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Sexual misconduct in higher education: survey


The 1752 Group, NUS Women's Campaign, sexual misconduct, staff on student, surveyNational survey into staff sexual misconduct in UK Higher Education open until midnight, 15 December 2017.

A UK-based research and lobby organisation is working to end staff-to-student sexual misconduct in higher education.

The 1752 Group is working at a national level to educate and lobby for change in the UK higher education sector by drawing attention to the complexity and impact of staff sexual misconduct and proposing solutions to address these issues.

The group forms partnerships and works in collaboration with academics, student unions, support services experts, universities and national organisations to conduct research that will lead to the development of best practice guidelines for the higher education sector.

It also works directly with universities to help them prevent staff-to-student sexual misconduct, and to support them to respond appropriately to such issues when they arise.

And it has partnered with the Women’s Campaign at the NUS on research into sexual misconduct by university staff towards students.

This consists of the first national survey of staff-student sexual misconduct in UK Higher Education and qualitative research examining how institutions respond to this issue.

The survey is open until midnight on 15 December 2017.

If you are a current UK higher education student, please fill out the survey here. It is open to all genders.

This research will then be used to form a comprehensive public report on staff sexual misconduct which will be released next year.

Read more about the campaign here.

The 1752 Group has six key priorities for addressing staff sexual misconduct.

1 – Implement an enforceable national code of conduct that clarifies professional boundaries. Address the issue of staff/student relationships directly within institutions.

2 – Develop a reporting and complaints process for sexual misconduct/assault, which is sensitive to race/gender identity/sexuality/ability/undisclosed mental health issues.

3 – Establish an independent national office for sexual misconduct advocacy and support, with specialist sexual misconduct advisors located within each institution.

4 – Ensure all institutions record data and make publicly available reports on all allegations of sexual misconduct.

5 – Address the long-term impact of staff sexual misconduct on those who experience it.

6 – Implement comprehensive sector-wide and institution-level cultural change.

And a further sector initiative is needed to instigate a national conversation on disciplinary procedures for staff members moving between institutions and data sharing across institutions.

The 1752 Group also assists universities developing preventive strategies, policy and response frameworks for incidents of sexual misconduct that occur within their institutions, and in making sure their students are supported.

And it partners with organisations that offer expertise in institutional culture change.

The name of the group is a reminder of a turning point for change.

In 2015, several of the people in the current group organised what they believe was the first UK university conference on staff-to-student sexual harassment: the Sexual Harassment in Higher Education (SHHE) Conference held at Goldsmiths, University of London, in December 2015.

Out of this event arose the need for a national organisation to address the sexual misconduct of academic and professional staff within UK universities.

The amount of money that was allocated to this event was £1752.

And while this provided a starting point for change, greater investment is needed by institutions so that comprehensive preventative structures to be put in place.

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