First trans solidarity rally and march, Washington, DC USA

New measures to expand reach of the university-wide Sexual Violence Service

Oxford SU have introduced new measures to expand the reach of the Sexual Violence Service in a new university-wide measure.

The Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service launched last year, and provides a safe space for students to be heard independent of college or department.

Support and advice is available from trained advisors and an Independent Sexual Violence Advocate who works independently of the university to advise students around the reporting process for sexual misconduct. The University has also changed its harassment policy, launching a new non-academic misconduct policy alongside the Sexual Violence Working Group, which aims to provide guidance and information around criminal activity and make reporting processes clearer.

Amber Sparks, Oxford SU’s Vice President for Women, said: “We were really pleased to see the launch of the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service last year, which provides students with trained, confidential and independent advice.

“The service has helped to make the process of disclosing and reporting sexual violence clearer and safer for survivors, outside of the college context. “Secondly, the launching of a new non-academic misconduct policy by the University has been beneficial through making reporting processes clearer, and providing guidance around criminal activity when it comes to sexual misconduct.

“The making of this policy was headed by the Sexual Violence Working Group, including student members, and so the voice of students was instrumental in its creation.

“We hope to see the University continuing to prioritise student safety as well as the wellbeing of survivors of sexual violence.”

Oxford University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education, Professor Martin Williams, said in response to the announcement: “At Oxford, we are committed to preventing and responding to all incidents of sexual harassment and violence. “It is never acceptable, and we take a zero-tolerance approach. We already have a range of measures in place to tackle sexual harassment and violence, and this new service is another step forward in tackling the issue.”


Image Credit: Ted Eytan