Events and training

We would like our whole community here at Keele to be involved in our campaign to tackle sexual violence. Whether you're a student or a staff member, everyone has a role to play and can be a part of the conversation.

This year's Sexual Violence Awareness Week takes place from February 1st to 7th 2021. This week, we’ll be posting lots of information and resources on all things sex, relationships and consent. No matter what your question is, or whether you’re in a relationship or not, you will find something that’s useful to you. Whether you have little experience or you consider yourself to be Keele’s very own ‘Sexpert’, there will be something for everyone, so look out for our posts which will be on a different theme each day.

Why now? The week is a national awareness week for sexual violence and abuse.

Let’s pause and let that sink in a little.

Yes. It’s 2021 and we still need an awareness week on sexual violence and abuse. It’s important we recognise that sexual violence and abuse is prevalent in all our communities around the world; we need to see it, name it, and take action. It’s important that everyone understands consent, how to give it and how to get it. It’s important for survivors, who may be still working through the impact of their experience of violence and abuse. It’s important for those still living with violence and abuse. It’s important because victim-survivors often have feelings of shame and embarrassment, and that can have many negative consequences, particularly in relation to whether they feel able to tell someone what happened and access support.

As one of our student Community Champions told us, no one should have to live with shame because they have been victimised in this way.

Take a look at the links below on each day to find out more. Trigger warning: in these resources there is discussion of sex and relationships, including content on consent, violence and abuse. Please read with care, be kind to yourself, and if you need support you can speak to our Sexual Violence Prevention and Support team.

Monday 1st February Consent Understanding consent and how it is given is a key starting point for this important topic.
Tuesday 2nd February Relationships Learn more about what a healthy relationship should look like, and signs of abuse.
Wednesday 3rd February   Stalking and Harassment Information on signs to look out for and guidance from the police on how to protect yourself.
Thursday 4th February Myth Busting   This topic will share facts that aim to counter the many sexual violence myths that society perpetuates.
Friday 5th February Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team Find out more about the support that you can receive within the university if you are affected by sexual violence.

We cannot shy away from the facts; sexual violence and abuse can have profound consequences, sometimes life-changing consequences, and PTSD is common among victim-survivors. That’s why prevention is key and consent is everything. We’ll be posting lots of info and you’ll find some interesting and importantly, inclusive stuff on consent, communication, and being an active bystander in your Consent Matters online workshop (find it in your induction or reinduction space on the KLE). Whether you’re in a relationship, married, or casual, consent is everything.

We can all do something to help bring about some much needed change. We can all contribute in making our university free from violence and discrimination of all kinds. We can start by looking honestly at our own approach to relationships and consent and if we realise we’re hurting someone close to us, do something about it. We can also help bring about change by calling out rape myths, being a community champion, raising money for support charities, or learning how to support someone close to you – no matter how big or small the step, we’re still moving towards a safer, stronger and happier community.

We have developed a four hour workshop for staff which highlights practical skills when taking a disclosure of sexual violence. This was developed in partnership with USVReact, a European research project led by Brunel University. Participants will learn:

  • About sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct, together with social attitudes towards these issues
  • The impact that trauma can have on survivors
  • Key pointers to remember when taking a disclosure
  • How to make appropriate onward referrals while taking account of immediate safety concerns
  • The importance of self-care

For those who feel they would like more detail, there is also a full day training option available.

If you would like to register an interest, or if you would like to explore training delivery for your whole team, please email k.l.prince@keele.ac.uk.

Being an active bystander means that we don’t stand by when we witness troubling behaviour; instead we strive to take action and ensure that Keele continues to feel like a safe, fun and accepting place to be.

Troubling behaviour might include homophobic, racist or sexist jokes, or discrimination; or taking advantage of a power imbalance, like status, size or level of inebriation. Power dynamics are often involved in cases of sexual violence, relationship violence, bullying or harassment.

We want our students to feel confident in challenging these types of behaviour, or otherwise intervening safely and effectively. For more information on being an active bystander, and how a situation can be changed, watch this 8 minute video from the Who are you? campaign from New Zealand.

If you are an academic and would like to discuss how to incorporate an active bystander session into your course, please email k.l.prince@keele.ac.uk.

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