How UCL deals with cases of sexual harassment and assault

Nearly half a million adults are raped each year


Surveys have revealed that nearly a third of female students experience some form of sexual harassment or assault when they are at university.

UCL has measures to deal with cases of sexual assault and sexual harassment brought to them by students.

The Union has also started to employ preventive measures to raise consent awareness among students.

Surveys show that more students are reporting experiences of sexual assault or harassment. Nearly half a million adults are sexually assaulted in England and Wales each year with the vast majority being female.

In a survey conducted by The Tab last year, 18 per cent of girls and five per cent of boys said they had been victims of rape. 87 per cent of students said they had been groped in a nightclub.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing and UCLU Rights and Advice are the bodies most often contacted with cases of sexual violence at UCLU. Counsellors at the Student Psychological Services are also trained to deal with disclosures of sexual violence and how to support survivors.

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Women’s Officer Sam Nicholson has also said that they receive disclosures from students. The Union can refer victims onto UCL support services as well as onto Student Psychological Services and charities, such as Rape Crisis.

Since 2012, UCLU has also run a Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment campaign that aims to “tackle these problems at a grassroots level”, a key way is by getting UCL Departments to take pledges to take a zero tolerance stance against sexual harassment. This year, 48 Departments have committed to the pledge.

As part of this campaign, the Union runs Active Bystander Workshops for first year students from UCL pledged departments. These workshops discuss what is meant by sexual harassment, consent as well as how to intervene when sexual harassment occurs

The next step the Union wants to take is to introduce an anonymous reporting system that enables students to easily report instances of sexual harassment and sexual violence.

This will help track the number of incidents that happen across campus each year as well as what could be done to improve the university’s and the Union’s approach to sexual assault and harassment.