Officer statement on the death of Sarah Everard and women’s safety
A statement from your Elected Officer Team:
The news of the disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard this week has been difficult and saddening. For many students, this has been even more challenging as it reminds us of situations, we have been in ourselves and how differently they could have gone. Situations which were and still are unacceptable and damaging to our mental health and the rest of our lives.
Sarah Everard took all the precautions other women have been told to take whenever they have no choice to go out after dark, but it still wasn’t enough.
Reading the experiences of women, and especially of our students, online has shown to us that this is something we don’t talk about enough, not just to the police, but even to our friends, it’s actions women do all the time to stay safe. In reality, we should be having these conversations about this issue, we should be educating others on their privilege, we should feel comfortable to say no, we should be calling out others on their behaviours and how they do not support the inclusion or safety of women.
It is heart-breaking to see other’s denying women’s lived realities and does not help to make them feel any safer or supported by their peers.
Women should not be in fear of how to dress, where to walk and what time they decide to walk. Women should not have to adhere to an unspoken curfew of the sun going down, they should not have to second guess what clothes they are buying, and they definitely should not have their experiences silenced.
We take a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination at Staffordshire University and there is #NoExcuse for behaviour that carries out, encourages or endorses gendered violence here.
The important thing to remember if you have experienced any form of sexual violence, no matter where you were, what you were doing, what you were wearing, what you were saying, if you were drunk or under the influence of drugs, it was not your fault; you are not to blame.
If you have been affected by any of the news surrounding women’s safety, please reach out to our Wellbeing Team or if you would like more specialised support please get in touch with the Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) team at Staffs. They are there to help any student subjected to sexual violence and harassment no matter how big or small you might feel your encounter was.
^ Connor, Tuesday, Carter & Anth, Your Elected Officer Team
Useful contacts and resources
Staffordshire University student-specific support:
Students’ Union support:
- Our Student Advice team can signpost you to relevant services too and we have staff members trained as SVLO’s in our team.
- We still run our ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign, so if you feel uncomfortable in our spaces for any reason, you can ask at staff member to speak to Angela and we’ll do the rest.
- We always offer a free personal safety alarm to any student who asks but we wanted to take this time to remind students that this is available to pick up any weekday between Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
If we are out of stock, we will take your contact details and send on to your address.
If you are not at our Stoke campus and would like one, get in touch with your contact details.
- Join our Women’s Student Network Facebook Group »
Other external links:
A YouTube video to start a conversation with our students.
Providing free counselling and support services for anyone from the age of 4 who has been affected by sexual violence and abuse.
Staffordshire Women’s Aid is a specialist service who have been providing Domestic and Sexual Violence Services since 1976.
If you or someone else is in danger, call 999 for emergency services or 01782 294374 for the campus control team. You can also use our dedicated email address for reporting sexual violence: email@example.com