Published: 30 October 2017

Laura Bates speaks out about sexism on campus at special event

Laura Bates Everyday Sexism

Everyday Sexism founder, Laura Bates, spoke to a packed audience at the Tackling Sexism on Campus session.

The event – which was organised by Dr Zoe Alker from the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology in association with Dr Andrew Davies from the Department of History – aimed to raise awareness about sexism and was an opportunity for students to talk about their own experiences of these issues.

During her talk, Laura discussed the culture of sexism that exists across many UK campuses and suggested that universities must adopt an intersectional approach when attempting to tackle this issue. Laura also called for standardised guidelines to be created, so that universities could respond consistently to reports of sexual assault and harassment.

Laura ended by saying that sexism is, “not a problem limited to universities. This is part of a wider societal issue. No one is suggesting universities are to blame,” but that “university is a golden opportunity for people to tackle this.”

Dr Vanita Sundaram from the University of York also spoke at the event. Dr Vanita spoke about her report on ‘lad culture’  in higher education, which found that people have a lack of understanding about the prevalence of sexual violence and that this type of behaviour is sometimes viewed as “silly or naïve” and is not seen as abuse or as a way of seeking power or control.

Stuart Taylor from Liverpool John Moores University was the evening’s final speaker.  Stuart talked about his work into gendered sexual violence within the night time economy and noted that, as nightlife plays a pivotal role in student culture, when universities are trying to tackle sexism on campus, they must also look at sexism off campus.

How to report an incident

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, harassment or hate crime, the University can support you. Please read our Support for students section to find out more, or visit our Report an incident page.

University initiatives

The University takes sexual assault, harassment and hate crime very seriously and is working on a number of interventions to tackle these issues. We’ve outlined some of this work below.

  • Prevention and changing the culture: We send messages about sexual consent and sexual behaviour to all our new students and we work with the Guild of Students on their Call it Out campaign, which aims to tackle sexual harassment. We are also working with the Guild and Sport Liverpool to educate student leaders on bystander intervention and on creating a positive culture in their society, team or group.
  • We have set up a Safe and Welcoming Campus Environments Project. As part of this work, we have reviewed our policies and procedures for dealing with student disclosures on sexual assault, harassment and hate crime.

Sexual misconduct is clearly defined as a breach of the University’s Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline, and the University has the power to investigate allegations and issue sanctions if a student is found to have committed a sexual misconduct offence.

For more information about the student support and the work the University and the Guild are undertaking in this area, please visit our Student Services webpages.

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