1st Edition

Tackling Sexual Violence at Universities
An International Perspective

ISBN 9780815385288
Published March 13, 2019 by Routledge
136 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Sexual violence is a problem well beyond universities, however universities are uniquely well placed to contribute to reducing sexual violence, encouraging those affected to come forward and speak about their experiences and actively encourage increased reporting. This book is unique, in that it offers an international perspective on the incidence, reporting and impact of sexual violence at universities.

Drawing on evidence from the UK, North America, Australia and Europe, Towl and Walker explore the psychological and structural challenges to reporting sexual violence. They provide a set of policy and practice guidance recommendations that move beyond awareness campaigns to call for systems to be put in place whereby reports of sexual assault are handled promptly, fairly and consistently. They also discuss how universities can strengthen their approach to prevention, promoting safeguarding and the welfare of victims and survivors, and involving victims and survivors in the development and improvement of services. However, fundamental to their approach is keeping decision making with the victim and survivor, and emphasising that their health and recovery is paramount.

Tackling Sexual Violence at Universities is an invaluable and ground-breaking resource for students and researchers in forensic psychology and criminology, as well as professionals working in higher education.


The authors are donating their royalties in full to Kirklees and Calderdale Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (KCRASACC), UK, a small registered charity that provides specialist therapy, counselling advocacy and support for survivors of sexual or domestic violence and abuse. Running for nearly 30 years, the centre works with young people and adults over the age of 13.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Tackling sexual violence at universities: themes and perspectives.

Chapter 2: What do we know about sexual violence?

Chapter 3: Tackling sexual violence at universities in the UK.

Chapter 4: Sexual violence on US campuses.

Chapter 5: Sexual violence at Australian universities.

Chapter 6: Canadian universities and sexual violence.

Chapter 7: Reflections on responding to sexual violence in European universities.

Chapter 8: Tackling sexual violence and misconduct: what do universities in the UK need to do?

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Graham J. Towl is Professor of Forensic Psychology at Durham University. He was formerly Chief Psychologist at the Ministry of Justice, UK. Uniquely he is the recipient of the British Psychological Society Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Practice and also the award for forensic academic knowledge. In 2003 he was peer-nominated as the most influential forensic psychologist in the UK. He is widely published and, as Pro Vice Chancellor at Durham University, he chaired the sector-leading Sexual Violence Task Force, which has received widespread endorsements.

Tammi Walker is Deputy Director of The Centre for Applied Research in Health (CARH) and is a Reader in Forensic Psychology at the University of Huddersfield. She is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Registered Fellow with the Higher Education Academy. Tammi has completed work in this profession for over 15 years and has an advanced level of knowledge in forensic mental health, forensic psychiatry and psychology.


"Required reading for any university determined to tackle sexual violence on campus." - Mary Curnock Cook OBE, Independent Educationalist and former CEO of UCAS, UK

"As a survivor of sexual assault …the fact that a book like this has even been written .. makes me hopeful for …change." - Hannah Price, founder of Revolt Sexual Assault, UK

"This book is an invaluable resource for any activists and academics working to combat sexual violence in higher education institutions." - Sarah Lasoye, National Women’s Officer, NUS, UK

"This book is a very helpful overview of the international efforts to tackle sexual violence in higher education whilst highlighting good practice." - Clarissa Humphreys, Student Support and Training Officer at Durham University, UK

"Discussion of the work that has been carried out at Durham University, one of the leading UK Universities in this area, is particularly valuable, and deserves to be read by all those who are trying to make a difference within their universities." - Anna Bull, 1752 Group, UK

"There is an over-arching message from this valuable, well researched and written study, …that increased levels of reporting are to be counted as a success, not a failure and that university leadership worldwide needs to endorse and promote this view." - Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool, UK