Universities

LimeCulture are proud to have worked with a number of universities to support the development of their strategic response to sexual misconduct, associated policies and procedures, risk management approaches, and case management.  

LimeCulture offers training and consultancy services to universities and Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to ensure they are able to respond effectively and appropriately to members of their communities of staff and students, who are victims of sexual violence or misconduct.  

In addition to an accredited training programme, we can work with you to deliver the required project or services that you want and need. If you would like to discuss your requirements in further detail, please contact us or email universities@limeculture.co.uk

Risk and need identification and management are an essential part of any university’s response to reports of sexual misconduct. Effective support from the university should be based on an awareness of their student or staff member’s overall needs as well as an awareness of the degree of risk that they may face or present to themselves and / or others.

The Sexual Misconduct Risk and Needs Assessment is a topic-based risk and needs assessment Tool published by LimeCulture Community Interest Company.  The development work has been sector led.  It is intended to support universities to identify and manage the individual risks and needs of students and staff who report sexual misconduct. It can support universities to manage individual and organisational risks associated with cases of sexual misconduct from the point of initial report to the conclusion of any discipline process or the point at which parties may leave the institution.

The Tool can also be used to identify and manage the individual risks and needs of responding parties.

It is based on the principle that risk and needs assessments should be structured and approached as consistently as possible over a period of time and across different settings and different universities. A consistent approach to risk and needs identification (and their management) will enable better understanding of both parties needs and also assist in case management and prioritisation.

All staff delivering support to reporting or responding parties, and those staff who sit on risk management panels should receive relevant training around risk and needs assessment and management relating to sexual violence at intervals of no more than 3 years.

Use of this tool is not mandated but we recommend that all universities adopt it as part of their routine practice to support effective and consistent risk and need identification, inform the support put in place, and the overall management of risk within a university.

 Download the Free Sexual Misconduct Risk and Needs Assessment (PDF 300K) 

Copies of editable planning templates and illustrative case studies will be uploaded soon.

For further information please contact us at universities@limeculture.co.uk

LimeCulture are delighted to share with you details of our SVLO LimeLight Awards winners.

This year’s LimeLight Awards were presented by Dame Vera Baird QC, the Victims Commissioner for England and Wales at our inaugural SVLO Conference ‘The Sexual Violence Liaison Officer Model: Sharing the Learning and Enabling Progress’ on 10th December 2019 at Woburn House.

LimeLight Awards

The LimeLight Awards were introduced by LimeCulture CIC to universities for the first time this year with the aim of acknowledging the outstanding contributions and achievements of professionals working within the sexual violence field. LimeCulture are keen to continue to celebrate the excellence, dedication and commitment to supporting victims of sexual misconduct demonstrated by SVLOs through their work.

There are 3 LimeLight Awards:

  • Award for an individual SVLO/SVMLO
    • Winner: Pete Mandeville, University of Oxford
  • Award for a SVLO/SVMLO Team
    • Winner: University of Stirling
  • Award for a SVLO/SVMLO Manager
    • Winner: Annie Jennings, London South Bank University

LimeCulture’s view is that SVLOs/SVMLOs and their services deserve to be properly recognised for the important, challenging and professional work they do to support those who have experienced sexual violence.  The LimeLight Awards are intended to be a first step in the direction of professional recognition of SVLOs and SVMLOs and their services.

Bespoke Strategic Development Days

It is clear that each University and Higher Education Institution (HEI) has a responsibility to their staff and their students to respond appropriately to any disclosure of sexual violence or misconduct. 

Over and above supporting a victim in relation to their educational needs, a university will also need to consider the wider support needs of a victim / survivor following sexual violence.   This might include access to a forensic medical examination, psychological therapies and mental health support or sexual health services. It could also include a police investigation and potentially a criminal court case, as well as internal disciplinary proceedings.  

Importantly, each University and HEI will need to ensure that they have acted appropriately and their involvement has not done anything to undermine a future criminal prosecution or contaminate evidence relating to the sexual offence in the event that the victim wants to report the matter to the police at any point either now or in the future.  Because university staff could potentially be called as witnesses in a trial, robust record keeping will need to be in place to account for any involvement the University or HEI has had in relation to a sexual assault.

As part of the strategic work that LimeCulture CIC has undertaken separately with individual universities, Universities UK, and AMOSHEE we are able to assist universities and HEIs to develop sexual violence strategies, and successfully implement their policies.

LimeCulture offer a one day workshop to universities who wish to work on developing their local response (both internal and external) to sexual violence or misconduct. To make the most of the session representatives from across the university should attend. The university is best placed to decide who should attend. However LimeCulture would recommend as a starting point representatives from:

  • Student Services
  • HR
  • Academics
  • Counselling services
  • Student Union

Each workshop is carefully designed around the specific needs of the host university, which will be discussed in the planning phase of the workshop.

During the day we begin with input from LimeCulture facilitators looking at the policy context, the role of universities in responding to sexual violence, and the national picture.  Next, we spend some time discussing the local picture at the host university, leadership, current provision, identifying gaps in service and agreeing what else needs to be put in place.

If required, we can focus the workshop on developing an overarching strategy, encompassing partnerships, referrals and case management. Informed by local requirements, we deliver a session about developing and delivering a strategic plan, working together to identify the key challenges, understand what effective service models might look like, and developing innovative solutions.

The workshop also includes a final session where LimeCulture facilitates some action planning, supporting local leaders to identify responsibility for delivery against their requirements, and looking at how attendees might work together to deliver the plan. The aim of this part of the workshop, is to capture the agreed elements of an action plan so that the host university is able to harness the energy and commitment of the workshop and move forwards with this crucial area of work.

The cost of the Development Day is £2,000 + VAT.

This will include:

  • The services of two experienced facilitators for one day
  • A planning and development session with the facilitators and the event organisers beforehand.

“LimeCulture’s Strategic Development Day has acted as a catalyst for change within our University.  The expertise of Kim and Stephanie was clear to everyone who attended – our facilitators offered focussed, challenging guidance, supporting us to identify practical and meaningful actions need to create a cross university strategy which responds safely and effectively to sexual violence. The opportunity to bring members of the University community together in this way has been incredibly valuable and the impact continues to be felt months afterwards – the day creating a lasting awareness for all who attended with colleagues using the day as a clear way-marker, a central point around which to focus our continuing change.” London South Bank University January 2017

If you think we can help or you would like to discuss this further please email us on universities@limeculture.co.uk

Sexual Violence Liaison Officers / Sexual Misconduct Liaison Officers

SVLO / SVMLO are university staff who have undergone specific, specialist training to enable them to support students or staff members who report that they have been subject to sexual misconduct.  The SVLO / SVMLO is uniquely placed to be able to offer advice about relevant policies and procedures in place at the university, and can help reporting students / staff make informed choices about their options relating to their education/work and other aspects of their lives.  They can also ensure that reporting students / staff are aware of the support available to them in the community, whether that is specialist sexual violence support or other mainstream services.

SVLO / SVMLO staff will usually work in another role at the university, and have these responsibilities in addition to their core role, although they should always have dedicated time available to do the role, and appropriate supervision.  The structures in place at a University to respond to reports of sexual misconduct and manage risk often work more effectively when SVLO / SVMLO teams are in place.

LimeCulture is delighted to be able to share with universities and HEIs a copy of the model job description for SVLO/SVMLOs.  Please click here to download a Word version. 

LimeCulture offers accredited training to SVLO / SVMLO, please click here to learn more about the course and to book a place.

If you need further information about our training courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

“Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) roles are downplayed, overlooked and underestimated. University and institutions call it doing their job, but I call it saving a life.”
IW, University Student, 2018

Sexual Misconduct Proceedings

It is vital that staff who carry out any form of disciplinary process on behalf of their organisations can ensure that cases of sexual misconduct are handled appropriately.

For universities administering student conduct cases, there will be cases where the organisation has responsibility for the reported or responding person, as well as having responsibility for the individual student or member of staff who reports sexual misconduct.

This means that the management of proceedings addressing reports of sexual misconduct will require the organisation to strike a balance in order to meet the needs of either or both parties as well as the organisation’s responsibilities. Such cases can only be achieved through careful handling of the case (case management), clear organisational processes that are meticulously applied and concluded with open and transparent findings.

Staff in these roles will need to have the skills and knowledge to ensure that their actions in such proceedings are clearly documented, evidenced and robust against challenge.

We can work with your organisation to ensure that your staff who may be involved or required to carry out sexual misconduct proceedings are equipped to do so sensitively, fairly and practically to meet the needs of all parties involved. We can work with your staff to ensure that any work undertaken as part of sexual misconduct proceedings does not have a detrimental impact on potential future court proceedings.

For further information or to discuss your requirements please email universities@limeculture.co.uk

Case Management

During Spring 2018 LimeCulture CIC and Intersol Global Limited worked with colleagues at Keele University to conduct a comprehensive review of the introduction of a case management approach at Keele as a part of the University’s response to sexual misconduct in the University community. 

The review looked in particular at the role of the case manager, the interface of the case manager role and the SVLO role and the management of sexual misconduct cases in light of the Pinsent Mason guidance. The report highlights what worked well, where there were gaps and made recommendations to enhance the current process.

It is the view of LimeCulture and Intersol that the Student Services team at Keele University, led by Ian Munton (now at Staffordshire University) and Claire Slater, should be commended for their proactive and ground-breaking approach to tackling sexual misconduct in their University community.  It was clear that there is overwhelming enthusiasm and commitment from both the University and Student Union staff at Keele to ensure victims / survivors of sexual misconduct from the University community have access to a safe, effective and accessible service to support them following their experience of sexual misconduct, and to provide an appropriate organisational response to the management of risk and the provision of appropriate actions under the University disciplinary code for students.

Keele has taken a difficult role at the forefront of developing the higher education sector response to issues of sexual misconduct and continues to share the learning from their experience with the sector by publishing this report for the benefit of colleagues also working in this field.

If you have any questions please email universities@limeculture.co.uk

The report is available to download by clicking this link Keele Report Publication