Univer­sity pledge to tackle sex­ist cul­ture

New train­ing to help ‘meet the gap’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

BRUNEL Univer­sity is tack­ling the is­sue of rape on univer­sity cam­puses in re­sponse to the rise of sex­ist ‘lad’ and ha­rass­ment cul­ture.

The Uxbridge-based univer­sity won a €1.1mil­lion cash injection so Youth Stud­ies re­searcher Dr Pam All­dred can ‘meet the gap’ in how univer­si­ties re­spond to rape.

The re­searcher was awarded the grant from the Euro­pean Union’s Jus­tice Pro­gramme to de­velop new train­ing for univer­sity staff.

In Oc­to­ber, the Na­tional Union of Stu­dents (NUS) pub­lished re­search called “That’s what she said”, which re­vealed that 50% of study par­tic­i­pants iden­ti­fied “pre­vail­ing sex­ism, ‘lad­dism’ and a cul­ture of ha­rass­ment” at their univer­si­ties.

As re­ports of sex­ual vi­o­lence on cam­pus rise, so have re­ports of the gap in re­spon­sive and sen­si­tive stu­dent ser­vices and the ur­gency for Univer­si­ties to re­spond to this.

Ali Mil­iani, pres­i­dent of the Brunel Stu­dents Union, said: “Sex­ual vi­o­lence on univer­sity cam­puses has be­come an in­creas­ingly preva­lent is­sue, not be­cause of a mas­sive spike in in­ci­dents, but rather be­cause we are turn­ing a cor­ner in hav­ing frank and pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tions around the topic.

“Train­ing on how to be ef­fec­tive first re­spon­ders to re­ported cases is in­valu­able and we look for­ward to sup­port­ing Dr All­dred in the best way we can.”

This is where the ‘Univer­si­ties Sup­port­ing Vic­tims of Sex­ual Vi­o­lence (USVSV): Train­ing for Sus­tain­able Stu­dent Ser­vices’ comes in.

The pro­ject team will de­sign, de­velop and pi­lot train­ing for univer­sity staff to be ef­fec­tive ‘first re­spon­ders’ to re­ports of sex­ual vi­o­lence by their stu­dents.

Se­cu­rity, and re­fec­tory staff, ac­com­mo­da­tion and coun­selling ser­vices will all be in­cluded and it will be­come part of a Univer­sity’s staff de­vel­op­ment, so that they are trained to re­spond

bar sen­si­tively and ef­fec­tively to a stu­dent re­port­ing a sex­ual of­fence.

Dr Ruth Caleb, chair of Univer­si­ties UK’s men­tal well­be­ing work­ing group and head of coun­selling at Brunel sup­ports the re­search.

She “All univer­si­ties a re­spon­si­bil­ity to un­der­stand that sex­ual ha­rass­ment and vi­o­lence are is­sues that need to be chal­lenged, and that ex­cel­lent train­ing is re­quired for univer­sity staff to sup­port and re­spond to a stu­dent dis­clos­ing such abuse.

“I am de­lighted that Dr All­dred has been suc­cess­ful in her bid to de­sign, de­velop and pi­lot train­ing for univer­sity staff to be ef­fec­tive ‘first re­spon­ders’ to re­ports of sex­ual vi­o­lence by their stu­dents and I am look­ing for­ward to work­ing with her on this cru­cial ini­tia­tive.”

Brunel and Sus­sex Univer­sity will lead a re­view of re­search on best prac­tice in first re­spon­der sup­port and re­fer­ral and re­port to part­ners. said:

have LO­CAL fundrais­ers the North­wood Lions Club is rais­ing aware­ness of the Satur­day Mar­kets.

Dubbed the ‘Lions Den’, it takes place ev­ery Satur­day at 195 Pin­ner Road in North­wood (near the Iron Bridge) from 9.45am un­til 11.45am and sells a va­ri­ety of goods, as well as tea, coffee and home­made cakes.

The mar­ket run by Olive Fair­clough and a ded­i­cated band of vol­un­teers is the group’s main in­come stream for the cash it gives to lo­cal good causes.

A spokes­woman said: “North­wood Lions had a busy year. We held store col­lec­tions at Sains­bury’s Pin­ner and Waitrose North­wood – and were fea­tured as one of Waitrose’s com­mu­nity char­i­ties.

“We’ve had stalls at three sum­mer fêtes – Uxbridge Auto Show, East­cote Cricket Club and Pin­ner Vil­lage Show, where we en­joyed meet­ing the pub­lic and ex­plain­ing what Lions Clubs do – which is raise money and then give it away to char­ity.

“Among the or­gan­i­sa­tions we have sup­ported are – Paul Strick­land Scan­ner Ap­peal; Chil­dren of Fire; North­wood Live at Home; Sun­shine School for the Blind; Guide Dogs; Macmil­lan Nurses; Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety; Breast Can­cer Now; lo­cal scout groups and many oth­ers.”

The group gives away around £25,000 a year to its cho­sen char­i­ties and has done for the past eight years.

More events are planned for the sum­mer and the group is also in need of goods to sell.

If you can help by do­nat­ing or vol­un­teer­ing call Robert on 07860 324395. For more in­for­ma­tion see www. north­woodlions.org.uk.

n DED­I­CATED: North­wood Lions vol­un­teers Elis­a­beth and Olive with cakes for sale

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