Millie Gibbins – Welfare and Community Officer
Sexual Assault on Campus: What I’ve been doing
You may have seen recent reports in the Guardian and the Tab, about student victims of sexual assault and violence at University of Birmingham.
Firstly I’d like to commend the bravery of everyone who came forward to report crimes committed against them as well as speak out about the support they received from the University following the incidents.
I am completely appalled that any University of Birmingham students have been victims of sexual assault and also disappointed to learn that students have been let down by the support offered by the University. It’s so important that any victims of sexual assault and violence feel comfortable to come forward as soon they can to receive appropriate support from the authorities and the University community. I hope these reports do not discourage students from coming forward, should incidents of this nature ever occur in the future.
I’d like to update you on a number of relevant things I’ve been working towards; combating sexual assault and improving reporting tools at Birmingham.
Firstly, I’ve created a group, which includes staff from the University and Guild of Students, to review the University Code of Conduct. This group will look into the way disciplinary procedures are carried out at Birmingham, especially in light of recent incidents.
I’m also working with the University to review the 'You Report, We Support' tool and process. Recent incidents have highlighted some gaps in the process and I’m going to lobby the University to improve the system to ensure it is fit for purpose for all students reporting incidents of sexual violence and assault while they are studying at Birmingham.
Throughout my conversations with the University so far I have been encouraged that they are willing to review the Code of Conduct – with the group now established to do this – as well as the 'You Report, We Support' tool.
I will continue to keep you informed of any developments about these reviews, but if you would like to feed back or talk to me about these issues please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.