A new “report and support” system allowing students to raise concerns over sexual harassment and violence has been launched at Aberdeen University.
The scheme has been welcomed by the mother of Emily Drouet who took her own life in 2016 after being abused by her campus boyfriend Angus Milligan.
Fiona Drouet said she was “delighted” with the announcement and hopes the project can provide the help needed for victims and witnesses of gender-based violence (GBV).
Aberdeen University and it students association have joined forces for the online scheme which allows people to flag up any concerns 24 hours a day.
It can be used to by staff or students to report issues either anonymously or by providing their name.
University bosses hope the reporting system will “empower” the students and point them in the right direction if they need help.
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Mrs Drouet campaigns for universities and colleges to be given more funding to tackle GBV under the #emilytest banner.
She is hopeful that more higher education institutions decide to adopt the “invaluable resource.”
Mrs Drouet said: “This tool enables victims, survivors and witnesses to report at a time and place where they feel safe to do so.
“The option to remain anonymous removes the element of reluctance people may have when reporting.
“It is important to note that whilst this tool is an invaluable resource, it is crucial that universities ensure they can meet the support demands such disclosures may bring.
“GBV is a societal issue and not restricted to universities.
“Our colleges and universities across Scotland recognise and accept they play a pivotal role in addressing these issues.
“We want to make sure they continue to address these matters responsibly in order to provide safer campuses.”
Nick Edwards, head of student support at Aberdeen University, said staff were taking the welfare of students and staff “extremely seriously.”
He said: “It is essential that students, staff and visitors to our campuses know how to access these easily and the new online resources will provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for both the reporting of incidents or experiences and will also signpost users to all relevant support services.
“We hope that it will empower our community and enhance the safety and wellbeing of its members both on and off our campuses.”
The launch of the harassment reporting system comes after a student body previously accused education bosses of failing to acknowledge the “magnitude” of sexual harassment on campus after the results of a survey went unpublished.
The Consent Awareness and Sexual Education (Case) group quizzed more than 1,500 students and staff on sexual harassment and violence at Aberdeen University in February 2018.
University chiefs published the findings 10 months later and revealed 25% of respondents had “experienced or witnessed” sexual violence.
The new system can be found at www.abdn.ac.uk/reportsupport