Joe Pilbrow – Blog

Unique protests carried out by London students against sexual assault

Items of underwear featuring words from rape survivors were placed around the University of Roehampton on the 22nd March in protest against sexual violence and harassment.

The Feminist Society at the London campus are demanding that more support be available to those that are sexually assaulted at University, with a dedicated member of staff to be placed on campus and for more publicity about the already existing support methods.

Sexual Violence Protest
Credit: Megan Jackson: Huffington Post UK

The head of the society Zoe Cartlidge was assaulted in her first year saying that she felt she had no one to turn to and that no one would believe her as the older student already had many friends on campus and around the university.The idea for the protest was sparked after Zoe raised the incident at a society meeting over two years later, realising that the problem was larger than she thought and that it was important that the issue was highlighted.

A survey conducted by The Telegraph in 2015 found that the one in three female students had been assaulted on campus nationwide, showing that this is not simply an issue for the University of Roehampton or even for the students of London but one that effects every student across the country.

Staff at the university came out in support of the campaign however emphasised that

University of Roehampton
University of Roehampton

work was being done towards the bettering of student protection.

“Earlier this year, the university formed a sexual assault and harassment working group to improve awareness and prevention and…received £50,000 of funding…to set up support groups, develop consent workshops and train a bystander intervention team.”

Responding to the statements on Facebook, Ms Cartlidge says that she was still not convinced that the university was doing enough.

“I am not discrediting that the student welfare officers exist and can help, but they are not specific to these issues, and not advertised online to have specific training in these  areas.”

Mia is a first year student that took part in the protest, and she says she’s happy with the effect it has had.

 

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