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Consent & Student Safety Survey Report

Lucy MacDonald, your Welfare & Community Officer, collected feedback in Semester 1 as part of her objective of improving student safety in Leeds and changing the culture of consent. The Students’ Union undertook some research in the form of a survey on student’s perceptions of safety and consent on and off campus. The survey was open for 2 weeks and had 249 respondents.

I (Lucy MacDonald, your Welfare & Community Officer) collected feedback in Semester 1 as part of my objective of improving student safety in Leeds and changing the culture of consent. The Students’ Union undertook some research in the form of a survey on student’s perceptions of safety and consent on and off campus. The survey was open for 2 weeks and had 249 respondents. You can read our findings in the report here. Here's a summary ??
 

- More than 90% of respondents consider spiking a problem in Leeds, with over 60% having an experience where they or someone they know were a victim of spiking.

''There should be more efforts surrounding how to be safe without there being an incident first. As it just teaches people that they can’t get help until something serious happens'' - Anonymous comment from a survey respondent

- Most respondents were confident about their own understanding of consent, but were less confident about others' understanding of consent. Confidence was also lower when it comes to managing pressure from others and challenging inappropriate sexual behaviour.

''It is a wider societal problem, but we can start by educating people at university as this is a formative period in our lives'' - Anonymous comment from a survey respondent

- Respondents' understanding on where to receive help and support after instances of sexual harassment or violence is much less clear. Both ''strong confidence'' and ''lack of confidence'' were relatively equal (12.27% and 10% respectively). This indicates the need to better promote and highlight existing support services offered to students.

''I think all students should know where to report sexual harassment or violence on the university portal, as at the moment most of us do not'' - Anonymous comment from a survey respondent
 

This year, I have been working hard on my objective of improving student safety on and off campus. Here's a snapshot of what I accomplished:

 

  • Collected feedback with the Consent & Student Safety Survey and now currently sharing the report with different departments in the university with recommendations they can make from the survey results

  • Published a survey report and shared it widely with partners and uni departments

  • Helped to organise the Reclaim the Night’s 44th Annual March against street harassment.

  • Featuring Student Safety and Consent research results in a student focused zine created by researchers in the Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management school. The zine focuses on student safety in the city at night and came about in part in response to the spikings and the nightclub boycott at the end of last year

  • Collaborated with the council, the police and other local universities to have a city wide approach to tackling the rise of spiking cases in Leeds - student voice was heard and more street patrols put in place as a result. Ongoing meetings are now in place to continue making sure student safety is seen as a priority in Leeds

  • Helped relaunch the citywide Ask for Angela scheme which is now in both Hive bars

  • Secured government funding to implement consent training workshops and personal safety workshops at Leeds Beckett
     

If you're looking for support, here's a list of helpful resources:

  • Student Space in conjunction with Student Minds offer online mental health support for students: www.studentspace.org.uk


Stay safe, 

Lucy MacDonald x

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