Clare College Cambridge

Clare College Sexual Harassment and Assault Statement

The College is committed to providing a safe environment in which all members of the College can participate freely and contribute fully without fear for their personal security. A safe environment free from harassment or threat is fundamental to the academic, social and living environment of our community. Sexual harassment and assault will not be tolerated. The College will support and assist anyone alleging harassment or assault.

To this end the College will:                                                                                   

-   promote a culture in which there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault. All members of the community must treat each other with respect. There must be a clear understanding of the types of behaviours that are inappropriate and unacceptable. The College's policies on Bullying and Harassment, Personal Relationships, and Equal Opportunities, and its support for awareness raising initiatives by the UCS and MCR, reinforce this zero tolerance culture.

-   treat harassment seriously and respond to it effectively. The procedure outlined in the Bullying and Harassment Policy allows for harassment complaints and those concerning the behaviour of members of the College to be addressed in a robust and fair manner. The College will ensure that anyone raising a concern is neither victimised nor disadvantaged as a result. However, allegations of rape and sexual assault, as with any other criminal behaviours, can only be investigated by the police and judged by the criminal justice system. This means that the College cannot undertake an independent investigation into allegations of sexual assault. Nevertheless, even if a student does not wish to follow legal procedures, the College still recognizes that it has a duty of care to support any students concerned.

-   support individuals in reporting assaults. The College will ensure that appropriate information and assistance is available for an individual deciding what steps to take following assault. In the case of sexual assault the College strongly advises the student to consider carefully involving the police, who have access to investigatory and forensic resources. The College has a wider duty of care to the College community, and if it considers that anyone may be at risk of further harm it may need to report a suspected crime to the police.

-   support victims following assaults. Everyone reacts differently to assault, but all reactions are equally valid. Whether or not a report is made to the police, the College will endeavour to ensure that individuals have access to welfare provision and appropriate support. This support may only be required in the short-term or for a longer period. The College will investigate whether steps need to be taken to ensure that someone who has suffered an assault can continue to feel safe studying and participating in the College community. These may include both living and academic arrangements.

-   respect confidentiality. The College will respect any request for confidentiality of someone reporting harassment or assault: the complainant decides who they would like to be informed. In very rare cases, when there is a perceived risk of harm to the complainant or to anybody else, the complainant’s identity may have to be divulged to a further small group of people. Complaints from anonymous sources will not be considered: the College requires an individual to allow their name to be disclosed to at least one Fellow of the College, such as a Tutor, in order to consider any complaint.

 

Up-dated September 2015