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University of the West of Scotland (UWS) has joined forces with further and higher education establishments across the west of Scotland to tackle gender-based violence.

The Fearless Glasgow partnership, backed by Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, will help raise awareness of sexual violence and offer enhanced support to more than 150,000 students.

The multi-agency partnership will see educational institutions work together to raise awareness of sexual violence and deliver safer communities.

Members will work together on campaigns, share ideas, and work alongside specialist support groups to improve access to help and information across all campuses.

UWS have joined the pioneering partnership alongside Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Clyde College, Ayrshire College, Glasgow Kelvin College and City of Glasgow College.

The partnership is also supported by Police Scotland, Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis, Glasgow Violence against Women Partnership, The Emily Test, Archway and Equally Safe.

Maeve Cowper, UWS Interim Director Student Services and Administration, said: “As a university, it is important for us to ensure that our students are safe and supported throughout their educational career, in all aspects of their lives."

“We are fully committed to ending all forms of gender-based violence, and are working closely with our Student Union and Fearless Glasgow partners to challenge attitudes, raise awareness and create safer communities.”
Maeve Cowper, UWS Interim Director Student Services and Administration

The term gender-based violence covers rape and sexual assault, coercive control, psychological violence, sexual harassment, intimidation, and verbal abuse. It also extends to discrimination, bullying, and stalking, both physical and mental, through text messages, emails and social media posts.

Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie MSP said: “Every part of government, the public sector and wider society has an important role to play as we continue to tackle violence against women and girls.

“Fearless Glasgow is another very significant milestone in our collective efforts to do just that. It is a clear example of a multiagency partnership approach to tackling and preventing gender-based violence by challenging harmful attitudes and behaviours and providing that vital support for those affected by it. 

“I hope Fearless Glasgow and similar initiatives can become the platform for creating a common understanding and way of working together across local authorities, universities, Police Scotland and the third sector.  It’s a model I’d like to see across Scotland.”