Alice Irving on her 2011 rape claim:
Even with the best intentions in the world, it is easy for someone to respond to a disclosure of sexual violence in a way that causes harm. And if the first person someone tells gets this wrong, more often than not survivors will never tell anyone else. It is therefore critical that university staff who may receive disclosures get it right. They don’t need to be therapists, and they shouldn’t try to be. It would be enough for frontline staff to listen, be empathetic, avoid asking too many questions, avoid obvious instances of victim-blaming, and let survivors know what their support options are. I don’t think that is too much to expect.
Oh, for the love of…
So they are just supposed to say ‘There, there..’ while offering tissues and a cup of weak tea?
Better still, some of the recommendations actually aim to prevent sexual violence on campuses. A key proposal is that there be a zero-tolerance culture, setting clear behavioural expectations of students that are backed up by student discipline when these expectations are not met. Along with finding high rates of sexual violence and harassment, the NUS survey also found that 60% of students had heard rape jokes on campus.
So what? Are they being made by the 40% who claimed not to have heard any?