Stand Up, Speak Up

Stand Up, Speak Up is a campaign put together to eliminate oppression and discrimination and to remove the barriers specifically faced by women, non-binary students and all that identify with ‘woman’ at UCB.

What do we want to achieve?

By the end of this campaign, we will have…

  • An active women’s society
  • Passed a policy around the campaign and the work we will commit to do within the Guild as well as lobbying UCB to make change
  • Implemented a Zero Tolerance Policy within the Guild
  • Implemented a Zero Tolerance Policy within UCB
  • A reporting procedure for harassment, sexual violence and domestic violence that is inclusive.
  • Understood the use of Non-Disclose Acts (NDAs) at UCB
  • A commitment from UCB to ensure that they will not use Non-Disclose Acts to silence victims of harassment and sexual violence
  • Delivered a programme of bystander intervention training
  • Delivered a programme of consent training
  • Raised awareness around the potential dangers of the city, which is including but not limited to spiking, hazing, safety on nights out, etc.

What has been achieved so far?

  • Passed a Sarah Everard Policy which you can find here (link).
  • Passed a Zero Tolerance Policy within the Guild.
  • Worked with UCB on their harassment and sexual violence policy which you can find here (link).
  • Understood the use of NDA’s at UCB.

What are we currently working towards?

  • We are currently working towards raising awareness of safety issues. This has come to the forefront of our priorities after hearing the cases of spiking has risen.
  • Currently working on communications to send out around staying safe within the city
  • We are finalising our Bystander intervention training to feed out to students via graduate advantage sessions.
  • We are currently organising the reclaim the night by getting an organising committee together.

Why does this matter?

Sexual harassment and domestic violence have been a problem for years; however, the murder of a 33-year-old woman named Sarah Everard (1) has captured the attention of our students as well as people nationally and globally. The Crime Survey for England and Wales conducted by the Office for National statistics from the year ending March 2018 to the year ending March 2020 showed that both men and women aged 16 to 19 years (2.9% and 12.9% respectively) and 20 to 24 years (2.6% and 10.5% respectively) were significantly more likely to be victims of sexual assault than any other age group (2). Our student demographic is primarily (but not limited to) students ageing 16 to 24, with 67% of our students self-defined as female (3), which means our students are statistically at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted. After further research into statistics around students, it shows 7% of female students experienced a serious sexual assault, and 12% of female students have been subjected to stalking (2010 NUS Hidden Marks Report) (4). The Office for Students (5) have reported that in a survey conducted in 2019 of over 5,000 students, by sexual health charity Brook and the Dig-In database, it found that 56% of students experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at university, more than half (53%) of respondents said the perpetrator of the unwanted sexual behaviour was another student. Almost a third (30%) of the reported incidents took place on campus. A recent survey (6) found that 95% of women don’t feel safe on the streets at night, and 65% don’t even feel safe during the day. 73% worry about being raped and almost half say they sometimes don’t want to go out because they fear for their own safety.

 

References-

  1. Sarah Everard: How a woman's death sparked a nation's soul-searching - BBC News
  2. Sexual offences victim characteristics, England and Wales - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
  3. Where do HE students study? | HESA
  4. Hidden Marks: a study of women students’ experiences of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault @ NUS Connect
  5. Reclaim The Night (londonfeministnetwork.org.uk)