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University of the Highlands and Islands event explores ways to prevent gender-based violence


By Staff Reporter


At the event were (from left) Gillian Gunn, DCI Vincent Mclaughlin, Anni Donaldson, Iain Morrison, Shuwanna Aaron, Fiona Drouet, Sorcha Kirker, Elaine Fetherston, AND Lyndsay MacColl.
At the event were (from left) Gillian Gunn, DCI Vincent Mclaughlin, Anni Donaldson, Iain Morrison, Shuwanna Aaron, Fiona Drouet, Sorcha Kirker, Elaine Fetherston, AND Lyndsay MacColl.

EFFORTS have been made to explore how gender-based violence can be prevented on college and university campuses.

The University of the Highlands and Islands hosted a Love Doesn’t Hurt event in Inverness aimed at highlighting issues.

Sorcha Kirker, vice-president (higher education) at the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA), was proud to be involved.

She said: “Gender-based violence is a serious issue that affects many students and it is important that both HISA and the university are doing everything they can to ensure we have the most positive and supportive learning environment for our students.

“It is wonderful that we have been able to work closely on addressing this issue and I look forward to continuing this work with the university.”

Dr Iain Morrison, dean of students at the university, said: “The University of the Highlands and Islands takes our responsibilities to our students and staff very seriously.

“We want every one of them to flourish and reach their full potential. Part of that is helping to ensure that they study and work in a healthy and supportive environment and culture.”

Speakers at the event included Fiona Drouet from the Emily Test campaign. She spoke about the death of her daughter, a law student who took her own life after being subjected to emotional and physical abuse by her former boyfriend.

Delegates also watched a video from MSP Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s minister for further education, higher education and science, who underscored the government’s commitment to tackling gender-based violence.

“We are determined that our campuses should be places where students can flourish, and where staff and students are empowered to tackle gender-based violence with absolute confidence,” Mr Lochhead said.

The event was part of a series of three workshops taking place across Scotland to support the implementation of the Equally Safe in Higher Education Toolkit.

The toolkit, funded by the Scottish Government, developed by the University of Strathclyde and launched last year, provides a resource for colleges and universities to tackle gender-based violence.

It includes information about the signs that someone may be in an abusive relationship, including changes in performance, missing classes and isolation from peers.

The toolkit can be accessed at www.strath.ac.uk/humanities/schoolofsocialwork/socialpolicy/equally/safeinhighereducation/eshetoolkit



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