We offer the following services to assist UK higher education institutions to address and prevent staff-to-student sexual misconduct:
- Training for academic and professional services staff
- Consultancy services
- Research expertise on staff-to-student sexual misconduct
Training for academic and professional services staff
All our training is developed in consultation with our partner organisation Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre in order to provide best practices in supporting survivors of sexual violence, forms of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.*
Training packages include:
- Awareness-raising session
This is a 1 1/2 hour session which introduces existing research, explains what staff-student sexual misconduct is and how it occurs, and provides an overview of what institutions need to do to address this problem.
- Half-day training
This session is aimed at HR staff, university senior management, and others in management roles which outlines universities’ legal responsibilities as public sector bodies and explores scenarios that universities should be prepared to deal with.
- How to respond to disclosures of sexual harassment
This is a 2 hour session which introduces skills required by university staff members to respond adequately to disclosures of sexual harassment.
- Bespoke training
We are able to develop training packages which suit the needs of your institution or group. Please get in touch via our contact page to discuss this.
Events, talks and workshops are a key way for institutions to demonstrate that they take sexual misconduct and exploitation seriously and to show leadership on this issue. The 1752 Group can be engaged as workshop facilitators, speakers and keynotes at conferences, talks, and events.
UK universities where we have and are scheduled to speak: UCL, University of Sussex, SOAS, University of Cambridge, University of Warwick, University of Oxford, Institute of Physics, The Open University.
Along with our specialist partner organisations, we work with institutions to help policies and procedures up to date, or to enhance or overhaul them.
- Policy audit
Generic anti-harassment and bullying policies are insufficient for dealing with staff-student sexual exploitation or misconduct. As with other forms of sexual violence, it appears to have a high rate of non-disclosure. Therefore, students are much more likely not to report, and to drop out, than to report the sexual misconduct of academic and professional staff. Due to the specific nature of the abuse, and its wide-ranging impact, we strongly recommend a formal reporting procedure designed specifically for sexual misconduct.We can work with institutions to examine any existing policies relating to staff-to-student sexual misconduct and develop new procedures.
- Support services audit
Support must be provided for students reporting misconduct, for other students within the same department, for staff, and even further. Addressing sexual misconduct does not end when a report is made, or when an individual is removed from an institution. We can examine existing support services in place and recommend changes that ensure long-term, active support of student welfare.
- Complaints procedures audit
Existing complaints procedures are often inadequate for dealing with complaints related to staff-student sexual misconduct, and yet these continue to be used by institutions. They may be deterring students from reporting and enabling ineffective responses to reports by departments that never reach senior management or HR. We can examine current procedures and recommend guidelines for developing specific procedures for sexual misconduct.
- Cultural change
Research on sexual harassment and misconduct consistently demonstrates that this is not only an issue of individual misconduct, but involves a culture that allows the misconduct to occur. Therefore, sexual misconduct cannot be addressed solely through bureaucratic changes, important though these are. We provide resources for bringing about cultural change within higher education institutions, such as embedding awareness of this issue into existing training and professional development, and working with support services and academic and pastoral staff. This work can be carried out alongside initiatives to tackle student-to-student sexual misconduct, and we are working with experts in this area to share knowledge. Excellent work is being done in this area by Changing University Cultures.
- Best practice guidelines
Best practice guidelines do not yet exist in relation to staff-student sexual misconduct in higher education in the UK. The 1752 Group is working on formulating such guidelines that stipulate what sexual misconduct and harassment is, how students should report such incidents, and what investigative and disciplinary procedures should follow a report or complaint.
Research on staff-to-student sexual misconduct
The impact of sexual misconduct on students is serious and wide-ranging. Both quantitative and qualitative research on this issue are lacking in the UK. It is difficult to gauge the extent of the problem from existing data as sexual misconduct may lead to students interrupting or withdrawing from their studies without ever disclosing the reason.
We recommend that a national survey be carried out to explore the prevalence and effects of employee sexual misconduct on students. This needs to be complemented by case study research into practices within particular institutions which explores how institutional policies, reporting, complaints procedures, training, and support for students experiencing these forms of abuse, should best be carried out. This research should draw on practices, policies and procedures on workplace harassment from other sectors. We are currently in discussions with organisations that we hope will support this research to be carried out.
*We do not have the resources to provide advocacy and case work for individuals who have experienced forms of sexual misconduct including harassment and assault while studying at or employed by a UK institution. Our approach is instead to work with institutions to respond effectively to survivors and to eliminate sexual misconduct.
Dr Alison Phipps has created a list of support services for survivors which can be accessed here: https://genderate.wordpress.com/support/