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Tackling sexual harassment and violence in higher education

Dr Pam Alldred, Brunel's Reader in Education & Youth Studies chaired and presented on the Brunel-led USVreact project at a one-day conference that brought delegates from universities around the country to London.

‘Tackling Sexual Harassment and Violence in Higher Education: Improving Reporting Systems and Supporting Survivors’ was organised by Public Policy Exchange. Around 40 delegates - holding posts such as Director of Student Services, Head of Student Complaints, Student Wellbeing Officer, Students’ Union Welfare or Campaign Officers - heard from Amy Norton, Senior HE Policy Advisor (Equality and Diversity) at the Office for Students, from speakers from Cambridge and Middlesex Universities about their actions to respond to and prevent sexual violence or harassment, and from campaign organisations Revolt Sexual Assault, re-shape, Forward and Culture Shift.

Pam presented on some of Brunel’s actions to support students, including the online and anonymous reporting platform and explained some of the lessons from the USVreact project, which has made interventions in 24 universities in Europe. Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee and Co-Chair of the APPG on Sexual Violence had been due to speak but was unfortunately not well enough to attend on the day. Over 100 projects to safeguard students were funded through the HEFCE Catalyst Fund since the Universities UK (2016) report ‘Changing The Culture’ and given the inspiring examples of campaigns and actions, no university can be short of ideas for how to tackle sexual harassment or sexual violence on campuses.

Reported by:

Dr Pam Alldred
+44 (0)1895 267270