Trigger warning: sexual violence
The result of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that there has been a total of five alleged sexual assaults reported on the University of Sussex campus in the last five years, from September 2009 to September 2014.
The University of Sussex responded to the FOI with the statement: “The University of Sussex alleged offences of every kind very seriously
“The university provides an extensive range of services that offer students ongoing support and advice for any difficulties that may result from such incidences, including sexual assault.”
The FOI was sent in response to a sexual assault that allegedly took place earlier in the year when a student was assaulted in her halls of residence on the University of Sussex’s Falmer campus.
Ella Gordon, a second year American Studies student, has commented: “Although five sexual assaults in the last five years won’t seem too many to some people , for me, I think that it is five too many.
“The figure shows that on average there is one alleged sexual assault a year, and that’s not good enough
“It is the University’s job to protect the students that are living on campus, and if I had known the figure last year when I was living at a Falmer halls of residence, I would not have felt comfortable or safe.
“When you look around campus, especially where the housing areas are, there often isn’t enough lighting, sufficient security cameras or patrols.
“Perhaps if the University addressed these problems, the number of sexual assaults recorded would decrease.”
NUS and the welfare Officer, Rianna Gargiulo, at the Students’ Union, have recently launched the ‘I Heart Consent’ campaign. The campaign aims to tackle and educate students on the myths, misunderstandings and problematic perspectives about rape, as well as consent and sexual harassment.
More information about the campaign can be found at sussexstudent.com/campaigns.