Edinburgh Uni fight sexual harassment with new campaign

'No One Asks For It' campaign developed by the University, University Students Association and Edinburgh University Sports Union

The campaign aims to directly challenge sexual harassment and violence on campus. It comes following research by the UK Government, NUS, and other Higher Education bodies, which indicates that sexual harassment is unfortunately a prevalent issue for many students. In 2010*, an NUS report into students’ experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault found that 68% of women experience sexual harassment at some point during their time at University.  

The University of Edinburgh, the Students’ Association and the Sports Union are continually committed to providing positive campus environments for all students – as well as for staff and visitors. They are dedicated to creating spaces where everybody feels respected and safe. With the launching of the ‘No One Asks For It’ campaign, the collaborative organisations are calling for students and staff alike to join them in saying that sexual harassment is unacceptable. Individuals can access training resources and support on the campaign’s website, and there is also the opportunity to pledge to become an ambassador. 

Professor Sir Timothy O-Shea, The University of Edinburgh’s Principal, is very supportive of the campaign; “I want to support the University of Edinburgh, EUSU and the Students’ Association’s ‘No One Asks For It’ campaign, which aims to challenge sexual harassment. All students and staff at Edinburgh should feel safe, supported and respected: sexual harassment, in whatever form, has no place in our University or on our campuses. I hope you will support the campaign too, by signing the pledge, talking about it and by speaking up if you witness sexual harassment. #NoOneAsksForIt.” 

The President of the student-run University Sports Union at Edinburgh, Robin Drummond, has also explained his support; “Edinburgh University Sports Union back this campaign because it is a right of all students not to suffer harassment while at University. As an organisation we are committed to making sure our sports clubs are open, accessible, friendly environments and this campaign is part of it. We will strive to see as many of our students as possible take advantage of the training available and help remove all forms of sexual harassment from our campuses.”

And Chris Belous, the elected Women’s Liberation Convener for the Students’ Association, also adds: “This campaign is really important in making sure everyone at our university, especially women, is safe from sexual violence and harassment. I’m hoping staff and students take full advantage of the training and advice on how to take action as bystanders, so we can really improve support and awareness.”

You can find out more about the ‘No One Asks For It’ movement at www.no-oneasksforit.com 

*Hidden Marks, NUS, 2010, online at www.nus.org.uk/Global/NUS_hidden_marks_report_2nd_edition_web.pdf