Credit: Credit Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis

UofG rejects multiple offers of gender-based violence councillor from local charity

By Tom Gilbert and Freya Corcoran

Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis first offered UofG the councillor service they supply at Strathclyde back in February 2021.

The Glasgow Guardian understands that the University of Glasgow has rejected numerous offers from Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis (GCRC) to supply a councillor on campus since February 2021. This comes as Glasgow University Fashion Show is set to launch a petition urging the University to accept the offer.  

Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis (GCRC) are a prominent charity working for the safety and support of women and girls in Glasgow. They provide trained professionals who offer one on one support for those who have fallen victim to GBV in the city. According to GCRC, the University of Glasgow has been offered a representative from the charity who would be based on campus, to increase and improve the support that the University can offer to victims of sexual assault, violence, or rape. These offers have been made consistently since February 2021, and have been consistently rejected.  

Service managers for GCRC, Paula and Janette, stressed that the representative on campus would complement structures already in place at the University. They detailed a similar system which has been in place at the University of Strathclyde since 2017 in which a representative works on campus two days a week alongside other members of faculty. Students at the University of Strathclyde can access all the support that GCRC has to offer, on campus and without waiting times. GCRC maintain that the support worker has grown to become a familiar and prominent face for students and on campus, offering them immediate reliable and professional support, stating that “we know the benefit of having an independent worker from GCRC, with our specialist approach and experience in the field of rape and sexual assault support to survivors, complimenting what is provided on the campus by the university, has been a huge benefit for those needing the right support at the right time.”There have been significant amounts of communication between the University of Glasgow and Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis, and both insist they have a positive working relationship.  Despite this, both Janette and Paula highlighted issues in the support system at UofG, shown most notably by the number of Glasgow University students seeking their services. Victims of gender-based violence at Glasgow University are being left to search for support elsewhere in

lieu of finding adequate support on campus. Demand for this kind of service at the University is clear. Mia Hardie, founder of the online support platform Urban Angels Glasgow, told The Glasgow Guardian that ‘‘Students from UofG still go to Glasgow and Clyde Rape crisis for support either because they are unaware of the university’s in place system or because they find it lacking.There is an unacceptable level of support offered to survivors of gender based violence by the university.” Continuing that, having a representative on campus would be a “vital step in increasing the availability of resources and complementing the procedures already in place for handling instances of GBV.” Hardie went on to highlight a “certain negligence” within UofG’s approach to GBV, and noting that “despite years of gender based violence occurring on campus and in the surrounding area, there are still not sufficient structures in place.” 

The University of Glasgow have admitted, in part, to significant mishandlings of sexual assault and violence allegations within the university. The 2022 Morag Ross Report, in response to allegations of incompetence by the university surrounding gender based violence, outlined fundamental issues within the systems present at Glasgow University, and was both a recognition of the university’s shortfalls and a commitment to upheave them. Various allegations within the university over recent years, some of which became substantially high profile and alleged a large amount of university misconduct, led the university to implement changes to their system. The Ross Report was a significant step in the right direction for UofG, however, has not led to an improvement in the student support system, for which demand is increasing. 

Speaking with a previously prominent member of one of the biggest student organisations at UofG, who has chosen to stay anonymous, it became clear that her position was somewhat abused by the university, who expected her, an undergraduate student with no training that UofG was aware of, to respond and act on complaints against another significant member of the organisation.  

GUCFS released a statement, which highlighted the ‘lack of trust in the university to deal with sexual and gendered violence’ that is felt by their committee and much of the student body, and called for the university to implement a GCRC support worker on campus. 

A University spokesperson said: “We have a very good relationship with Rape Crisis GG&C and have worked closely with them in recent years. Rape Crisis GG&C worked with us in 2021 and 2022 to run First Responder Training. Rape Crisis Scotland worked with the University to deliver sexual violence investigator training in 2021.The University employs our own specialist GBV Counsellor who works in CaPS 3 days per week. She also works in the SRC Advice centre 1 day per week, offering sessions on a drop in basis.We look forward to our continued work with Rape Crisis GG&C”. 

Alongside the CaPs service the SRC has a councillor independent from the University available every Tuesday.


Share this story

Follow us online

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments