University pledge to tackle sexist culture
New training to help ‘meet the gap’
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