The University of Stirling and the Stirling Students’ Union will take all steps in our power to prevent and respond effectively to gender-based violence (GBV) in our community, and to address incidents of gender-based misconduct that affect our students and our staff.
We want to foster a culture of respect and nurture an academic community that does not tolerate – and feels confident and able to challenge and report – GBV in society.
The University’s and the Students’ Union’s first strategy on preventing and combating sexual violence and misconduct was published in 2017. Thanks to substantial investments over the past four years and in collaboration with local and national partners, the University and the Students’ Union have jointly developed a nationally recognized approach to combating gender-based violence.
This strategy covering the period 2021-2024 consolidates and builds on the work of our first strategy. Basically it aims to broaden our approach to address the spectrum of gender based violence in line with the Scottish Government’s Equally Safe definition. This explicitly encompasses not only sexual violence, but all forms of GBV, including domestic and spousal violence, coercive control, stalking, online abuse, intimate image sharing, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and “honor-based violence”.
What we want to achieve: four strategic goals
Objective 1: We will foster a culture where gender-based violence is actively challenged, vigorously resolved, and in which people who experience gender-based violence are respected, supported and held accountable.
Objective 2: We will respond firmly and effectively to incidents of gender-based misconduct when they occur in our community.
Objective 3: We will ensure that our staff and students (i) have a clear idea of their options and receive appropriate support if they have experienced gender-based violence; and (ii) are clear on how to respond appropriately and support those who have experienced gender-based violence.
Objective 4: We will improve our knowledge and understanding of the prevalence and impact of our work to prevent and address gender-based violence.
Guiding Principles Based on Values
We will take a holistic, institution-wide approach to our work in preventing and responding to GBV. Six values-based principles will drive the implementation of the strategy and be essential to its success.
Our approach will be:
- Victim / survivor focused and trauma informed – We recognize the importance of ensuring that victim-survivors are at the center of our work to address GBV, and that our response to those who have experienced GBV is trauma-informed.
- Based on a culture of strong leadership – We will demonstrate engaged, inspiring and impactful senior leadership to execute our strategy while encouraging and highlighting positive leadership behaviors at all levels of our University community.
- Inclusive – We will take an intersectional approach in our work to prevent and address GBV. We recognize that some people are at greater risk of being subjected to gender-based violence due to factors such as their biological sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation, and similarly, different people respond to gender-based violence. in different ways. We also recognize that abuse is a consequence and cause of inequality and power imbalance.
- Based on evidence – We will continue to seek out and be informed by current evidence, which may include feedback from our academic community and partners, industry evidence, national guidelines, and government policies.
- Collaborative – We value a multi-agency approach based on strong partnerships internally and with our students, staff, and local and national agencies.
- Proactive – We will take proactive steps to prevent GBV and foster a culture in which our university community does not tolerate and is confident that we are actively fighting GBV. We will inspire, educate and support our staff and students to proactively address GBV in all its forms.
How we will measure success
Baseline data and trends will be captured in the supporting monitoring and evaluation framework. We will seek to use recognized and established data sources where possible. Other data sources are likely to include staff pulse surveys / culture surveys, student surveys and qualitative data obtained from engagement with those who have lived experiences. We will also seek to assess the impact of our training and awareness programs.
The data will be both qualitative and quantitative where appropriate, and we will use indirect data where necessary. The evaluation framework will be overseen by the VBG Strategy Group, which is chaired by the Dean of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and will report on progress to the University Strategy and Policy Group (USPG), Equality Steering Group, Student Experience Committee, Policy, Planning and Resources Committee (JPPRC), Academic Council and University Tribunal.