Revolt Sexual Assault, a national charity, has conducted a student sexual assault survey in partnership with The Student Room among 153 different institutions.
Of the 4,500 respondents, 62% had experienced sexual violence and this figure rises to 70% amongst female respondents, 48% of whom have experienced sexual assault, and 73% of respondents with a disability, where 54% have experienced sexual assault.
Hannah Price, the founder of the Revolt campaign, started it as a Snapchat video campaign so students could share their experiences of sexual assault using filters which would alter their appearance and their voice for anonymity.
Hannah Price states: “While at university I experienced everything from harassment and ‘casual’ groping to rape, none of which I reported – and I am not alone. I set up Revolt Sexual Assault to bridge the gap between institutions and student survivors, so that the scale of this epidemic is acknowledged and addressed.”
While at university I experienced everything from harassment and ‘casual’ groping to rape
— Hannah Price
Similar to Hannah’s experiences, only one in 10 students reported their experiences to the university or the police. More than half of the respondents knew the perpetrator and felt like they had no support.
However, Bristol University stated they have a ‘zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment or violence of any form’ and have policies such as making a formal complaint about another student (or member of staff) through their Acceptable Behavior Policy. Furthermore, they strongly encourage their students to report the crimes straight to the police or a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).
Nonetheless, most of the sexual assaults go unreported on campus and as Hannah Price says: “Universities need a reporting system that minimises the distress caused to students; carried out by disclosure trained members of staff.”
Universities need a reporting system that minimises the distress caused to students; carried out by disclosure trained members of staff
— Hannah Price
Among the UK universities which participated in the student sexual assault survey was the University of Warwick, which advises students who experience sexual harassment or assault to report their experiences to the police and the Blue Sky Centre, Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) as immediate support. For any questions, the Warwick Students’ Union recommends contacting the Students’ Union’s Advice Centre or the Wellbeing Support Services. All the information is also available on the Advice webpage of warwicksu.com.
Those affected by rape or sexual abuse can contact Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999 (England and Wales) or on 08088 01 03 02 (Scotland).