City of Glasgow College has teamed up with Glasgow Caledonian University to help spread awareness about their gender-based violence campaign #erasethegrey. Large poster boards have been placed on the second floor of the City Campus calling out common excuses used to downplay assaults and abusive behaviour.
‘Erase The Grey’ was launched in 2019 by Glasgow Caledonian University as a way to spread knowledge and awareness about common misconceptions about gender-based violence. Glasgow Caledonian’s website can be quoted saying: “There are no grey areas when it comes to gender-based violence.”
“All members of society have the right to study and work without experiencing any form of gender-based violence (GBV), abuse or harassment. Often described as ‘violence against women’, the term gender-based violence refers to violence directed against someone because of their gender and expectations of their role in a society or culture.”
The campaign’s key messages challenge stereotypical attitudes and behaviours, reiterating zero-tolerance policy towards gender-based violence. Their website says: “GCU’s students and staff worked together in consultation with a range of external agencies to create this highly-commended campaign, entitled #GCUerasethegrey.
“The messaging was displayed around the university’s Glasgow campus and was supported by a social media campaign which encouraged people to change attitudes and behaviours by raising awareness of the issue.
“The intention was for the campaign to speak to the whole GCU community; to act as a call to action; raise awareness and challenge prevailing myths. The messages reflect GCU’s definition of gender-based violence (GBV) and covers a wide range of issues.”
Since its inception, the campaign has grown and GCU has teamed up with colleges and universities across Scotland to help spread the message. At City of Glasgow, the college is promoting the campaign through leaflets and large posters on the second floor of the building next to Student Services. The college also offers an online anonymous as well as a non-anonymous reporting facility where students can report instances of hate crimes, sexual harassment, and many other damaging experiences.
Megan McClellan, Vice President for Learning and Teaching at City of Glasgow College, said: “It’s helpful for students that are probably experiencing those small aspects for the first time, we have a lot of young people at the college who might not grasp the things they have or may experience are actually as harmful as what they are.
“The college works with Rape Crisis Scotland, and we have that support for students and staff that have experienced these situations. All our staff have had safeguard training, it’s typically for under 18s but within that we do cover where to sign post and where to help other people who are experiencing bigger issues.“ Student Association staff have participated in the Emily Test which was started by the parents of a women that was the victim of GBV to assist our staff on how to help.”
Lisa Hardy, Student Support and Wellbeing Manager and Student Experience Directorate at COGC, said: ”We are part of a regional group called Fearless Glasgow. This group includes the universities and colleges in Glasgow, Police Scotland, Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis and Glasgow Violence Against Women Services. This group was created so that we could work together with a common goal of tackling gender-based violence.
“We’ve been working with Glasgow & Clyde Rape Crisis to offer on-campus support to survivors of gender-based violence. This support will start on 8 December and be available all year. Students will be able to access specialist support through the college without needing to be referred to an external agency.
“One aspect of our work has been common messaging and campaign. We first ran the campaign during the 16 Days of Action in 2019 well before lockdown. The campaign includes on-campus messaging with pop-up stands, leaflets and posters on the digital screens as well as a social media campaign. We ran the campaign again last year, but it was all digital messaging. We’re glad to be back on campus to have the pop-up stands again.
“The campaign works because it is so powerful. It’s all stuff we’ve heard before to deflect from what it really is. It’s important that we get these messages out and allow our students time to reflect on the things they hear too- it can help to change the culture.”
If you wish to report an incident, City of Glasgow’s report and support webpage can be found via the following link: https://reportandsupport.cityofglasgowcollege.ac.uk/ .