Creating new policies related to sexual violence and hate crimes in UK Higher Education

Impact: Quality of life impacts, Social impacts, Health and Well-Being impacts, 05: Gender Equality (UN SDG), 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG), 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (UN SDG)

Description of impact

Researchers in our psychology department (senior lecturers Dr Kimberley Hill and Dr Evangelia Prokopiou) and the Institute for Public Safety, Crime & Justice (Institute Manager Sarah Armstrong-Hallam) are working together on research addressing sexual violence and hate crimes on UK campuses. The University of Northampton was one of 60 institutions awarded funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Catalyst fund, as part of wider initiatives to address these issues within the UK higher education sector. 'New Spaces: Safeguarding Students from Violence and Hate’ was a student led, cross-collaborative project that resulted in a list of recommendations for raising awareness, providing support, adjusting policies, and creating safe and secure spaces for students on campus. Locally, The University has adopted institutional policies and procedures based on recommendations from the research team’s report. Nationally, the project’s findings are being implemented into HEFCE’s wider work throughout the UK concerning sexual violence and hate crime. Internationally, the dissemination of these findings is bringing greater attention to a limited area of research.

Stakeholders/Beneficiaries

Students and Staff in UK Higher Education
Local security and police forces

How have research outputs led to this impact?

'New Spaces: Safeguarding Students from Violence and Hate’, which consisted of in depth focus groups, interviews and visual methods, found that most students did not report incidences of sexual violence, hate crimes and harassment due to a variety of factors, including confidence, safety concerns, and lack of faith in institutional reporting mechanisms. This resulted in a list of recommendations for raising awareness, providing support, adjusting policies, and creating safe and secure spaces for students on campus.
Impact statusCompleted
Impact date2017
Category of impactQuality of life impacts, Social impacts, Health and Well-Being impacts, 05: Gender Equality (UN SDG), 03: Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG), 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (UN SDG)
Impact levelMature Impact