Statement of Commitment

In February 2019 the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen University Students' Association (AUSA) re-signed a Statement of Commitment to address sexual violence and sexual harassment on campus.

The statement of commitment is a signed promise made by the University and AUSA to work together to address sexual violence and harassment on campus, and states hostile environments which encourage these behaviours will not be tolerated.

Secretary to the University, Caroline Inglis, said: “The statement of commitment is an expression of our determination to work together with AUSA to ensure that the University of Aberdeen is a safe environment where our students and staff do not have to tolerate any form of sexual violence or harassment.

The signing marked the launch of our new Confidential Reporting Tool, where students staff and visitors can make online reports of sexual assault, violence and harassment.  

SVH Survey 2018

Addressing Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment- Survey

In February 2018, the University of Aberdeen and the Aberdeen University Students Association conducted a survey to assess the prevalence and nature of sexual violence and harassment on campus and amongst members of the university community. This first survey acts as a baseline from which we can study the impact of the ongoing work to address sexual violence and harassment on campus. Over 1,500 staff and students responded to the survey and we would like to thank all respondents for their participation.

Key points from the survey and the University’s plans moving forward are listed below.

  • The majority of staff (84%) and students (72%) have never experienced or witnessed sexual harassment at the University of Aberdeen.
  • The majority of staff (94%) and students (89%) have never experienced or witnessed sexual violence at the University of Aberdeen.
  • The majority of staff and students would be willing to report an incident of sexual violence and sexual harassment.
  • Staff and students expressed a desire to have multiple channels open for reporting sexual violence and sexual harassment including anonymous reporting methods.

Full details of the survey results. You can also access our Report on Addressing Sexual Violence and Harassment on Campus

While the prevalence of experience of sexual violence and sexual harassment at the University of Aberdeen is very low, the University recognizes the impact that being a subject to these crimes can have. In accordance with the Statement of Commitment, the University ‘will not tolerate any type of sexual violence and harassment committed on our campuses’ and it plans to continue its work to address the issue through a number of channels, including:

  • Developing an online tool for easy reporting of sexual violence and sexual harassment incidents. This tool will allow for staff and students to report anonymously or report and speak to a University advisor. The tool will ensure that reports can be made easily and survivors can be guided through support options and disciplinary action.
  • Single point of contact email address reportandsupport@abdn.ac.uk to clarify reporting channels for staff and students. This is in addition to in-person reporting through HR and Student Support, details of which are now published on the Report and Support web pages.
  • Continue to work with Aberdeen University Student Association on campaigns that aim to prevent sexual violence and sexual harassment and address the hostile environments that encourage these threatening behaviours.
  • Continue to build bridges with local support agencies, Police Scotland and the NHS to ensure that well rounded support can be provided to survivors.
  • Repeat this survey on an annual basis to assess the progress of our work.

A number of other projects are underway to address the issue of sexual violence and harassment on campus. Recently completed projects include the ‘report and support’ pages on the University of Aberdeen website, which provide guidance on how to report incidents and how to access support.