University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


UK students victims of sexual assault and stalking

Stalking, sexual attacks and violence on campus are a common occurrence, according to a recent survey of 2000 women by the British National Union of Students. One in seven have been victims

A high proportion of female students experience sexual violence or stalking while at university according to the recent ‘Hidden Marks’ survey conducted by the UK National Union of Students (NUS). This is according to the NUS website.

The study gathered over 2,000 responses from women students in the UK.

Assaults are not reported

The results show that 12 per cent have been stalked while at university or college, and in over half of the cases the stalker is a fellow student.

Female students who are victims of sexual assault are unlikely to report it to the police of their institution, according to the study.

Only 10 per cent go to the authorities. Those who do not say that it is because they are ashamed or because they fear that they themselves will be blamed for what happened.

Wake-up call

»It is extremely disturbing that so many women students are assaulted and harassed while at university or college, and it is particularly worrying that the perpetrators in many of these cases are fellow students,« says Olivia Bailey, women’s officer for the NUS.

»This report is a wake-up call. Universities and colleges must work more closely with local police, victim support services and health services in order to give victims the security and confidence to come forward. Institutions must also deal with all reported instances of assault or harassment with the utmost seriousness, so that no students are left in any doubt that such behaviour will not be tolerated,« she continues.

Universities must do more

Sandra Horley, CEO of the British domestic violence charity Refuge feels that universities should do more:

»It is vital that universities create an environment where women feel confident to speak out against abuse. Women students need to know where they can seek help, and must feel sure that their reports will be taken seriously. Women have the right to enjoy university life, focus on their studies and plan for their futures, without fear of intimidation of violence,« she says.

Read the report Hidden Marks here.