I have signed the pledge. Why you should sign it too

Graphic for sexual harassment campaign

Written by student Akash Kumar.

Sexual harassment is a major challenge in universities for both students and staff. Behaviours related to sexual harassment can take numerous forms, including physical, verbal, and internet-based. Universities must create a safe and respectful environment for students, as well as implement policies to prevent and address harassment. If a person is harassed, or if someone witnesses harassment, they should know how to report it to the appropriate authorities and seek assistance.

The University of Reading is standing up to harassment by creating a pledge, which you can sign either online or in person on February 9 in RUSU, 14:00-16:00. The pledge is your commitment to:

  1. “Build your understanding so you can recognise when ‘banter’ or ‘harmless fun’ is actually sexual harassment
  2. Complete the Consent and Active Bystander training so you’re empowered to call out inappropriate behaviour: reading.ac.uk/consent
  3. Show others you stand against sexual harassment by posting an advocacy statement on social media #SexualHarassmentIsNeverOK
  4. Spread the word and encourage others to sign up and take this action too”

See it, Say it, Stop it

The effects of sexual harassment can be long-lasting, causing physical, emotional, and psychological harm to its victims. By taking a stand against sexual harassment, we demonstrate our commitment to creating a safe and respectful community for everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or any other identifier. Let us work together to eradicate sexual harassment and promote respect and equality for all.

Furthermore, speaking out against sexual harassment sends a clear message that such behaviour will not be considered acceptable. It fosters an accountability culture in which individuals who participate in abusive behaviour are held accountable for their actions. This can help to prevent future incidents and make the environment safer for everyone. In addition, speaking out against sexual harassment sends a message of support to survivors and victims, demonstrating that they are not alone. This can be extremely beneficial in assisting them to heal and move forward. Addressing and combating sexual harassment also benefits society by making the world more inclusive and equitable.

I have already signed the pledge online. By signing yourself, you can also make a commitment against sexual harassment. When you sign you will have access to a digital badge which you can share on your social media and tag the University of Reading to show you are taking a stand (#SexualHarassmentIsNeverOK, InstagramTwitter). This encourages others to be informed of this campaign, to be more aware of the prevalence of sexual harassment and actively stand against it.

Learning the warning signs of sexual harassment is an important step towards becoming an active bystander. The tagline “See it, Say it, Stop it” encapsulates the steps in dealing with sexual harassment. To begin, it is important to pay close attention to and identify evidence of sexual harassment, including unwanted physical contact, sexual advances or remarks, or any behaviour that causes someone to feel uncomfortable or intimidated. Secondly, once you’ve identified the actions, it’s really necessary to “Say it” by being an active bystander, seeking help, reporting via Never OK, or to the Police. By adhering to these steps, we can stop normalised harassment and create a respectful, safe, and more inclusive environment for everyone.

Sign the pledge either online or join the in-person event on February 9th in RUSU.

Sexual harassment is Never OK


The Student Welfare Team

Consent and Active Bystander Training

Sexual misconduct and assault at the University of Reading

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