The Government ordered an inquiry into reducing violence against women studying at higher-level institutions.

Universities in the UK have been ordered to create a ‘taskforce’ to tackle the issue the unwanted sexual advances women are subjected to and a code of practice on the back of mounting attention on ‘lad culture’.

“nobody should be put off going to university because of fears about their safety”

Business secretary Sajid Javid, wrote to Universities UK, which represents the country’s University Vice-Chancellors, to order the investigation in early September of this year.

He stated, “nobody should be put off going to university because of fears about their safety. If my children choose that path, I would expect my daughter to be as safe as my son on any campus in this country”.

Under the scheme universities may be rated on how well they handle complaints, and utilise crime prevention officers in tackling the issue.

Institutions could be given a stamp of approval through a certification scheme depending on the extent of how they tackle the violence against women and the wider issue of sexism.

University of Nottingham Feminists commented, “Sexual assault experienced at university is taken very seriously by UoN Feminists, we have been working on developing consent workshops as well as lad culture workshops to start the education process behind some of the cultural aspects of the issue.”

“Sexism, and violence against women, at university is such an issue. I’d feel safer if universities were held to a higher standard of prevention”

Emma Duffey, a second year History student, commented, “it’s about time that the government become more heavily involved in these issues. It was only last year that Fresher’s were being taught sexist, violent chants during their first week at the University of Nottingham.”

Such events are not unheard of at the University of Nottingham. In October 2014, Impact exclusively published a video depicting a graphic chant used by Week One reps at Cavendish Hall, on campus at The University of Nottingham.

The chant included references to necrophilia, and paedophilia and was being taught to students during their Fresher’s Week. The newly ordered taskforce will tackle such incidents across UK universities.

Beth Jamieson, a second year Biology student, told Impact that she, “is glad of the inquiry. Sexism, and violence against women, at university is such an issue. I’d feel safer if universities were held to a higher standard of prevention.”

Sajid Javid’s taskforce will commence this autumn, and is expected to work over a period of 12 months.

Steven Green

Image: SignorDeFazio via flickr

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