Report on Sexual Violence in Further Education

Thursday 20-06-2019 - 01:00

Today the Women's Campaign launch a new groundbreaking report on Sexual Violence in Further Education, which finds that sexual harassment is rife in the lives of further education students, at their colleges, on social media and public space.

Back in January we encouraged FE students and current FE graduates to complete a survey about their experiences of sexual harassment and violence and we received over 500 responses. The survey grouped unwanted sexualised behaviour and experiences into four sections: sexual harassment; domestic abuse; sexual assault; and rape. We also hosted 3 focus groups to explore the attitudes of FE students towards sexual harassment, violence and violence prevention.


Today we launch the report which is NUS’ first targeted piece of research into sexual harassment and violence specifically within further education.

These are some of the key findings:

  • Overall, 75 per cent of respondents to our survey had had an unwanted sexual experience at least once. 
  • Three in ten students (28 per cent) had been pressured to establish an unwanted sexual or romantic relationship.
  • One in seven respondents (14 per cent) had experienced attempted rape/unwanted sexual intercourse.
  • Bisexual students significantly more likely than other sexual orientations to say their embarrassment was their reason for not reporting an incident to anyone. 
  • Disabled students were significantly more likely than non-disabled respondents to have experienced several forms of sexual misconduct at least once. 


Sarah Lasoye, NUS Women’s Officer, said:
“This is NUS’ first targeted piece of research into sexual harassment and violence specifically within further education. It allows us to see how these issues present within the further education context; investigating what type of abuse students have faced, and what impact these behaviours had on them. The findings show we need urgent responses to tackle sexual harassment and violence in further education institutions. This culture has been normalised to such an extent that unhealthy sexual behaviour has become harder to identify. While students may understand the concept of consent they struggle to put it into practice, with women fearing revenge and anger from men, and LGBT+ and disabled students at the sharpest end of sexual violence. The sooner we can open up our understanding of feminism and educate young people on sexual harassment and assault, along with healthy and transformative gender relations – the sooner we will be able to eradicate the toxic behaviours and attitudes that replicate and concretise themselves in the minds of young people.”


Read the full report and press release.


NUS Women’s Campaign is pleased to announce a funding pot to support students’ unions and student groups/societies to campaign and run initiatives to tackle sexual harassment and violence in further education.

Please apply before the deadline Thursday 27 Jone at noon.






Features, Women

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