‘We have control over the way we stigmatise the topic’: A conversation with The Last Taboo Lincoln

They aim to empower students to address issues they feel necessary

CW: Mention of sexual violence

The Last Taboo is a UK wide campaign, it was made to empower university students across the country to address, tackle and raise awareness on the issue of sexual violence and harassment within universities across the United Kingdom.

The Last Taboo has separate branches based in different university cities including Lincoln, Sheffield (Hallam), and York. The University of Lincoln branch was set up after two students reached out to the co-founders of the campaign, asking for their support in addressing the issues surrounding sexual violence and harassment at the University of Lincoln.

The Lincoln Tab spoke to The Last Taboo Lincoln on their aims, plans to work with the uni and any events students can access.

The Last Taboo Lincoln aims to “empower students to address issues they feel most necessary.” As a committee, they have identified problems in Lincoln, such as the street lights in the city, particularly in the West End student area being switched off at 12am. A petition gained traction last year regarding the street lights in Lincoln created by a student who said “you can’t see a thing and it is terrifying.”

The group said: “We also hope to work with Lincolnshire Police to bridge the gap between students and police to make their reporting process more accessible. We are also open to the opinions of other students of the improvements they can suggest.”

When asked how intersexual the issue of sexual violence is, they said: “Intersexuality allows us to understand the different barriers students and the general public face when making the decision to either talk or report their experiences of sexual violence.

“The discrimination minorities affected by sexual violence may face throughout reporting processes are what prevent so many people from reporting their experiences with sexual violence.”

The stigma that surrounds the topic of sexual violence can be reduced through educating those around us on these issues. They said: “When people are unaware of how to best speak about these topics, whether they have experienced them or not, the conversations being had will be much more normalised.”

By having discussions between friends, such topics can begin to lose the stigma they hold. “Whilst we cannot stop all acts of sexual violence, we have control over the way we stigmatize the topic.

Membership to the society allows students to attend monthly events, which vary from online and in-person educational events. These include fundraisers such as pub quizzes. They aim to focus on inclusivity within their events and prevent barriers such as drinking influencing people’s want to participate.

Through the creation of the society, the Last Taboo Lincoln has worked “very closely” with the Student Union Wellbeing Officer and the Wellbeing team in Lincoln. “We very much welcomed their input and valued the advice throughout this process and are very grateful for the platform they have given us to voice our concerns on these issues as students,” the group said.

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