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Procedures to tackle sexual misconduct fall short, report finds

Universities need to “urgently improve” the way they deal with cases of staff sexual misconduct, according to a report that found existing processes are slow, difficult to understand and often ineffective.

There is a lack of clarity within some institutions about what does and does not constitute sexual misconduct, the report—Silencing Students: Institutional responses to staff sexual misconduct in UK higher education—found. At the same time it can be difficult for those who do wish to report an incident to find the correct person to contact.

The report was published on 26 September by the 1752 Group, which works to end sexual misconduct in higher education. It draws on data from 16 interviews with female students and early-career academics who had experienced incidents of misconduct at 14 UK higher education institutions. It also analysed 61 policies relating to staff sexual misconduct from a sample of 25 institutions.

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