New multi-agency approach to tackle sexual violence

Date posted

9 May 2018


Edinburgh Napier has signed up to Fearless Edinburgh, an innovative working group which aims to address sexual violence within the Higher Education sector.

The partnership includes other universities, Scotland’s Rural College, Police Scotland, charities and public sector organisations that have a role to play in preventing and addressing sexual assault.

Mark Wilkinson, Head of Student Wellbeing and Inclusion, said: “Here at Edinburgh Napier we are finalising our strategy designed to tackle and prevent sexual violence and misconduct on our campuses. 

“As part of this we recognise the importance of reaching out to our colleagues in the other universities in Edinburgh. Together we aim to develop a wider coalition with key agencies such as the NHS, Edinburgh City Council and Third Sector organisations to deliver on our ambitions to make a real difference in the Edinburgh and wider region.”

Heriot-Watt University held the first joint event of Fearless Edinburgh on Thursday May 3 which included, among others, representatives from Rape Crisis, Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit, NHS Lothian and Edinburgh City Council.

Mr Wilkinson said: “The first meeting saw our developing Fearless Edinburgh coalition agree that we can move more quickly and be a lot more ambitious in tackling and preventing sexual violence by working together.”

Fearless Edinburgh was established following a Scottish Government project named Equally Safe in Higher Education, which resulted in the creation of a toolkit providing advice on gender-based violence across Scotland’s university campuses.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further and Higher Education, said: “Universities and colleges have a responsibility to ensure that their campuses are a safe place for their students to live, work and study. 

“This includes fostering a culture that is clear in its condemnation of gender-based violence and gives staff and students the confidence to report unacceptable behaviour.

“The collaborative approach taken by the Fearless Edinburgh Partnership to tackle gender based violence is to be commended and is an example of how the Toolkit, launched last week, can bring together effective partnerships to prevent violence, harassment and abuse happening on and off campus.”