop a range of reporting options. Bangor students can report the matter formally or just access support. Our response is always led by the student.”
Students can choose to formally report incidents of sexual violence to the police and/or to the University so that, where appropriate, action may be taken under their Disciplinary Procedures. Reports can also be submitted anonymously, if that is the students’ wish.
Helen Munro added: “Not all Universities have a full-time member of staff dedicated to the prevention and support for sexual violence, harassment and hate crime and the work we’re
doing here at Bangor University is progressive.”
The umbrella term, Sexual Violence, refers to various different sexual offences including, but not limited to, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, rape and domestic violence. It doesn’t have to be physically violent and indeed lower level sexual harassment such as cat-calling in the street or being touched by someone, inappropriately, also constitutes sexual violence
A report by The Student Room found that, nationally, 62% of all students have experienced sexual violence. The report found that only 6% of students who experienced sexual violence report it to their University or the police.
Students who may be affected by any of the issues raised in this article can contact Student Services for confidential advice and guidance.
Tel: 01248 38 2024