UUK publishes new guidance on tackling domestic violence and tech-mediated abuse

New briefing document aims to help universities tackle domestic violence and tech-mediated abuse, on and off campus

Universities UK today (Monday) has published a new briefing on domestic violence and tech-mediated abuse in higher education.

There has been a global rise of domestic abuse during the pandemic, with the UK following the trend, and young adults aged 18 to 24 seem to be at higher risk.

Practical guidance

UUK’s latest briefing contains practical guidance for universities to support their staff and students experiencing domestic and tech-mediated abuse, as well as a number of case studies featuring examples of how universities have adapted over the last six months to continue supporting students, staff, and members of the wider community.

This follows the briefing note UUK published back in April 2020 that “explored how universities could support students and staff that may be at greater risk as a result of the pandemic”. It subsequently held two webinars in June – one on tackling domestic violence and the second on tech-mediated abuse.

Nicole Jacobs, designate commissioner for domestic abuse, said: “I really welcome this briefing from Universities UK, which brings together important information and resources. We all have a role to play in responding to domestic abuse, and I welcome the commitment from Universities UK to doing its part.”

Impact of pandemic on domestic abuse

The pandemic has resulted in changes to student living arrangements, with some students returning to their parental home, and others such as international students, care leavers or estranged students remaining or moving into university accommodation. Alongside these developments, there have been significant increases in the levels of domestic and technology-mediated abuse in society.

Jacobs added: “Universities UK has shown how important it is to reach out to students, staff, and their local communities to raise awareness of domestic abuse and identify and support victims and survivors. Its focus on domestic abuse during this particularly difficult and dangerous time is particularly needed, and I look forward to continuing to work with Universities UK on this agenda.”

Further reading: Addressing Student Sexual Violence in Higher Education: A Good Practice Guide


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