Sexual violence at universities across the United Kingdom is a common issue that is set to be addressed. Sexual harassment and assault are issues that are often left unspoken, unresolved and normalised within society by the attitude that it is simply part of student life.
A new survey is being conducted by Revolt Sexual Assault in partnership with The Student Room. The study aims to assess the extent of sexual harassment and assault on UK campuses and therefore the charity behind the survey are seeking students to get involved. Students’ participation in this research is so incredibly valuable: it gives evidence that can drive much-needed reform in higher education policy relating to sexual violence. It can compel universities to provide more support for survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
This survey is the first of its kind to be conducted in a decade, in an attempt to shed greater awareness on the commonness of experiencing and witnessing sexual violence on and around university campuses but also, to what rate these crimes are being reported.
The charity Revolt Sexual Assault was founded by Hannah Price, a Bristol student journalist who wanted to create a way to bring the issue of sexual assault and harassment into the public eye. What began as a simple campaign on her Bristol University campus has received such a positive response that it since has grown into a national movement.
The charity began by using Snapchat to allow students to voice their own experience of sexual violence, protected by filters, facial and voice obscuration in order to conceal their identities for safety.
“I am done with this behaviour being the norm and so should you because #ItsRevolting”
Hannah Price, Founder of Revolt Sexual Assault
Using the influence of the social media platform Snapchat, as social media use is second nature to millennials but they also use it helps the organisation to reach a larger population and to humanise the issue that so often remains silenced.
A recent study, the ‘Changing the culture’ report showed an initiative in higher education institutes to tackle the issue, however this report did not accurately represent student voices. Whereas, the Revolt study represent the frequency of sexual assault and harassment occurring at UK universities with student personal input. Price stated, “I am done with this behaviour being the norm and so should you because #ItsRevolting”.
The ultimate goal is to drive higher education policy reform to provide a basic standard of care to students, and to introduce extensive education on what constitutes consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault. But mostly, the charity states their desire is to create a society where filters and digital disguises are not necessary, where victims will feel secure and supported in coming forward with confidence that they will be cared for and heard.
The survey is open to current and former students who have studied at UK universities, anonymity is guaranteed for all participants. If you wish to be included, head to revoltsexualassault.com before February 16th to help raise awareness on this ever-growing issue.