NUS: sexual harassment 'rife' on campus

More than a third of female students have been groped or touched inappropriately while at university, according to a new survey.

September 15, 2014

 

According to the study by the National Union of Students, 37 per cent of women said they had experienced some type of unwelcome sexual advances while studying, while 12 per cent of men reported the same thing, according to the survey of more than 2,000 students.

A quarter of all students said they had received unsolicited sexual comments about their bodies, while 36 per cent had witnessed these comments directed at others.

The survey revealed that “harassment is rife on campus”, said Toni Pearce, NUS president, who added that universities are not doing enough to combat so-called lad culture.

“We still keep hearing from universities that there is no fear, no intimidation, no problem – well this new research says otherwise,” said Ms Pearce.

“Sadly, all of these elements exist in campus life, we know because we hear it from students,” she added.

She accused many universities of “passing the buck” on the issue and said they must acknowledge the problem to help the NUS to confront it.

According to the survey, 60 per cent of respondents said that they were not aware of any university codes of conduct that prohibit or tackle sexual conversations, sexual comments, unwelcome sexual advances, group intimidation and verbal harassment.

Ms Pearce said the NUS was setting up a taskforce to look at the issue of lad culture on campus, calling for a “new deal” for students to ensure campuses were safer and more supportive.

The Lad Culture National Strategy Team will include students, academics, representatives from external groups, such as No More Page 3, and NUS officers.

Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism project, which details instances of sexual harassment via Twitter, will act as the team’s ambassador.

Ms Bates said the “normalisation and lack of awareness” about sexual harassment “is a major part of the problem”.

“Students, are experiencing sexism, sexual harassment and assault within the university environment,” she said.

jack.grove@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham