The University of Liverpool’s Guild of Students has re-launched #CallItOut, a campaign focused on reducing sexual harassment on campus. According to a national online survey conducted by NUS in 2010, 68% of female students have been subject to verbal or physical harassment in and around their university. Statistics from Rape Crisis also shows that approximately 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales every year. Therefore, an increasing number of universities are taking part in the anti-harassment movement.

#Call it out

The Guild has started a series of events to ensure every student feels safe on campus. The Call It Out campaign includes various activities: active bystander training, promotion of the campaign across campus and conversations on campus. Sexual harassment can not only occur physically, but also mentally . If you are unsure about what constitutes sexual harassment and would like to know more, you can find out more here.

In 2017, some full-time staff in the Guild undertook a 2-hour Bystander Intervention workshop. This helped them learn to identify different types of harassment and combat these misconducts. This year, they are training the student leaders (starting with society committee members and course reps) to take actions when they face incidents of harassment. After the session, the aim is to be able to identify harassment of all types and have gained a better understanding of the Call It Out campaign. If you haven’t received active bystander training and would like to know more about it, you can register for a session.

Alongside increased awareness on the scope of sexual harassment, the Call It Out campaign seeks to provide a platform for victims of sexual misconduct or harassment to feel comfortable enough to come forward. Moreover, the Guild are launching a new disciplinary procedure, which they hope to bring to students’ attention. You can see Call It Out  information resources throughout the Guild. Be sure to pick one up and read it.

As part of the Call It Out campaign, the staff at the Guild will appear across campus to have conversations with students about their day to day experience of campus culture. Most importantly, they aim to create a safe environment on campus where any sexual misconduct and harassment will not be tolerated. A series of events about harassment on campus will follow the launch of the campaign, which the Guild encourage students to partake in. Let’s reach our final aim: end the culture of harassment on campus.

Online harassment

As we spend an increasing amount of time on the internet, online harassment needs attention too. This year, the Guild are working with the University to research digital harassment on campus. This will help future campaigners tackle online harassment more effectively. Any students who have been affected, or experienced online harassment can get in touch with Dr. Fiona O’Rourke on f.o-rourke@liverpool.ac.uk. The interview will be confidential and all information will be made anonymous in the research.

Support both in and outside campus

If you have experienced or have been threatened by sexual harassment, you can go to the Guild’s Advice Service to seek help. They are independent from the University and local authorities, and offer free and confidential advice. You can also seek support from external organisations such as Safe Place, the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre and Rape Crisis for sexual misconduct. Visit Victim Care for care following all forms of harassment.

Since October 2017, the #Metoo movement has brought the issue sexual harassment in the work place to the public’s attention with the retail tycoon Philip Green being the most recently accused of sexual harassment. Nowadays, it’s not something we should be shamed for or feel the need to hide. It’s time to stand up and make a change. The University of Liverpool and the Guild of Students is always eager to help students and is determined to make change on campus through the Call It Out campaign.

All photos from unsplash.com