Bristol Uni named on website exposing rape culture and sexual assault at universities

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By Megan Evans, News Subeditor

Content warning: discusses sexual violence

Anonymous testimonies released by campaign group Everyone’s Invited reveal the scale of rape culture at UK universities, with the University of Bristol amongst the institutions with the highest number of mentions in accounts of sexual assault.

86 universities have been named in a list released by Everyone’s Invited, an online ‘anti-rape movement’ publishing anonymous testimonies of sexual assault, of institutions which have been sites of sexual misconduct in accounts submitted to the website.

The University of Bristol has had the ninth highest number of mentions: 37 in the week 26 March – 2 April alone.

The ten universities with the most mentions are all members of the Russell Group of universities.

The campaign group, Everyone’s Invited, has been making headlines for exposing the scale of rape culture and sexual violence within schools.

More recently, anonymous accounts from victims have proven that these issues extend to higher education, with over 1,000 testimonies from university students being submitted between 26 March – 2 April, a fifth of all testimonies posted to the site.

Everyone’s Invited founder Soma Sara explained, ‘As Everyone’s Invited has emphasised from the outset, rape culture is everywhere including in all universities.’

A Russell Group spokesman said universities took the issue ‘incredibly seriously’, stating: ‘No student should feel unsafe or have to tolerate harassment or sexual misconduct in any circumstance.

‘Where a crime has been committed it should be reported to the police. The testimonies highlighted via the Everyone’s Invited website show the need for us all to take this issue seriously.

‘Our members are working with Universities UK to address this issue at a sector-wide level and will continue to do so to ensure campuses are places of safety and respect for others at all times.’

This information comes in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard, which raised issues surrounding women’s safety and gender-based violence nationally, including at the University of Bristol.

In a statement to Epigram, commenting on this news, UoB FemSoc said: ‘As a society we are very aware of the continuing issue of rape culture and prevalent sexual assault at the university of Bristol and other Russell Groups.

‘We are pleased that this situation is being brought to light through the actions of other students on campus and we hope their testimonies will encourage actions of positive change by the university.

‘We have been working closely with the SU and external groups to implement better measure and regulations to tackle the issue at Bristol, especially in light of the pandemic isolating many students from the usual channels of support.’

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: ‘No person, in any setting, should have to suffer sexual misconduct, violence or harassment.

‘At the University of Bristol, we treat sexual misconduct very seriously and we are fully committed to tackling this issue. We have invested in and implemented a robust support system to help students report incidents and to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

‘We have several initiatives in place aiming to tackle and raise awareness of sexual misconduct in our community.

‘We have a team of externally trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officers who are available to provide specialised support and advice to students who have made allegations of sexual misconduct.

‘They can advise on reporting options and also ensure that the student is appropriately supported, liaising with external organisations and putting in place support at the university.

‘The University offers assistance with accommodation moves if necessary, extenuating circumstances and other academic options as well as facilitating access to specialist external support.

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‘We encourage students to report these incidents to the police. We can impose risk assessment measures such as non-contact orders or suspension whilst the police are investigating and will start proceedings under disciplinary regulations when the police investigation has concluded.

‘For those who choose not to report to the police, or feel unable to do so, allegations made against other students can also be investigated as part of the University’s disciplinary regulations and appropriate actions taken.

‘If any student has been affected by sexual misconduct, and they aren’t sure where they want to go for support or want to consider their options in relation to reporting, we would encourage them to speak to a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer. Students can also report incidents via our Report and Support service.

‘The University is committed to promoting and providing a positive experience for all our students and staff, and to fostering an inclusive University community where all members can flourish and be equally valued and respected, and in which any and all forms of sexual misconduct are not tolerated, and individuals impacted by this are supported and taken seriously.’

Featured Image: Epigram / Lucy O'Neill


For more information on support available from the University, visit the university's webpage. Students affected by this topic are encouraged to contact the university's Student Support Services.

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