Tuesday 23-02-2021 - 15:00
Singular Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy
Proposed by: Swansea University Students' Union
Please be advised this is not an NUS position, but a policy submitted to Liberation Conference 2021.
A Revolt study suggests 62% of students and recent graduates have experienced Sexual Misconduct and Violence while at University and only 6% of these students reported this to their University. Such a high figure raises the question of ‘how can we proactively and adequately prevent and subsequently support students in order to decrease this statistic?’
Why is this important to us as a movement?
We as Sabbatical Officers, alongside our Universities and Governments, have a duty to protect our students from becoming victims of Sexual Misconduct and Violence and if they are victims, to best support them to the highest of standards. With cases of Sexual Misconduct only increasing through lockdowns and stricter regulationsWithin my role as Welfare Officer, I’ve been involved in delivering preventative work in consent trainings alongside my colleague in the Union, I’ve also introduced a mandatory sexual misconduct module on our DLP Canvas. Furthermore, I have had a hands-on approach to editing and amending our own Union and University Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policies and a huge part of this was comparing our Policies and Procedures to that of other Universities through their respective Officers. This highlighted the inequalities of these Policies and thus, the disadvantages to the students affected by Sexual Misconduct because of their Policies.
It is from my perspective that a having a high-quality Policy which demands high quality support and procedures is the best way to tackle Sexual Misconduct statistics and a Singular Policy can allow all Institutions to do just that.
What would the world looked like if we solved it?
The first step is to tackle the inequalities in support and preventative measures across the whole body of higher education institutions in Wales. Introducing a singular policy for all Universities to follow as a guideline to creating the same standard of procedure. Due to the obvious variances in finances across higher education sectors The benefits for students is the confidence that their University will be held to account on their actions towards Sexual Misconduct – they will be assured they will be a system in place to best support them if they have ever experienced Sexual Misconduct.
Ideas for Implementation
NUS lobby the Government to provide additional funding in this area where needed upon assessment and applications from Universities. An example of this in execution would be the introduction of a Sexual Violence Staff Network – Welsh Universities without this important network would be in a position to receive additional funding from the Welsh Government to provide such a service as per policy requirements. This would be the same approach for any Welsh University in need of additional resource to meet the demands of the agreed-upon Policy.
NUS to push to get a Singular Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy in place and to get a working group together to structure a policy best fit to all institutions. Additionally, for the NUS to lobby the Government for additional funding to be provided to the UK Higher Education sector to support these initiatives on a case-by-case level.
If you are a Students’ Union and would like to put your name to this proposal, please complete this form