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Thursday 25 November marks the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of 16 days of activism to draw attention to violence against women.

Content warning: sexual violence

Nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime. In times of crises – like Covid-19 - the numbers rise. A new report from UN Women, based on data from 13 countries since the start of the pandemic, shows that 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know has experienced some form of violence.

Research from NUS shows that in universities 1 in 7 women will experience serious sexual or physical assault and 68% of women will experience some kind of verbal or non-verbal harassment on campus.

Violence against women is an issue that always needs our attention, however, the recent murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Nicole Smallman, Bibaa Henry, Maria Rawlings, Agnes Akom, Marlene Coleman, Louise Kam, and Bella Nicandro, all of which took place in London in the last 18 months, makes tackling this issue even more urgent. Since the end of lockdown and the reopening of nightclubs, coinciding with the start of term, there’s been a huge rise in the number of drink spiking and sexual violence incidents reported.

Alongside our Active Bystander Training, we have been developing additional training on 'Tackling Sexual Violence' for Club and Society committee members. The training will cover the background on sexual violence at university, initiations and rape culture, how to talk to and emotionally support someone who has experienced sexual harassment or violence, and how to signpost survivors to UCL and external support services.

Our 'Tackling Sexual Violence' training session will take place on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. All those attending will reassert their pledge to creating a Zero Tolerance culture towards and form of sexual misconduct. This affects our entire community, and the training has been developed collaboratively by Ilyas, Activities and Engagement Officer and Yasmeen, the Welfare and Community Officer.

If you’re a club or society committee member, there’s still time to sign up:

If you have experienced sexual violence, support is available. Our Advice Service have collated all the available support on this page.