It Happens Here rallied on campus today and this is what happened

The society delivered speeches under The Arches and reflected on the findings of their newest report

Newcastle University’s It Happens Here society (IHH) held a rally today on campus under The Arches, where they informed students and passers by of the findings of their ‘Do Better’ report. 

The rally took place from 12-12.3opm this afternoon, where boards displayed background information and poignant statistics on sexual violence at Newcastle University, and society members spoke out to inform people of the key findings.

Via It Happens Here

Focussed around sexual violence, the report contained the findings of 409 student responses from January to March 2022 and looked into experiences of sexual violence on campus.

The Do Better report found that students did not know how to report incidents, did not feel safe, did not feel they’d be believed and were embarrassed or felt that it was their own fault. It also found that students feared their perpetrator, felt that they didn’t have enough evidence to report and thought nothing would happen if they did report.

Via It Happens Here

Out of the 409, IHH found that 76.2 per cent of students have been or know someone who has been sexually assaulted at Newcastle University; 60.5 per cent of respondents stated that they or the person they knew did not report their assault and 13.2 per cent stated that they had reported their experience of sexual violence to the university. They also found that 80.1 per cent of respondents have been or know someone who’s been spiked whilst at Newcastle University.

The society is advocating for proactive, unilateral and supportive wellbeing, signposting to relevant and correct services for students, widely available information on what to do if you have experienced sexual violence/harassment, and a credit bearing and yearly compulsory module on consent and sexual and gender based violence. They’re also calling for a ban on staff/student relationships, ending use of NDAs in sexual violence and harassment allegations, and change in the way sexual misconduct complaints are taken.

Abbie Hardcastle, president of IHH, told The Tab: “Students want the university to make a long term financial investment in sexual violence support and prevention’ ‘we want them to be proactive not reactive.’”.

Liv Wilson, welfare officer for IHH, said: “We believe everyone has the right so a safe and secure education and living situation, so we hope by publishing the findings it creates a picture of what needs to be done to ensure Newcastle University is a safe space.”

So far, the university have improved the survivor support service and NUSU have facilitated drop ins from Rape Crisis Tyneside but there is still much progress to be made. Mady Baugh, current NUSU president and last year’s IHH president, is in discussions with the university at present; IHH hope that the uni takes action on what’s being asked of them and recognises that students need additional services and support in place to deal with sexual violence.

You can find out more about It Happens Here and how to get involved here.

If you are a Newcastle University student and need support, you can access 24/7 information, advice and support through Student Wellbeing and find specialist support through the professional counselling and Survivor Support Service. To access these services please visit Student Wellbeing.

If you are a Northumbria University student and need support, please be aware that support is available. You can access 24/7 information, advice and support through the NSU website. To access these services please visit the Domestic and Sexual Violence page.

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