#ReflectandRespect is an awareness-raising campaign for students at the University of Chester and Reaseheath College focusing on the prevention of sexual violence. It focusses on identifying harmful behaviours and encouraging cultural change, with an aim to increase the feelings of safety amongst students, particularly women and girls.

Funded by the UK Home Office as part of its Safer Streets project, this initiative is delivered in partnership with Cheshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Cheshire, University of Chester, Reaseheath College, RASASC Cheshire and Merseyside, and other VAWG organisations.

I want to reassure women and girls in Cheshire that their safety is taken extremely seriously by the police and partners. Violence against them is not their fault. Total responsibility lies with the people who commit these crimes and this project will be key in helping to change attitudes and behaviours.

John Dwyer,
Police and Crime Commissioner
for Cheshire

62%
of students have experienced sexual violence at UK universities
20%
of sexual offences towards all females relate to 16 to 24-year-olds
31%
of students felt pressured into doing something sexual while at university (research by Revolt).
16%
believed incidences of sexual violence are regularly discussed (research by Revolt).

Action

Following the aims set out, the #ReflectandRespect has delivered a number of work streams:

  • Communication campaign – A visual campaign developed alongside student focus groups and people with lived experience to raise awareness of sexual violence and call out unacceptable behaviours. Campaign messages have been posted in areas surrounding University of Chester sites and Reaseheath College such as billboards, bus stops and train stations.
  • Training for University of Chester and Reaseheath College staff – Working with specialist VAWG trainers, a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) model has been created within the University and Reaseheath College. It includes training over 25 SVLOs making this a country leading higher education model which supports students and encourages students to report incidents, knowing they will be believed.
  • Training for University of Chester and Reaseheath College students – A training package has been created which challenges inappropriate behaviours, tackles stereotypes and myths, and educates people on what bystander intervention is and what to do when you see unacceptable behaviour.
  • Safer Taxis – Working with enthusiastic partners across Warrington, Chester and Nantwich, we have created the Safer Taxis scheme. This allows students who are in a vulnerable position, but unable to pay at that point, to be able to take a taxi to a place of safety.
  • Safe Spaces – Working with venues and businesses across the county, a number of Safe Spaces have been identified which will provide students with places of refuge should they need them in times of vulnerability or crisis where they
    will be supported. The safe spaces will be able to signpost or refer students to support services within the University and externally.
  • New Safety Features for University App – A new App has been created to help improve student safety. The App also allows the user to inform family and friends about a journey the student may be going on and if they do not arrive, their contacts will be notified and alerts raised. In addition, there is a reporting feature allowing the user to report instances of inappropriate behaviour and unsafe places which the University/College can review. The App also features the locations of all of the Safe Spaces that cover areas surrounding the University and College sites.
#ReflectandRespect

Support

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University of Chester

“I am very proud that the University of Chester is actively furthering our commitment to student safety through the Safer Streets project. The combination of improved education and awareness; the roll out of the Safer Taxi scheme and Safe Spaces, and the introduction of Sexual Violence Liaison Officers across our sites will put us at the forefront of safeguarding our community. We want everyone who works, visits and studies at the University of Chester to know that we take their safety extremely seriously and that we are here to offer support and guidance to anyone should they need it. To receive this funding and deliver this project is an incredible achievement by all involved and I want to thank everyone for their hard work and commitment.” Dr Helen Galbraith, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience at the University of Chester,

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