We all want to feel safe at university, particularly as most of us are miles away from home. But recent news regarding sexual harassment allegations in UK universities makes us feel far from that.
Take a typical night out at the LCR: it’s difficult enough to deal with the occasional butt-pinch or inappropriate comment – all of which are absolutely condemned – with music blaring, low-key lighting, and crowds of people surrounding you. However, I am most appalled at the rates of staff-on-student and staff-on-staff harassment allegations, revealed by the Guardian; albeit that UEA has had a minimal number of reports thus far, compared to the rates at other universities.
The serious nature of every single allegation should be firmly acknowledged, but I simply do not believe that this is true in most cases. As a representative for the students union admits, incidents are not as highly reported as they anticipate because “for every case reported, another goes unreported.”
In too many UK cases, if a victim reports a case of harassment the perpetrator remains at the university, meanwhile the victim’s education or career is compromised.
I believe that harsher policies need to be put in place to ensure that every report is dealt with appropriately, anonymously and compassionately.