Sussex students protest against the response to sexual assault claims

Students gathered at library square to voice the university’s response to sexual assault claims

TW: Sexual assault

Over 500 students gathered in Library square on Monday, November 15th, to protest against Sussex University’s response to sexual assault claims on 88campus. Campaigners stood in solidarity to show their support for the victims of rape and sexual abuse.

The demonstration was organised and led by the Sussex Feminist society and their Co-President Jess Leigh. She told The Argus: “Over the years, people have argued that Sussex University have been complicit in a system of violence, like many universities. There is so much that the university can do, and so much that they just fail to do and I think this is why people are angry”.

A spokesperson for The Feminist Society has stated that the demonstrations will not stop until “action is taken”.

The University has been promoting its online tool “Report+”. In an email sent to all students, the University stated that Report+ allows students to report “behaviours such as bullying, harassment, a hate incident, sexual violence, domestic abuse or discrimination”.

According to the online site “a small specialist team will respond to students reports” and claim that “a member of the specialist team will aim to contact you within five working days”.

Many Sussex students who have reported previous incidents have said that their online reports have been “ignored, trivialised and ignored”. However, the university has insisted that “All reports will be acted on”.

As well as using Report+, the University has released other ways that they aim to support students. This includes advice and guidance for victims of sexual assault, compulsory consent training for all new students and REDS training workshops.