The mother of a student who killed herself after being abused by her boyfriend will meet with the Scottish Government tomorrow to discuss ways of tackling harassment at universities and colleges.
Law student Emily Drouet died in her halls at Aberdeen University in 2016, following months of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend Angus Milligan.
Her mother Fiona Drouet has since joined forces with the National Union of Students, and is determined to ensure students who find themselves in vulnerable situations are offered greater help from higher education authorities.
And tomorrow, she will discuss a range of issues with Higher Education and Further Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville at Holyrood.
Mrs Drouet said they will be talking about the introduction of some form of mandatory support training for staff at Scottish universities to identify and tackle signs of bullying, both verbal and physical.
They will also be discussing funding for the newly-established Equally Safe in Higher Education initiative, which has been unveiled in the aftermath of Miss Drouet’s death.
Psychology student Milligan, 22, admitted carrying out a campaign of verbal and physical abuse against Miss Drouet, and was put on a year-long supervision order and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. He was also kicked out of Aberdeen University.
The NUS has recently unveiled the #emilytest campaign in a series of hard-hitting posters and other formats across many Scottish campuses, although Aberdeen University is not currently among them.
Mrs Drouet said: “We hope the #emilytest is accepted by all universities and colleges and the welfare of students is prioritised.
“We hope that the Equally Safe in Higher Education guidelines will be mandatory, so that support pathways are clear and concise and staff are fully trained to deal with the stresses and challenges that come with living away from home.
“We hope, together with ESHE and other valuable support groups, that we can achieve great change. That includes zero tolerance to gender-based violence and zero tolerance to bullying.
“Most of all, we want to help give young people the power that Emily felt she didn’t have – to put a stop to violence and bullying. To give them a future, to give them a chance to get help and to live.”