LJMU has been awarded government funding as part of a sector-wide drive to embed a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of harassment on campus.
With funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), LJMU is planning a series of initiatives to promote responsible behaviour and enhance victim support.
The year-long set of activities include establishing a Student Safeguarding Champions programme and an online training package to further raise awareness of laws and university policies concerning harassment in all forms, and is funded by more than £48,000 from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund.
LJMU is working with students throughout the project and its development phase, which will see ten students trained as University Safeguarding Champions. The role of the champions will primarily be to ensure any students seeking to report issues are signposted to appropriate pathways for support. A Safeguarding Coordinator will also be appointed to support the student champions and they will be given bespoke training by RASA (Rape and Sexual Abuse) Merseyside.
Dr Daniel Silverstone, Director of LJMU’s Centre for Advanced Policing Students, led on the funding bid for the project. He explains: “The main aim is to empower students who believe they are victims of any form of behaviour constituting sexual assault, harassment or hate crime. We hope that students who may have been affected by a form of harassment find it easier to speak to student champions - their peers – and by raising awareness of the role of champions, we hope the whole process will be easily accessible.”
Universities Minister Jo Johnson said: “We take any form of violence and sexual harassment extremely seriously, and expect universities to take a zero-tolerance approach. The interest and response to HEFCE’s fund has been hugely encouraging. The number of projects announced and the support shown reinforces the willingness of universities, across the country, to support staff and students in providing safe and secure campuses and I look forward to seeing the impact of these projects in due course.”
Over 60 universities and colleges across the country successfully bid for grants from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund.