Sexual misconduct allegations investigated at Abertay and Dundee universities

19th January, 2022 3:27 pm

The 25 probes were included in national statistics that showed almost 400 accusations were investigated at universities across Scotland.

Dundee and Abertay Universities have investigated a total of twenty-five sexual misconduct allegations in the last five years.

The figures formed part of national statistics that showed almost 400 accusations of sexual impropriety have been made at Scottish universities since the 2016/17 academic year.

The highest number were made at the University of Edinburgh where 76 reports were filed, followed by 68 at St Andrews and 60 at Glasgow.

The Glasgow University figures included 13 reports made by staff members against colleagues.

The statistics emerged following a series of freedom of information requests by the PA news agency.

The PA investigation revealed 394 reports were made to Scotland’s 18 higher education institutions since the 2016-17 academic year, not including the Open University.

Locally, Abertay University recorded eleven incidents while Dundee University recorded 14.

In the last year alone, three reports of sexual impropriety by students that included two of sexual assault and one of sexual harassment and one sexual assault allegation against a member of staff were reported at Abertay.

In these cases, probes were launched into two of the students’ claims and the allegation against the member of staff, who was later dismissed.

At Dundee University, four accusations were reported.

Reacting to the revelations, a spokesperson for the University of Dundee said: “We have a clear zero tolerance policy in relation to sexual harassment and gender-based violence. We take any allegations of this nature extremely seriously and fully investigate each allegation of sexual misconduct.

“Our Safeguarding processes and policies are designed to protect members of our community from harm but we are never complacent about safety and would encourage anyone who has any concerns to report them to us.

“We work closely with Dundee University Students’ Association and external partners on a number of initiatives to combat sexual misconduct and help keep our community safe.”

While a spokesperson for Abertay University added: “Abertay University has a zero tolerance approach to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence or harassment and we encourage students and staff to report anything they don’t feel is right.

“Our team of professional student advisors, counsellors and mental health advisors are trained by Rape Crisis Scotland, and other partner agencies, in how to support students who have reported an incident.

“Abertay is also part of the national Equally Safe in Higher Education campaign and was a member of the steering group that introduced gender-based violence information cards for all academic and support staff across Scotland.

“The University runs an annual proactive ‘Challenge All Of It’ awareness campaign on gender-based violence, which is linked to an online reporting tool where students, staff and members of the public can make a report, anonymously if they wish.

“Abertay University and the Abertay Students’ Association are also part of a multi-agency partnership focussing on sexual harassment and gender-based violence, which includes the University of Dundee, Police Scotland, Dundee Violence Against Women Coalition, WRASAC and other stakeholders.

“We have robust procedures in place for investigating all allegations of misconduct and are committed to safeguarding both our students and staff.”

Source: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/sexual-misconduct-allegations-investigated-abertay-25986540

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