How did it start?
In Spring 2019 students launching the campaign had initial meetings with the 2018/19 Student’s Union President to discuss their experience with sexual violence at university and what could be done about it. The President and other officers helped the students start a campaign in which they reached out to other students who would want to get involved to discuss what changes they wanted to see on campus.
Since then more students have joined the campaign and they are working together with Student’s Union and University of Leicester staff with the aims of seeing change and progress on our campus surrounding the stigma and attitude towards sexual violence and improved support for survivors.
Research that founded the Campaign:
In 2018, the NUS and the 1752 Group produced ground-breaking research on the prevalence of staff-student misconduct and sexual violence in UK higher education at a national level.
41% of respondents (752 out of 1839 respondents who were current or past HE students. Power in the academy: staff sexual misconduct in UK Higher Education, April 2018) had at least one experience of sexualised behaviour from a University staff member. This percentage is even higher for postgraduates, LGBT+ students, and women.
From this research the campaign developed with further research to explore what other universities have in place. The 2016/17 European commission project Universities Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence includes a report detailing the implementation of Sexual Violence prevention and support training administered across several universities world-wide (inc. Keele, York, Brunel, York St Johns, Lancaster, Brighton). The report demonstrated that Keele University had the strongest response to sexual violence, and our research on their university facilities inspired some of the demands articulated by the campaign to generate change on University of Leicester campus. Keele operates its own Sexual Violence Prevention Team, who are dedicated to preventing as well as supporting victims of sexual violence cases. In addition to this they had university staff training, how to notice when a student displays signs of being a survivor, student awareness events and bystander awareness training. Lime culture highly recommends Keele University's efforts.
Research was also carried out to improve nightlife for students attending the O2 Academy on campus. Good Night Out is a NUS affiliated programme that offer intervention training specific to venue staff and have GNO accreditation. The aim from this research was to look over current policies and work with teams to create a best practices policy and training procedures, it would then be the venue's job to maintain and enforce this. Training would hopefully be enforced for O2 staff and the Students' Union's staff - Club Crew.