A new scheme to combat sexual harassment, called Never Ok, was launched on November 7 as a collaboration between The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Salford.
The campaign intends to “promote an environment and culture where sexual harassment and violence is never tolerated”.
Never Ok intends to combine prevention with action through a communications campaign, which aims to raise awareness amongst students, alongside centralised action taken by the University.
The campaign urges students to be active bystanders towards sexual harassment on campus, whilst also providing survivors with the tools and empowerment necessary for reporting incidents of misconduct.
These topics are discussed on a series of interviews created for the Never OK campaign, hosted by student Dorsa.
Through the extension of boundaries on the University of Manchester’s Safe Zone app, as well as their online Understanding Consent module, Never OK has already established measures for increasing student safety on campus.
These actions reflect the sentiment of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health at UoM who took to Twitter to express that “no one should be made to feel uncomfortable, upset, offended or scared by another individual’s behaviour”.
In a study conducted by the National Union for Students (NUS) it was reported that “almost two thirds (62%) of students and graduates have experienced sexual violence at UK universities”.
In 2020 it was found that The University of Manchester had not expelled a single student for sexual misconduct in three years, despite the reporting of up to 18 cases of assault. In addition, only one in ten of those who experienced sexual violence reported their experiences to their Universities.