We, as a society and individuals, deserve to feel safe both at home and at university, however for some this is far from reality with many becoming victims of violence, forced into silence and suffering for years before eventually escaping their daily nightmare.
To mark the international ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ (GBV) campaign which fell on November 25, Police Scotland has partnered with Glasgow Caledonian University in order to challenge stereotypes that are associated with abuse.
According to the charity Living Without Abuse (LWA), on average domestic abuse results in two women being murdered per week and accounts for 16% of violent crimes whilst ManKind stated approximately 2.2 million males aged 16 to 59 had experienced similar abuse.
The ‘Erase the Grey’ campaign, launched by the university, has attracted media attention, gaining a nomination by the Times Higher Education in the ‘Outstanding Support’ category.
The signs displayed around the campus aims to encourage people to change their mindset with words in grey that can be seen as victim-blaming or simply an excuse for allowing violence—this including rape, stalking, groping online, domestic and emotional abuse.
According to LWA, approximately 400 people commit suicide annually who have attended hospital for abuse-related injuries, half of which commit suicide on the same day as their hospital visit.
Thomas McLean, 25, who studies at the university said:
“This is a positive step forward that GCU is trying to tackle gender stereotypes and myths because it is an issue that has negative effects on men, women and the LGBTQ+ community. This campaign highlights the university’s dedication to creating a supportive county for students here at GCU.”
Nadia Saleem, 20, who is also a student at the campus said:
“Having campaigns like this is good because they can help raise awareness to people who think that issues like this are over-exaggerated. A lot of people don’t realise that they could be stereotyping women without even realising it like when you assume something about them based on their clothing, for example, if they’re wearing a short skirt they’re instantly seen as ‘easy and unprofessional’.
“So I think this will help to educate people on how they shouldn’t judge others based on their gender and appearance. There are already so many issues surrounding subjects like consent and I believe young people should be educated on these issues.”