It has been an incredible year of achievement and progress on this campaign that we’ve worked on with Leeds Beckett University, which set out to educate students and staff on sexual harassment, improving awareness and creating reporting tools, and to create a cultural change on campus.
The project was delivered in four stages: Consent, Pledge, Support, and Report. The first steps was for us to build on our existing Consent workshops by developing a Bystander training programme. This was used to establish links with community partners, such as Rape Crisis, to ensure training content was up to date and relevant.
VP Welfare & Community, Kelly-anne Watson, and the Zero Tolerance team set out across campus and the streets of Leeds to raise awareness of the Zero Tolerance campaign and have people take the pledge which says “I pledge to contribute to the creation of a Zero Tolerance culture to sexual harassment and violence.” Over 1,000 Leeds Beckett students, staff and people in the Leeds community have taken this pledge, as well as many sports teams including Leeds Rhinos and local bars/restaurants.
A range of awareness materials were developed to inform students of the options available to them if they have been a victim of sexual harassment or violence.
The Zero Tolerance website launched in March, which continues to provide support and information for all students who have been affected by sexual harassment and violence. A reporting incident feature allows students to report any incidents to the University which will then be used to provide further support and action to be taken to prevent further issues.
Students were put at the heart of all this work, with a survey and a series of focus groups informing many of the priorities of the project, and shaping key elements of the awareness campaign such as the content of the videos produce as part of the Active Bystander campaign.
Our achievements this year have been:
Students are now able to make informed choices about where they go for help.
Students know what to do if they want to report an incident.
Pubs/clubs favoured by students have signed up to a code of conduct of Zero Tolerance.
Zero tolerance commitment has been incorporated into the University's procurement standard terms and conditions.
Sustainability: Zero Tolerance committed to as part of everyday activities.
Once again, we really are thankful for being shortlisted as this is an incredibly important topic to all of us here at the SU as well as the entire student body at Leeds Beckett who we support daily.