The University of Stirling has hosted an event exploring how gender-based violence can be prevented on college and university campuses.
The ‘Love doesn’t hurt’ event, which took place in Stirling on Friday 29 March, featured addresses from a range of guest speakers, including Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, and Anni Donaldson, Knowledge Exchange Fellow & Project Lead, Equally Safe in Colleges and Universities, University of Strathclyde.
Fiona Drouet, from the Emily Test campaign, spoke about the death of her daughter, a law student who took her own life after being subjected to emotional and physical abuse by her former boyfriend.
L-R: Astrid Smallenbroek, Jill Stevenson, Fiona Drouet, Anni Donaldson & Marsha Scott
Jill Stevenson, Stirling’s Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Head of Student Support Services, said: “We’re delighted to host this important event on our campus and to hear more about national initiatives aimed at tackling gender-based violence.
“We launched our own strategy and award-winning #IsThisOk campaign in 2017, demonstrating our commitment to challenging unacceptable behaviours and promoting equality, inclusion and respect throughout our community.”
Delegates also watched a video address from Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, who thanked attendees for coming together to discuss gender-based violence and underscored the Government’s commitment to tackling it.
The event was one of three workshops taking place across Scotland to support the implementation of the Equally Safe in Higher Education Toolkit and to distil key lessons from Freshers’ Weeks and start of college year activities to inform future awareness work across Scotland’s colleges and universities. The toolkit, funded by the Scottish Government, developed by the University of Strathclyde and launched last year, provides a resource for colleges and universities to tackle gender-based violence.
The toolkit includes information about the signs that someone may be in an abusive relationship, including changes in performance, missing classes and isolation from peers.
Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said: “We are determined that our campuses should be places where students can flourish, and where staff and students are empowered to tackle gender-based violence with absolute confidence.
“The Scottish Government has supported the development of the Equally Safe Toolkit, and we have provided additional funding to help colleges and universities adopt it.
“It is very encouraging to see collaborative work taking place at these regional events, and it is only by working together in this way that we will consign gender-based violence to the past.”
The Equally Safe in Higher Education toolkit can be accessed at https://www.strath.ac.uk/humanities/schoolofsocialworksocialpolicy/equallysafeinhighereducation/eshetoolkit/