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#NeverOK – Bath Spa University

#NeverOK is a city-wide campaign between Bath Spa University and its Students’ Union, University of Bath and its Students’ Union, Moles, Komedia and the Student Community Partnership.

The campaign aims to tackle sexual misconduct, all forms of harassment, bullying and discrimination.

Gender-based and sexual violence are global, national and local issues, which can affect anyone, including students.

#NeverOK is a campaign that encompasses support for victim-survivors, awareness raising, and training with the primary aim of changing the culture around gender-based and sexual violence.

What has the University done in the last five years to tackle sexual misconduct, harassment, and discrimination?

In 2021 the University employed specialist consultants Lime Culture to advise on the University’s services, strategy and next steps.

Some of the services listed below were already in place, and others were informed by this consultation.

Introduced Report and Support

The University was one of the first Universities in the country to introduce the Report and Support platform to make it easy for anyone to report misconduct, harassment, bullying or discrimination so they can receive support, or anonymously let the University know they have seen or experienced something.

Appointed Sexual Violence Liaison Officers

In 2020 the University appointed its first Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) and subsequently trained another five members of University staff to take on this role alongside their main roles.

SVLOs act as a point of liaison for students who have experienced sexual or gender-based violence, managing procedures and contact between different departments and agencies who may be involved (e.g. police, external support agencies, internal complaints procedure).

In 2021 the University employed a part time Sexual Violence and Harassment Specialist Caseworker, a role that focuses exclusively on supporting students to access everything they need following an incident of gender based or sexual violence or harassment. This role has recently been changed to a full-time post.

Appointments with SVLOs can be booked via My Wellbeing.

If you need help right now, click here.

Improved the Disciplinary Process

The disciplinary process was improved by:

  • Employing a Complaints Manager and two trained Student Casework Investigators
  • Providing specialist training to senior staff to hold disciplinary panels in cases of sexual misconduct
  • Clarifying the complaints procedure for students
  • Ensuring that the reporting student and reported student do not need to appear in the (usually virtual) room at the same time
  • Providing clarity about potential outcomes of disciplinary panels
  • Publishing outcomes from disciplinary panels (anonymised)

You can find the Disciplinary Procedure here.

Developed relationships with external organisations that support victim-survivors of gender-based violence

The University has strong links with a number of specialist agencies which support victim-survivors of gender-based violence, including Safelink who are at Newton Park campus once a month to support and work with students.

What's next?

Moving forward, the focus for Bath Spa University and its Students’ Union is to change the culture so that the whole University community knows that sexual misconduct and gender-based violence will not be tolerated at Bath Spa.

The RE:SET project (running from September 2023 to January 2025) aims to do exactly that. With a focus on raising awareness of domestic/relationship abuse and sexual violence, the project involves:

  • An audit of historic and current expertise and knowledge amongst staff, support available to victim-survivors, and campaigns
  • Training for staff, student leaders and Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers, as well as ‘train the trainer’ training so that the University can provide ongoing training for students and staff throughout the academic year
  • Student-led campaigns
  • Staff-led campaigns

Training for new students

This academic year, all new Bath-based students received training on sexual misconduct (delivered by Good Course to student’s mobile phones in the week before Welcome Week), as well as a workshop and module on sexual consent called Active Consent.

Find out more about sexual violence and prevention and support at Bath Spa by clicking here.

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