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UK universities stand with Everyone’s Invited

Gemma McCall, CEO, Culture Shift

Several universities across the UK are supporting the Everyone’s Invited movement to eradicate rape culture within Britain’s higher education institutions, with support from Culture Shift.

The University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton and Royal Academy of Music, amongst others, have each implemented the impact software developer’s Report and Support system, enabling students and employees to report any form of problematic behaviour safely and anonymously, while accessing further support.   

A spokesperson for The University of Edinburgh said:

“We are committed to addressing the issue of sexual violence on campus and our new Report and Support platform allows students who have experienced sexual harassment, violence or abuse to either tell the University anonymously about what happened or report with contact details and seek support. All students of The University of Edinburgh can now seek advice and guidance, through the website, if they have experienced of witnessed any kind of sexual harassment, violence or abuse.”

Founded by Soma Sara who shared her personal experience of rape culture via Instagram, the Everyone’s Invited movement has shone a light on the true extent of the issue in today’s society and the experiences many have faced in environments that should be safe. Now at more than 15,000 (and counting) testimonies of harassment, abuse and assault, the movement has resulted in a nationwide call for change.

Emma Rowsell, associate director of student services at University of Southampton added:

“We know that reporting any form of unacceptable behaviour, especially sexual abuse, harassment or violence, can be an incredibly daunting experience, which is why we have worked with Culture Shift to launch Report and Support for our students and will very soon launch the system to our employees as well. We’re committed to standing against all forms of discrimination, harassment and bullying and we’re asking our University community to stand with us.

 “We’ve also launched our anti-harassment Expect Respect campaign, in partnership with the Students’ Union, through which we’re encouraging anybody who has experienced any form of unwanted behaviour to speak out and report it, while highlighting that all incidents reported will be taken seriously.”

Gemma McCall, CEO, Culture Shift continued:

“It is unacceptable that this culture of abuse exists in our educational institutions – an environment that should be a safe haven. While the accounts themselves are shocking to read, the number of complaints is unfortunately not surprising to us at Culture Shift. We have long known about the toxic culture of sexual harassment and sexual violence, as well as racial harassment and bullying, on University campuses and it’s time to tackle this issue head on.”

 Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in organisational culture, through building products that empower them to tackle harassment and bullying. It licenses the Report and Support system to over 60 of the UK’s top universities and almost one million students and higher education employees now have access to the platform.

Gemma concluded: “The recent news has reinforced the power and positive role anonymous reporting plays in removing barriers to sharing an experience. We stand in solidarity with all survivors, thanking them for the courage they’ve shown in sharing their stories and will continue our mission to eradicate this culture.”

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