Do you feel safe on campus?
When you first come to university, you probably don't give much thought to your safety on campus.
The excitement of this new experience, meeting new people, being away from home and not having to answer to anyone tend to be the main things that come to mind when you arrive at uni, right?
The university experience should be about self-exploration and enjoying this time in your life, however, for some, the experience isn't so pleasant. The number of reports regarding campus safety and sexual violence has increased, resulting in the need for the awareness and message surrounding this subject to be increased, especially regarding consent.
Research completed by Revolt Sexual Assault and The Student Room points out the truth about the scale of sexual violence experiences at UK universities; it seems like this is much more serious than originally thought.
The research revealed that only...
Sexual violence can include groping, harassment, unwanted touching, coercion, sexual assault, and rape. Knowing the difference between an incident and 'a joke' exchange can be unclear to some people but it's important to report it if/when you feel it isn't ok. Out of 4,500 students, 62% of these experienced sexual violence at university and shockingly only 1 in 10 students had reported their experience to the university or the police - something that needs to change.
Making yourself aware of the support services on campus is essential. Usually, in Freshers Week, they provide you with an overload of information; one of these being the support on offer to you all year round. If you missed this, then refreshing your memory may be a good idea, even if you need the services for a completely different reason.
What do you do?
We've all heard of the 'No Means No' campaign. This encourages victims to come forward and report incidents with the confidence that they will receive specialist support in return. It also makes people aware that, when someone says 'no', it means no. Understanding that both parties need to give consent and understanding this is crucial, whether it's setting personal boundaries, or making things clear, you get the final say on what happens with your body.
Safety > everything
Being safe on campus and feeling safe is very important. There are a few simple things that you can do to help yourself. Nobody should experience sexual violence at university, especially when you should be having an amazing time and we want to help to prevent that!
Whenever in doubt, remember these:
- Make yourself aware of campus security and how to get in touch with them
The quickest and easiest way to contact Gatehouse, our campus security team, is to download the SafeZone app. Scroll down for more details!
- Never walk alone, especially at night. Make sure you're always part of a group as you have safety in numbers.
- If you experience something at a social event, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible and make security aware.
- Understand the meaning of consent; if you don't want to do anything or something doesn't feel right then don't do it. No matter how intoxicated you are or how much you know the person, you can always say no.
- Talk to yourself exactly like you would a friend. If they experienced this, you would tell them to report it and that it wasn't their fault, so now is a time to take your own advice.
SafeZone is an incredibly useful app that all students at UofG should have downloaded to their phones.
You can use the SafeZone app 24 hours per day on campus, at our accommodation residences, or anywhere in between, to alert campus security to any incidents.
- The blue button is for general enquiries if you have any questions or need help in a non-emergency situation, such as you're a little lost.
- The red button is for emergencies and shares your location with the security team so they can find and assist you as quickly as possible. There's also the option to call emergency services. If you are not within range of the campus the app will call 999 for you, but the security team here at UofG will still be alerted and they'll get in touch to check if you're okay.
- The green button is for first aid if you or someone around you needs medical assistance.
The app is free, GDPR compliant and completely safe to use.
It's important to make sure you are being and feel safe on or around campus. There are people out there who can help you if you are ever worried or have any issues, so always speak to someone.
You are not alone.
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