126 sexual harassment cases recorded at Sheffield Hallam University this year

The most severe incidents included stalking and online harassment

126 sexual harassment cases have been recorded at Sheffield Hallam University this year.

A survey was sent out to Hallam students by the university’s Women in Tech society, asking participants to record any incidents of harassment they had experienced over the last two semesters.

Survey answers revealed more than 100 reported cases of sexual harassment between September 2020 and April 2021.

Out of the 126 alleged cases, 89 were incidents of minor inappropriate language. This included experiences where female students had been singled out or called phrases such as “sweetheart” or told to “calm down, love”.

Serious scenarios expressed in the survey revealed incidents of students sexualising their screen names in online lectures and using sexist or homophobic language in text chat messages.

The most severe cases reported in the survey included stalking and online harassment.

Almost all the alleged incidents were between students. However, 40 of the reported harassment cases involved Hallam staff members, the report submitted to the university exclaimed.

The Women in Tech society described one report as including “staff members making in-person sexual comments towards a female student” including making “jokes about porn and rape”.

A spokeswoman for Sheffield Hallam University said that students were encouraged to report any sexual abuse or harassment, and that new procedures would be put in place I light of the recent findings.

She said: “We are fully committed to the wellbeing and safety of our students and all disclosures of harassment are taken extremely seriously.

“Since being made aware of these reports, we have engaged with the student society and are implementing an agreed set of actions across the department to directly address the issues raised.

“Sheffield Hallam is a welcoming, safe and tolerant community and we will not stand for sexual harassment in any form.”

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