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Reclaim these streets: A statement from UPSU

We want anyone who identifies as a woman to know that as a Students’ Union we stand with you. It is a harrowing truth that women are more likely to face sexual harassment and be survivors of abuse than men across the world. This week, UN Women released a study finding that over 70% of women in the UK say they have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. Sexual violence and harassment are an everyday reality of being a woman and this simply should not be the case. Women have the right to walk down the street, day or night, free from fear of being attacked, kidnapped, or murdered.

We know that there isn’t a simple solution, but we believe that action needs to be taken to address this important issue. We want our campus and our community to be a safe place for all. More action needs to be done to step up and challenge the culture of misogyny in our society and do better. It’s time to stop passively accepting violence against women as a social norm. More action needs to be done to provide more appropriate care and support for women and girls who have experienced trauma linked to violence and abuse. 

It’s everyone's responsibility to take progressive actions. Start by actively calling out any instances of sexual harassment and abuse. We need to move from actions that focus on women “protecting themselves” to meaningful conversations with everyone. This will create positive, proactive and permanent change to stop violence against women. 

The Students’ Union will continue to work in close partnership with the University of Plymouth to ensure that Plymouth is as safe as it can be for all female residents. We will be working with our women’s networks and help to campaign and educate on this pressing issue. However, we know that there is still lot more work to be done.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Sarah Everard and with anyone who identifies as a woman who doesn’t feel safe. 

If you would like to be involved and be part of shaping Students’ Union activity in this area, please get in touch.

 


 

For anyone who has been affected by these recent events or just needs some support, please get in touch with the support services, they are here for you.?
 

Support for University of Plymouth Staff and Students

Support in Plymouth

Adults and their children escaping domestic abuse can break any Covid-19 lockdown restrictions to ensure their safety. Women’s Aid also offer free train travel for anyone travelling to refuge accommodation.


Support Online

Only download and install apps if it is safe to do so and you are sure your mobile phone is not being monitored.

  • Bright Sky ?is a free-to-download mobile app, providing support and information to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.  
  • Hollie Guard ?is a smartphone app which essentially transforms your smartphone into a personal safety device. All you need to do is shake your phone or tap the screen and you generate an alert, which automatically sends your location and audio/video evidence to your emergency contacts.