I am hoping to secure the help of 7 UK University Welfare Officers, or perhaps Student Union leaders, to contribute to my preliminary research into bullying and abuse in further education.
If you would like to know more, and perhaps to contribute, please contact me by return here, at LinkedIn or at john.L.firstname.lastname@example.org and / or 0203 051 3370.
No Institution wants to be known as a place of risk, but equally people need to know that their kith and kin are safe, and that there are measures in place to reduce risk to them and their property, and to keep them safe.
I want to find out how much information there is ‘out there’ and where I can find more. I will gladly share results with anyone who helps, and contributions will be attributed unless you would prefer anonymity; assured should you request it.
Married, I have four daughters. All of them attended/are attending UK further education establishments, during which time, each one of them experienced varying levels of anxiety through the actions of others. They are all also aware of serious examples, perpetrated against others, ranging from drink spiking to molestation, and worse. Whilst this is not a truly representative and randomised sample, it’s interesting that for 100% of female students (in this small sample), rites of passage, of one form or another, seem to have been the norm. Rites of passage are not and do not convey ‘rights’ of any kind for one person over another. This research is aimed at validating the situation and ascertaining the extent to which male students might suffer similar experiences.
There are not infrequent reports of instances of abuse and the responses to them, and some valuable research has been done by the National Union of Students. I am keen to validate such reports and the responses to them.
Some examples from the web:
- Guardian: Student sexual violence: ‘leaving each university to deal with it isn’t working’
- National Union of Students: 1 in 7 women students is a victim of sexual assault or violence
- Daily Telegraph: One in three UK female students sexually assaulted or abused on campus
Every University and College is committed to providing a safe environment for their students and staff, and to responding appropriately when needed, but it is unclear what preventative measures, short of advice and guidance, are provided in advance.
Every parent will be wary as to what might be awaiting their ‘innocent’ little boy or girl, when they arrive for freshers week, and it would be interesting to know what advice they receive and what advice they pass on to their wards and progeny, and what measures they might put in place.
In the USA, where investigation and prosecution of sexual attackers by universities is mandatory, research seems to indicate that the incidence of assaults is higher than in the UK, but effectively identifying and dealing with perpetrators, the clean up rate, is much lower, and establishments across the country are looking for new ways to prevent attacks, deter attacks, and, in the unfortunate event of an attack, to irrefutably tie the assailant to the crime – it is often the case that there is insufficient evidence to put the perpetrator, ‘in the room’, and insufficient other evidence on which to gain a successful prosecution. Other problems include false allegations and wrongful prosecution, and ruined lives on all sides.
I’d like to know what measures are being applied in the UK to achieve similar aims. As a concerned parent I’m interested in understanding the current state of affairs and finding out what is being done to reduce the risks to female and male students and staff in and by our proud institutes of learning.
Thank you in anticipation of your help and co-operation, and for your interest in my research. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
John L. Evans FCMI, FIC, FBCS CITP, MCIPS
+44 7957 190 186
+44 203 051 3370 (message service)
Barford, Warwickshire. CV35 8BU GB