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Beth Bacon revisits the NeverOK campaign - Concrete

Beth Bacon revisits the NeverOK campaign

How do you follow up with someone that has been sexually harassed or assaulted in the LCR?

There’s a number of ways that we can follow up with someone – almost all of what happens next is down to the survivor to define what they want to happen. Students can anonymously report any incident so we can keep accurate records and understand the scope of the problem, students can be supported to report the incident via the NeverOk system or students can be supported to seek outside, specialist support if they wish to. The decision rests with the student and we’ll support them as much as we can.

I have heard that Holly Myers set up the Alcohol Impact Crew? How has this benefited UEA students?

We can’t respond to this as it’s a breach of our rules on discussing staff.

Are there any other campaigns or plans you have in the making for UEA to help reduce the number of sexual harassment cases?

NeverOK is our umbrella campaign that encapsulates a whole host of different activities. From changing policies in both UEA and uea(su) to raising awareness within our clubs and societies of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour – we’ve done a great deal. Make no mistake, there’s a lot left to do, but we’ve made a good start.

If there was one way you could improve the Never OK campaign what would it be?

It sounds easy but – getting more people involved! The more people that engage in NeverOK the better as we’re challenging a pervasive culture, so the more people that join us in offering an alternative way, the quicker we can bring about change!

If there is one thing you could tell young people that might help reduce the likelihood of them sexual harassing someone else what would it be?

I suppose I’d say – it’s important that you consider the way that other people around you perceive your behaviour or actions. Seeking consent for your actions and words is so important and making people feel comfortable is good for everyone so just take time to learn, think about things from other people’s perspective and make choices that are comfortable for everyone involved.

What makes sexual assault even more worrying is the fear that many people have of reporting their experiences. The BBC recently released an article revealing that ‘research suggests that almost half of women – 49% – say they have been touched inappropriately in comparison to 3% of men – but only 5% reported it.’

These numbers are staggering. Half of women being sexually assaulted is simply unacceptable. Furthermore, the fact that such a small percentage of this number feel brave enough to speak out about these incidents demonstrates just how far we have to go to empower victims of sexual crimes.

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