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Staff trained to support victims of sexual violence

Posted on 7 November 2016

Academics at the University of York are involved in a large EU project which aims to develop training about sexual violence for staff at universities across six different countries.

The project will deliver training to staff as part of their ongoing professional development and as a key part of the University of York’s commitment to raising awareness around sexual harassment and violence.

The £1.1m EU- funded pilot project is based on 20 years of combined research from York, Sussex,  Lancaster and Brunel Universities and on the experiences of women facing violence.

Staff in the Department of Education at the University of York have developed an eight hour training programme which is being delivered to staff across the University this academic year.

The programme is underpinned by existing research about sexual harassment and sexual violence to cover issues such as understanding the myths about sexual violence, the impact on survivors, barriers to disclosure, what a disclosure may 'look like', and how to handle a disclosure. 

Dr Vanita Sundaram, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of York, said: "The project aims to increase staff awareness and understanding of sexual violence, its impact and develop skills for responding supportively.

“It will contribute to fostering university environments that are safe and supportive spaces for all students."

It is currently being delivered to staff at York from Student Support, Colleges, Information Services, Health, Safety and Security, YUSU and GSA.

The first sessions have been delivered to senior managers from across these student-facing services, as well as senior college staff.

The next step will be to cascade the training to colleagues in other central support departments. Academic departments will be approached about participation in the training for the 2017/18 academic year. 

Further information:

  • Information about the project is available on the project website: or by searching on the project hashtag #usvreact

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