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Universities Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence

Funding body

European Commission (VICT DAPHNE)

Investigator(s)

Principal investigator: Pam Alldred
Co-investigator: Dr Alison Phipps - Sussex University
 

Project description

This project will design, develop and pilot training for university staff to be effective 'first responders' to sexual violence that occurs within university populations.

This project will design, develop and pilot training for university staff to be effective 'first responders' to sexual violence that occurs within university populations. 

Brunel University London and Sussex University will lead a review of research on best practice in first responder support and referral and report to partners. Then each of the seven European university 'lead partners' in Greece, Italy, Spain, the UK will design a training programme appropriate for their country context informed by the report and in conjunction with the sexual violence support services in their region. Training for university staff who provide security, bar and refectory staff, accommodation and counselling services will be fine-tuned to suit the staff and service context in the six Associate Partner universities, and research staff from the Partner universities will study the success of these pilots. Training approaches may differ according to particular national or institutional cultures and infrastructures. However, each university will be using the training materials developed in their region, and local trainers will be encouraged to employ participatory methods and to elicit reflection by attendees. Researchers in the lead partner universities will study the experience of developing and delivering training in each university in their region. Each university's own Staff Development or Training and Human Resources teams will be involved in the delivery of the training and the idea is that they take ownership of it, integrating it into their regular staff training for successive cohorts of staff. The primary outcome is the embedding of a new training course within broader staff training portfolios run for university employees, having ensured permanent staff were skilled and confident to deliver training on this, and the secondary outcomes are an audit of university policies and care pathways, and qualitative research on the experience of training on responding to sexual violence and on how to disseminate good practice in culturally appropriate ways. In addition to the countries above, training and resources will be piloted and made publicly available in Latvian and Serbian.