University policies on gender-based violence, sexual misconduct, violence, bullying and harassment

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Dear SRUC,

I am part of a research team at the University of Lincoln looking at policies on gender-based violence in UK universities.

The researchers will analyse existing gender-based violence policies across the UK HE sector. One output of the research will be a user-friendly set of recommendations for practitioners on constructing effective policies, which we trust will be of benefit to your institution and your student communities.

We request that you share with us any and all policies your institution has which address issues of gender-based violence or sexual misconduct, including misconduct among students and between staff and students.

We understand gender-based violence as behaviour or attitudes underpinned by inequitable power relations that hurt, threaten or undermine people because of their (perceived) gender or sexuality. Gender-based violence includes a continuum of behaviours and attitudes both online and offline, such as domestic violence, sexual violence, sexist harassment, and homo/transphobia.

If your university does not have specific gender-based violence and/or sexual misconduct policies, please share your closest relevant policies. Relevant policies include all those which would be used in the event that a member of the university community made a complaint relating to any aspect of gender-based violence (see definition above). If you have any queries about what constitutes a relevant policy, please contact us.

Participants are asked to share relevant policies from their institution in a Word or PDF format.

This project has been assessed by the independent University of Lincoln Research Ethics committee, to protect your interests. The intention of the research is not to ‘name and shame’ institutions, but rather to improve responses to gender-based violence within higher education. Examples of best practice will be shared, but institutions will only be named with permission.

We are aware that you are very busy and greatly appreciate your participation. We hope that the outcomes of this research will benefit the sector, including your institution, and will of course keep you informed about the final report in case it is of interest.

Many thanks,
Nicola Chanamuto

Devon Taylor, SRUC

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Dear Nicola

I refer to your below email which has been treated as a request for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Our response is:

For students: Gender Based Violence (GBV) is contained within the Safeguarding Policy, which was updated in May. The section that refers to GBV then specifically states that the disciplinary procedure would be invoked where necessary. I have attached the relevant documents from the Education Manual.

For staff: We do not have a specific policy statement exclusively focused on Gender Based Violence (GBV). We make reference to all forms of bullying and harassment in our Dignity at Work policy but no direct quotes around GBV from an employee perspective.

Right to review:
If you are dissatisfied with this response, you may ask SRUC to conduct a review of this decision. To do this please contact SRUC’s Professional Services Director in writing at [email address] or in some other recorded form (e.g. audio or video tape), describe the original request, explain your grounds for dissatisfaction, and include an address for correspondence. You have 40 working days from receipt of this letter to submit a review request to us. When the review process has been completed, if you are still dissatisfied, you may ask the Scottish Information Commissioner to intervene. Details of how to contact the Commissioner and to make an appeal can be found here:

Kind regards

Devon Taylor
Assistant Company Secretary
SRUC, Peter Wilson Building, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG
T. 0131 535 4129 E. [email address]
Working hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs

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