Gender based violence and support available

Gender based violence and support available

Message to staff issued 16 March

Dear colleagues,

As our week-long series of events to mark International Women’s Day came to an end on Saturday, we were all reminded of the dangers faced by women worldwide as vigils were held across Britain in memory of Sarah Everard.

Having spent the week championing and celebrating women in events that attracted almost a thousand people from across the UK and beyond, the tributes were a sobering reminder of issues around personal safety and the threat of violence that have a terrible impact on women.

As a University we want to reassure you of the measures that we continue to take to make clear that any acts of harassment, bullying, violence or gender targeted hate will not be tolerated, and remind you of the support services available – many of which we work with Aberdeen University Students’ Association to deliver.

These include:

  • Equally Safe Toolkit is a free resource for Scottish Universities to prevent gender-based violence on campuses
  • AUSA Advice offers impartial and confidential advice for students on a range of issues

We would encourage you to reach out for support if you have been affected by any of these issues.

We are also taking part in a Combat Misconduct pilot scheme through Against Violence and Abuse which is considering the impact of Covid-19 on levels of gender-based violence and abuse, with the aim of developing new tools to help those in need. We are also working with AMOSSHE Scotland on a short online training course for all University staff on gender-based violence.

We have also launched a new award in memory of law student Emily Drouet who sadly took her own life in 2016. Since her death Emily’s parents launched the EmilyTest to support students affected by gender-based violence.

Our work on equality, diversity and inclusion continues with the roll-out of race equality training and we are taking any learnings we can from responses to the Staff Survey 2020 and building actions around the most pressing findings.

The Dignity at Work and Study Working Group is also taking forward the development of a toolkit for staff and students. The aim is to include clear guidance and procedures for staff and students to raise concerns and training and awareness raising will be rolled out as part of its implementation.   

While much work is being done, we understand that there will always be more we can do as a University to advance the causes that we believe in, and to ensure that we care for the wellbeing, health and safety of our diverse community, supporting and developing our people to achieve their full potential.

You too can play your part - by speaking out and educating, should you feel able to, or by listening to the concerns of others. It is incumbent on us all to make a positive difference in society when and where we have the opportunity to do so.  

We will continue to play our part to support our community and use our influence to effect change and make a lasting difference.

Best wishes

George, Cecilia, Debbie, Karl & Tracey


Professor George Boyne
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Cecilia Wallback
AUSA President

Debbie Dyker
Director of People

Professor Karl Leydecker
Senior Vice-Principal

Tracey Slaven
University Secretary & Chief Operating Officer