The Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre has formed a partnership with the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University and Queen Margaret University to support students who have experienced rape or sexual violence.
The project will offer counselling and support both remotely and in person to any student who has had this experience.
The Student Survivors Project will allow the universities to fulfil their key role and duty of care to students to ensure that specialist services are available. This project is also intended to help student survivors to understand that abuse is never their fault.
Centre Director Caroline Burrell said:“This new project will provide crucial, life-saving support to student survivors across the city. We know that sexual violence happens on university campuses, and we are also very aware of the need for specialist support for those who have experienced such violence. This project, which has developed out of the Fearless Edinburgh work, builds on the excellent services in place already and is an important part to ensuring student survivors have the kind of support they need, when they need it.”
Andy Shanks, Convener of Fearless Edinburgh and Director of Student Wellbeing at the University of Edinburgh, said:“Universities across the city have been working together, alongside the Council, the NHS and the Police, as Fearless Edinburgh for some time. Our work has focused on activities to raise awareness of sexual violence, to promote understanding of gender-based violence, and to better support those who experience sexual abuse. The City’s four universities are pleased to be joint funders in this project as part of ongoing work to better support survivors on our campuses.
“This project is also a crucial part of the work we all do to support student wellbeing and inclusion, and tackle and prevent sexual violence and misconduct on our campuses. I know that the short and long term support provided by ERCC’s Counselling Support worker will complement the counselling and student wellbeing services in each institution.”