Board member news

Supporting students affected by violence and abuse

Claire Morgan

Read a message from Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students sent on 22 April.

Dear Student

I am writing to you to acknowledge the ongoing media coverage and public attention relating to violence and abuse and the troubling issues students are facing. I want to make it explicitly clear to all students that the university does not tolerate violence and abuse of any kind and if you have been affected, we will support you.

It is incredibly disturbing and saddening to know that some of our students experience harassment, hate crime, sexual violence, relationship abuse and other forms of unacceptable behaviour. If you have faced such issues, please know that you are not alone.

Our Disclosure Response Team have been supporting students since 2017 by providing non-judgmental support to those who need it. The team are a range of trained, specialist professional staff who are there for you should you disclose incidents of violence or abuse via our online disclosure tool. Similarly, our violence and abuse commitment ensures we are doing all we can to work with staff, students and the wider community to address these issues.

As set out in our Student Charter, we expect students to behave in a way that respects our community, and we have procedures in place if there are concerns that expectations of behaviour are not being met and/or there is a risk of harm or offence to you or other members of the community.

Our Bystander Training is also available to all students, focussing on the impact of all forms of violence and abuse that can affect students, and providing safe ways for students to directly or indirectly intervene if they witness violence or abuse.

We also work with the Students’ Union to make you aware of the support available, and the motion ‘Commitment to Improving Student Safety’ to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting on 27 April is an important opportunity to hear more from you on these issues, as well as a chance for us to work together to address them.

Regrettably, we live in a society where unwelcomed violence and abuse continues to be a real and ongoing concern – please do not suffer alone if you have experienced any kind of violence and abuse, whether this is past or present, ongoing or a single incident – contact our Disclosure Response Team.

For most students it is unlikely that your personal safety will be at risk whilst at university, however, it is important that we all protect ourselves and make use of the guidance, services and support available.

Best wishes

Claire Morgan
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Students