83 per cent of Edi students know someone who’s experienced sexual assault, survey reveals
62 per cent of students have experienced assault personally
Two weeks ago, the Tab Edinburgh launched a survey in liaison with the Instagram account, Edi-Anonymous. The purpose of the survey is to catalogue experiences of sexual assault throughout the University of Edinburgh. The survey received 263 responses detailing experiences throughout the city and University campus.
83 per cent of Edinburgh students know someone who has experienced sexual assault
Of the responses we have received, 83 per cent said that they knew someone who had experienced sexual assault or harassment in some form, with 62 per cent stating they had experienced it themselves.
Nearly 50 per cent of students have experienced some form of ‘grey-area’ harassment
Half of students felt that what they had experienced could not fully be classed as sexual harassment or assault, with nearly 20 per cent saying they were even unsure if they had experienced grey-area harassment itself. These experiences range from unsolicited groping in clubs, being catcalled, and even being coerced into sex. Many of the incidences described mention alcohol and being drunk. Several respondents mention sex made non-consensual due to significant intoxication. One response said in reference to clubs: “Everyone is felt up, groped, and it’s assumed they like it.”
Nearly 75 per cent of students aren’t even aware of the support offered by the University for survivors
The vast majority of responses reveal most students weren’t even aware of the student service options for support with 89 per cent saying that they have in no way used University support.
Further, out of 10 per cent of students who said they did use student service options for support, 39 per cent said they found the services “poor”.
57 per cent of students know someone who has perpetrated assault in some form
Of the 57.3 per cent of students who admitted to knowing a perpetrator of sexual assault, the majority of responses claimed that no disciplinary action was taken. One response elaborated: “They didn’t receive any disciplinary action. If I report them, I won’t be anonymous. If I am to report them anonymously, then it won’t be flagged to the student. It’s a flawed system.”
Where do we go from here?
The University told The Tab Edinburgh in a statement:
“The University does not tolerate sexual violence within its community, and takes any reports very seriously.
“As part of this strategy, we aim to encourage more students to disclose to the University that they are survivors of sexual violence, reduce incidences of sexual violence through education and culture change, and support survivors better.
“Significant investment has been directed to help us achieve these aims. This includes the recent appointment of a Sexual Violence and Harassment Liaison Manager, who will provide support for survivors of sexual violence and harassment, as well as overseeing the new ‘Report & Support’ platform, which will make it easier to report such incidents.
“We are working with a wide range of groups across Edinburgh to tackle sexual violence. We are part of the ‘Fearless Edinburgh’ partnership, which brings together Edinburgh College, Police Scotland and the NHS. We are also working with frontline support groups such as Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, and funding more support for survivors through them.
“A range of confidential help and support is available for anyone affected, with the Students’ Association Advice Place providing frontline support for those who have experienced sexual violence, harassment or assault.”