LimeCulture was delighted to deliver a workshop for Universities UK focusing on supporting the response to sexual violence. The fully booked workshop took place on 24 March in London with engagement from a large number of universities from across the UK.
The aim of the workshop was to explore how to ensure universities can deliver an effective strategic response to sexual violence (as described in chapter 5 of Changing the Culture) that embeds clear lines of accountability, appropriate governance structures, and understanding and ownership of risk across all relevant university functions.
Kim Doyle, LimeCulture’s joint Chief Executive, explained the multiple challenges for universities in responding to sexual violence. Recognising that each university has a responsibility to their staff and their students to respond appropriately to any disclosure of sexual violence, LimeCulture emphasised the importance of effective support for victims/survivors – not solely relating to the educational needs, but also the wider support needs which might include access to a forensic medical examination, psychological therapies and mental health support or, indeed, sexual health services. It could also include a police investigation and potentially a court case as well as internal disciplinary proceedings. Building on the experience of work we have undertaken in this area with the University of Greenwich and Keele University, the UUK workshop explored how to achieve a university-wide response to incidents of sexual violence.
The workshop also included presentations from Ian Munton and Claire Slater (Keele University’s student services) who brought to the workshop the benefit of their own experiences of developing and implementing an effective institution-wide response to sexual violence. Their views and learning proved to be invaluable to colleagues who are involved in this work. Keele University, who has opted to implement the Sexual Violence Liaison Officer – SVLO Model in order to provide an effective response to their students/staff who have experienced sexual violence, have been widely praised for the work they have done in this area.
The feedback that we have received from many of the representatives of universities who attended has been overwhelmingly positive. It is clear that the opportunity to discuss these difficult – yet hugely important – issues was very much welcomed by the universities who recognise their responsibility and are clearly keen to respond appropriately to victims/survivors of sexual violence.
For more information about LimeCulture’s training for University Staff, please visit our website http://limeculture.co.uk/training-development