We publish a series of blog posts on different issues relating to sexual misconduct within higher education. We hope these provide information and links to research and resources that are helpful to those working in the sector.
On 10 November we sent an open letter to several organisations in the higher education sector, signed (at the time) by over 100 HE staff, students, and organisations. This letter was formulated in response to the Al Jazeera coverage Degrees of Abuse which documented the attempts of students and staff members at two UK universities to make complaints of sexual harassment. One of the key takeaway points was the difficulty that higher education institutions (HEIs) were having in handling reports where multiple students/staff members were reporting or had concerns about the person. In order to build on the momentum from this important piece of reporting, we wrote our open letter, addressed to HE sector (and other related) organisations who have responsibilities relating to complaints handling. The letter was covered in the HE press, in particular in University Business, Times Higher, and Research Professional.
We have now had responses from most of the organisations that the open letter was addressed to, outlined below. Below, I’ll talk through the responses and share links where possible, and outline what we hope next steps will be. There’s a lot more to be said about these responses than I can fit in one blog post, but here’s an initial overview.