of students are subjected to some form of harassment.
Women and non-binary students do not only have to navigate a new city, and institution when going into higher education, but also face the constant threat of Public Sexual Harassment. Whether we’re being groped on our way to campus or verbally harassed within its confines, our right to a free and equal education is being fundamentally denied.
yet nothing is being done.
There is a deafening silence about PSH from higher education bodies across the UK.
According to our survey, only 37% of students had knowledge of existing schemes and policies at their universities relating to PSH (OSN, 2020).
We're on a mission
to change this.
On 22nd February 2021, we launched ‘Our Schools Now: Higher Education’, a campaign to raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of PSH on higher education students, and demand action from institutions.
We deserve to study and learn in peace.
These are our priorities.
To promote awareness of the experiences of women and non binary students facing PSH.
To provide safe and clear support networks for students who experience PSH.
To establish a clear and consistent zero tolerance policy in HE institutions.
To educate the male student body to become uplifting allies, active bystanders and vocal denouncers of PSH.
To encourage the institution to monitor reports of PSH off campus and develop strategies to tackle it, for example working with transport providers to reduce harassment on university buses.
To promote awareness
To provide safe and clear support networks
To establish a clear and consistent zero tolerance policy
To educate the male student body
To encourage the institution
Want to get involved?
Here are a few ways you can help make Higher Education harassment-free
Check out our new Higher Education Report: Student Safety Survey 2022
This report based on our comprehensive survey of 1379 HE students found that:
77% of students of marginalised genders feel unsafe at clubs and bars, and over half have avoided going on nights out for fear of PSH or sexual assault
71% of students of marginalised genders have had their participation in student life affected by the shortening of daylight hours.
Only 16% of students would feel comfortable sharing their experiences of PSH to their higher education institution, and over half would not trust their institution to handle reports of PSH appropriately.
Read the report here.
For more data, read our 2020 report ‘They Saw My Fear and Laughed’ available here - or for a shorter version read the executive summary here.
Educate yourself about PSH by reading our resource pack
1. Tweet our hashtag tagging all relevant actors e.g. institution page, SU, head of your institution. Use our template tweet!
2. Send this template letter to the head of your institution to ask them to denounce PSH and provide support for the campaign.
3. Get involved with your institution’s OSN group by following the link on the map below! Or if there isn’t one, sign up to become an ambassador - info below!
Our ambassador scheme aims to provide direct and targeted action at every HE institution we work in. Utilising the knowledge of the student ambassadors, we can create effective positive change adapted to the city and the institution.
Map designed by Pippa (@genderstepgap)
If there are not any current campaigns at your institution, or if you would like to join an ongoing group, sign up to become an ambassador and begin changing the culture of silence in Higher Education!
This is what some of our ambassadors have to say about the role and their aims :
Higher education institutions must enable the safety of all their students. Without this safety, women and non-binary students’ right to education is compromised.
PSH can affect HE students in a number of ways, from impacting their mental health to reducing class attendance. These effects are different depending on students’ other intersecting identities, such as race or sexuality.
To showcase some students’ experiences of PSH in November and December 2020, we teamed up with photographer Eliza Hatch (Cheer Up Luv) to produce a photo series.
Check out our exciting virtual exhibition!
It's time for HE institutions to take responsibility for the PSH affecting their students and ensure the safety of the entire student body.