Content warning: sexual assualt
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Sarah Everard and everyone impacted by the news. The issue of violence against women has been brought to the forefront of our minds.
Devastatingly, this isn’t an isolated case and many women have witnessed or have been subjected to some form of sexual harassment, violence or abuse. A recent YouGov poll found 97% of women surveyed had been sexually harassed.
“The YouGov survey...exposes a damning lack of faith in the UK authorities’ desire and ability to deal with sexual harassment – 96% of respondents did not report incidents, with 45% saying it would not change anything.” - Guardian
As an all-female leadership team at your Students’ Guild, we couldn’t and won’t stay silent on this matter. If you’ve ever had to change your behaviour to try and feel safe or if you’ve survived sexual assault, abuse or harassment, we stand in solidarity with you.
We condemn the rhetoric around victim blaming of Sarah Everard and many, many others. We’re considering our role in preventing these attacks in the first place through training, awareness raising and community building. Your safety is our number one priority.
We want you to feel and be safe in our community. We encourage you to speak to us or the University, it’s important to report to get the support you may need.
We’ve compiled a list of support, resources, actions and how to be an ally below. If you have any additional suggestions, email email@example.com.
Your Students' Guild Full-Time Officers
Support and resources:
University’s Speak Out pathway to reporting as a student and more information here on Speak Out
University of Exeter Sexual Misconduct Policy and Resources
University’s Wellbeing Service
Peer to peer support network with our SAFE society
Students’ Guild Advice Service
Our stay safe webpage full of resources
Rape Crisis Centre
The Survivors Trust
National Stalking Helpline
Read, listen and watch:
UN’s campaign on Safe Spaces
Ben Hurst ‘Boys won’t be boys. Boys will be what we teach them to be.’
Tony Porter ‘A Call to Men’ (CW includes difficult depictions of sexual objectification of a child and of rape)
Gina Martin ‘They told me to change my clothes. I changed the law instead.’
Good Lad Initiative
Cheer Up Luv podcast
University’s Intervention Toolkit from SSIS
What you can do to be an ally or take action:
Research and learn.
Believe women if they confide in you their stories.
Watch videos, listen to podcasts, read blogs and books.
Attend workshops and training, like this from Beyond Equality.
Organise training for your student group.
Be an active bystander- challenge misogynistic behaviour or talk.
Raising the issues with your friends and talking about it.
Attend events and marches like Reclaim these Streets 13 March in London.
Donate or promote charities and services who support women and victims of abuse, violence or harassment.
Talk to your MP or local authority about what they’re doing to tackle hate crimes and protect women.