The National Union of Students has launched a campaign against gender based violence on UK campuses. The campaign is called “Reclaim Your Campus” and focuses on 16 days of activism against gender violence, taking place from 25th November to 10th December.
The campaign’s aim is to raise awareness of violence against women, to help build stronger connections between student unions and support services in the local area and get students to encourage their institutions to sign the Reclaim Your Campus pledge.
By signing the pledge, institutions are committing to tackling ten demands which include a zero-tolerance stance on all forms of violence against women, engaging in the NUS national strategy against lad culture and to make a public commitment to investigate when students report sexual harassment and assault.
Students’ unions are being encouraged to take part in the campaign by organising consent workshops, poster making, photo projects, spoken word readings and fundraising events in order to help raise awareness.
NUS research from September 2014 found that one in four students have been victims of unwelcome sexual advances in the form of inappropriate touching or groping.
Susuana Antubam, NUS Women’s Officer, said: “Our research has consistently shown that sexual harassment is rife on campus, but we still keep hearing from institutions that there is no fear, no intimidation and no problem. The passing the buck approach of ‘not on my campus’ is completely unacceptable. They must acknowledge the problems and join us in confronting them.
‘To be able to see real change, we need the whole of the educational community to step up and be active in creating safer campuses, which is why NUS is encouraging all students and students’ unions to lobby their institutions to commit to our Reclaim Your Campus pledge. Our pledge has ten demands focusing on embedding policy, education, support, and training into every educational community, which we want to see institutions take action on”.