• Handing back the power and giving a voice to survivors of sexual assault and harassment •
Find out more about the mission of Revolt Sexual Assault:
Revolt Sexual Assault is a newly created national campaign. We are working to expose the real nature and extent of sexual assault and harassment experienced by former and current students at university in the United Kingdom, and campaigning for the policy reform required at a national level to address this epidemic.
University differs from other areas of life, because when you live in a student bubble that perpetrator might be a friend, a friend of a friend, in your halls, down your road, in your lecture or your local shop. It makes reporting sexual assault extremely hard with next to no support available.
But by speaking out, we can help highlight this issue so universities are compelled to offer more support for victims and tackle the problems that result in low report rates, encourage more students to come forward knowing that they are not alone, and ultimately compel things to change.
OUR USE OF SNAPCHAT:
Using the selfie-taking phenomenon Snapchat, students can share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment, bringing to life the raw and heart-wrenching stories behind the statistics.
They can choose to apply filters, facial and vocal obscuration to conceal their identity: this ensures that each student feels safe, comfortable and in control whilst sharing their story – feelings they are all too often deprived of through sexual violence.
We think there’s something pretty powerful about utilising a social phenomenon like Snapchat to address such a serious issue as sexual assault and harassment; to voice and humanise this issue that is all too often concealed in a cloak of silence.
We hope that the compilation and publication of these videos alongside our blog, will not only ensure students do not feel alone – and the sense of isolation and self-blame surrounding sexual assault victims is not to be underestimated – but will also create a domino effect leading to more and more awareness, conversation, engagement, participation and momentum for change.
We have only just begun our work, but we have big plans for Revolt Sexual Assault.
We recently established a national student survey on sexual assault, in partnership with The Student Room, the country’s leading online student community, to deliver up to date data on this issue. Our research highlights the extremely low report rates of sexual violence amongst young people, in higher education.
In the coming months, we will be releasing our full report and recommendations on sexual violence at universities; alongside this we will be advertising our higher education conference, where we will present our findings.
We are developing a range of ways that you can get involved with our campaign and join the revolution – beginning with helping us start a conversation #ItsRevolting. We will be looking for a national network of carefully selected and specially trained campus volunteers to represent the campaign and encourage participation at their universities, soon to be advertised here on our website.
Our founder Hannah has been on TV, radio and in and out of newspapers talking about our mission, and her story, nationally and internationally. She also speaks at policy roundtables and think-tank events; including at the Equality and Human Rights Commission and The House of Lords. More detail on press coverage and enquiries can be found here.
Ultimately we want to drive higher education policy reform where universities provide the standard of care that students are entitled to, enforced consistently and nationally by the government.
We want the introduction of extensive education from a young age on what consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault really mean.
Most of all, we want a society where filters and digital disguises are not necessary; where victim blaming is not tolerated, and survivors of sexual violence feel secure and supported enough to come forward, safe in the knowledge that they will be cared for and they will be heard.
This is a testimonial from one of our incredibly brave, eloquent and strong campaign participants. For us it pretty powerfully captures our whole mission and the real, authentic impact and importance of this work.
If this campaign makes one person feel less alone or more comfortable talking about sexual assault then it has made a difference. Telling my story anonymously has been so empowering and I’ve felt safe and in control the whole time.
“When I was raped I felt so alone and unsupported. I thought bad things like sexual assault didn’t happen to girls like me…and so did my family and so did my friends. I didn’t know how to talk about rape and that made dealing with all my emotions so much more difficult.
“Since I was raped, establishing safety and control have been significant parts of my recovery process and this was yet another step. The police and the university need to change the way they deal with sexual assault cases.
“I really believe this campaign will make them ask more questions and take a more active approach in reforming their systems. It wasn’t easy to tell my story but I’m extremely proud to be a part of this amazing campaign, thank you Hannah and everyone else who has been a part of it!”