Our work can be divided into three areas:
- Supporting survivors
- Raising awareness of sexual violence & promoting education about sex and consent
- Advocating for appropriate policies within the university.
- RESPONDING TO DISCLOSURES: Every member of the It Happens Here committee is trained in First Response, which means that they are trained to respond to disclosures of sexual violence, to help the survivor access support and, if the survivor chooses to report the incident to the police, to support and guide them through this process. We also train students who aren’t involved in It Happens Here in First Response so that every college has a number of people who can be approached for confidential and informed support.
- THE “FIRST RESPONSE APP”: In 2015 It Happens Here worked together with Code4Rights and _____ to develop the “First Response App” (available on the App Store) which enables survivors in the Oxfordshire region to access appropriate support.
- GIVING SURVIVORS PLATFORMS: It Happens Here believes that survivors are often denied platforms in which to safely discuss their experiences. We publish disclosures, anonymously or credited, on our website and also run events designed to amplify survivors voices, including poetry readings, art exhibitions, and vigils.
Raising Awareness & Providing Education:
- CONSENT WORKSHOPS: We train people to run consent workshops in their colleges, which are compulsory during Freshers’ Week. These workshops are designed to educate people about sexual consent and to stimulate discussion around sexual harassment and sexual violence. Recently It Happens Here led consent workshops at a local sixth form. We are hoping to run more events in schools over the coming year.
- EVENTS: We host panel discussions, talks and film viewings which educate people about sexual violence. This year we have been focussing on the sruvivors whose voices are most marginalised, hosting events focussed on LGBTQ experiences and men’s experiences. Next term we are hoping to host panel discussions surrounding BME experiences and the experiences of people with mental and physical disabilities.
- “IF YOU WANNA” PHOTO CAMPAIGN: This campaign features people standing up for consent. It Is a joint campaign with Durham’s It Happens Here group.
- VISIBILITY ON SOCIAL MEDIA: It Happens Here shares stories from the news about sexual violence,
Advocating for policy change within the university:
- GATHERING DATA: In 2015 It Happens Here worked with the former OUSU VP for Women, Anna Bradshaw, to conduct a survey for sexual violence against women in Oxford, gathering much needed data.
- IMPROVING WELFARE FOR STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD: It Happens Here is currently working numerous departments to improve the way in which they support students who experience sexual violence during study abroad placements or while conducting fieldwork. We are currently piloting a new training programme for students preparing to go on a year abroad which explains how to access support for yourself, as well as how to support your fellow students.