Gender-Based and Sexual Violence

Gender-Based and Sexual Violence

Here you can find more details on our approach to tackling Gender-Based and Sexual Violence (GBV); the work of our Strategy Group in this area; and sources of support, both inside and out with, the University. 

We acknowledge that we have more to do to tackle GBV at the University and are proud to have Pledged to take the EmilyTest Charter to support our work in this area. 

To find out more about GBV, staff can access a training package through the online training portal and students can access one through Blackboard.

Addressing GBV & Sexual Harassment Strategy Group

The Addressing Gender-Based Violence & Sexual Harassment Strategy Group is responsible for identifying and driving changes needed to combat GBV at the University and setting our strategic goals in this area.

We use the term GBV to refer to both gender-based violence and also sexual harassment and violence that can impact any member of our community.

The Strategy Group oversee the Combating GBV Action Plan and work to put in place appropriate support and reporting mechanisms at the University. We also engage across the Sector, and beyond, on addressing the root causes of, and associated issues linked to, GBV and sexual violence in society.

The group is convened by Nick Edwards (Deputy Director of People & Head of Student Support) and supported by Lisa Kilgour (Student Support Advisor). 

Remit and Composition

Meeting minutes

Addressing GBV & Sexual Harassment Policy

In November 2021, the University launched its first Addressing GBV & Sexual Harassment Policy, following its approval by the University Policy & Resources Committee.

The Policy was drafted following extensive input from staff and students; AUSA; Campus Trade Unions; and external groups working in combating GBV and supporting victims of sexual harassment and assault.

We intend to review the Policy in early 2023, following work being undertaken through our Combating GBV Action Plan and the most recent version of the Policy will always available on this page.

Combatting GBV Action Plan

The Addressing GBV & Sexual Harassment Strategy Group approved our most recent action plan in September 2022. This document outlines the strategic objectives of the University and its work to combat and address GBV and will be updated after each meeting with details of progress made.

Joint Statement of Commitment

In April 2022, the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen University Students' Association (AUSA) re-signed a Statement of Commitment to address gender based violence and sexual harassment (GBV) in our community.

The Joint Statement is a signed promise made by the University and AUSA to work together to address GBV on campus and we understand that we have work to do as a University to provide the best support to victims of GBV and to support the global work to end GBV in society at large. Work towards our Joint Statement will be undertaken by both the University and AUSA, and will also be supported though partnership working in our Addressing GBV and Sexual Harassment Strategy Group.

Use of Non-Disclosure Agreements and Confidentiality Clauses

The University was proud to work with the sector on creating a joint statement in 2019 prohibiting the use of NDA (non-disclosure agreements) and confidentiality clauses in cases of harassment. This statement was signed up to by all Scottish institutions at the time and remains in place today. As outlined in the statement: 

“Scottish universities do not use confidentiality clauses to prevent victims of harassment from speaking out. It is critical that all our staff and students are safe and supported, and we would consider any such use of confidentiality clauses to be wholly unacceptable”.

The University will never attempt to silence a victim or survivor from speaking out about their experiences as they proceed through any University process in relation to their support. 

The full statement can be found on the Universities Scotland website. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is responsible for the strategic direction of all Equality, Diversity and Inclusion activities supporting the Aberdeen 2040 strategy. The Committee will champion equality, diversity and inclusion for staff and students and will promote an Inclusive culture.

Learn more about the committee's responsibilities, membership, agenda, and minutes.

View the University‘s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Sources of support

External support

For details of the specific support available with GBV external to the University please see our dedicated pages. These also contain access to our Online Confidential Reporting Tool.

Support for students

More details of support available for student are on our Student Support & Wellbeing pages.

Support for staff

More details on sources of support available for staff are on our Staffnet pages.