Challenging Gender-Based Violence within the Campus Transition




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Peer reviewed



Sexual assault, harassment and violence on university campuses is a prevalent and pressing concern. A recent Universities UK taskforce report recommended that urgent action in this area is needed and universities are significant sites for implementing a joined up approach. As a campus of Changemakers, inter-disciplinary researchers and support staff at University of Northampton decided to take action to address this significant and important issue. As one of only 60 institutions across the country to be awarded funding from HEFCE’s Catalyst fund, our ‘New Spaces: Safeguarding Students from Violence and Hate’ cross collaborative project aimed to create vital partnerships in tackling sexual violence and hate crime on campus. The aims of the project were to evaluate existing policies and develop a student-led collaborative approach to identify what currently happens when disclosures are made; staff and student perceptions and experiences within the campus transition; as well as provide recommendations for new institutional policies, strategies and recommendations to support students in reporting harassment, sexual abuse, sexual violence and hate crime. As part of this work, a survey of the existing literature, as well as an evaluation of existing processes and policies at The University of Northampton were carried out. Additional data collection involved 2 Staff and 2 student focus groups, as well as 11 interviews with members of the senior management team. These were conducted to discuss the nature and extent of issues at the University of Northampton, what support was in place for disclosures and recommendations for future practice within the new campus space. One of the student focus groups utilised photo-elicitation methods to allow students to visually conceptualise and create a new, safe campus space for the campus transition. This paper will present findings from the report compiled from this research and some reflections on the research process. An overview of the potential impact this project has, as well as the impact of this data on institutional processes and support mechanisms will also be provided. Recommendations and implications for future work and the HE sector will be discussed.



Sexual Violence, Higher Education


Crofts, M., Hill, K. (2018) Challenging Gender-Based Violence within the Campus Transition. Dilemmas Conference, Northampton University, September 2018.


Research Institute