Our work on gender-based violence

Gender-based violence

Gender-based violence in higher education

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a major public health, equality and human rights issue. Sexual violence and other forms of abuse within higher education is an international and widely recognised issue of concern. The University is committed to the promotion of a positive culture for working and studying, with zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment, in which all members of our community treat each other with dignity, respect and are equally safe.

GBV covers a wide spectrum of violence and abuse and is committed primarily, but not exclusively, against women by men. Due to the nature of GBV, it is known to be significantly under-reported. Despite this, evidence shows that young people - and young women in particular - between the ages of 16-24 years are disproportionately likely to be victims of such abuse.

University campuses can create a unique set of risks. The services and interventions available at the University of Edinburgh are equally accessible for all students, however we recognise and respect the particular barriers and challenges which students from LGBTQ+ communities and others with protected characteristics may face in disclosing and seeking support for GBV-related issues.

Reporting incidences of GBV

Evidence also tells us that students are less likely to report incident(s) of abuse to the police. The University has a number of options which are available to support students in making an initial disclosure either to a trusted staff member, via our Report + Support platform or directly to our Equally Safe Team (equallysafeteam@ed.ac.uk).

The University can also help you access a range of services and support from external organisations. 

GBV - contacts and useful resources

While it can feel overwhelming and isolating to be affected by any form of abuse, we are here to help and support you from a trauma-informed, survivor-led perspective. We will always be respectful of your choices, never blame you for the abuse, be respectful of your confidentiality, and take your concerns around safety and wellbeing seriously by working to reduce any risks. 

Related links

Overview of gender-based violence - Public Health Scotland

Equally Safe: Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls