University of York appoint first ever Sexual Violence Liaison Officer

The officer will provide holistic support and guidance to anybody affected by sexual violence


In a groundbreaking move, the University of York have appointed a fully trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officer; a member of staff dedicated to providing holistic support and guidance to survivors of sexual violence.

The figures of sexual violence taking place at universities is alarming, with 62 per cent of students experiencing it in some form.

Until now, students who had experienced sexual violence, including rape, had to report their incidents under the same policies that tackle noise complaints and plagiarism.

What will the officer do?

Previously when initiating a report, a student may have gone to any staff member, be that a college tutor, a supervisor, a seminar leader. This makes it difficult to keep track of the number of such incidents when so many of them are reported to different departments and different colleges.

A dedicated staff member on hand will streamline the process for students, and ensure they are aware of where to go to even begin a report in the first place.

The officer will also be able to provide specific support and guidance for the student, which is crucial as the needs for someone who has suffered an assault may be multiple, which makes planning a response harder.

Simple awareness training does not prepare staff for the complexities of dealing with incidents of sexual violence, which is why appointing a dedicated officer is such a step forward for York.

The university is also rolling out a new reporting tool for reports of misconduct of any kind at the end of 2019.

Getting support now

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, remember that help is out there, and it is not your fault.

Here are some links that may help you out:

IDAS York

SURVIVE York

NHS Crisis Team

Link to report misconduct (for University of York Students)

Services for Men

Remember, it always gets better x

Featured image credit: Johnteslade