University launches strategy to tackle sexual violence

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Dave Keenan and Jess Logan with Jill Stevenson (Student Support Services), who introduced the event. Photo: Stuart Graham.

The University of Stirling has today launched its new strategy on tackling sexual misconduct, alongside its #IsThisOK campaign.

The new strategy was, as Union President Dave Keenan said, brought about due to a demand from students.

He said: “Students have pushed for this strategy, and it is students who have been the driving force for this campaign”.

The new strategy sees the launch of a new microsite on the university’s website, which contains links to the new strategy’s key objectives, information on sexual consent, advice for victims of abuse and their friends, and links to resources from Police Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland.

Vice Chancellor Gerry McCormac said the campaign symbolised the university’s commitment to “tackling all forms of sexual misconduct”, and to further the university’s aims of equality, inclusion and respect.

He said: “Universities are agents for change, and have an important role in changing attitudes; through education and open dialogue, we can play a leading role in preventing and responding to sexual violence and harassment.

“The welfare and safety of our staff and students of all genders, nationalities, sexual orientations and backgrounds is hugely important to us all at Stirling, and we have a range of services that help our students study and socialise in a supportive environment”.

The strategy aims to develop guidance for victims and their friends about how to deal with effects of sexual misconduct, to provide training for staff and students, make reporting easier, and raise awareness through their #IsThisOK campaign.

Gerry McCormac said the #IsThisOK campaign was to make students ask “Is this OK? And if the answer is ‘no’, [ensuring students have] the knowledge and confidence to do something about it”.

Dave Keenan said the strategy “reaffirms our commitment, along with the university, to ensure our campus is a safe environment for everyone that lives, studies and works here, and to tackle unacceptable behaviour”.

Also in attendance were representatives from Police Scotland and Rape Crisis Forth Valley, alongside the Stirling Council Provost and university partners.

The full strategy can be found on the Stirling website.

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