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A statement following the death of Sarah Everard. TRIGGER WARNING violence and sexual violence

Dear students and colleagues,

Many of you will have been following the truly terrible and shocking story from London over recent days, surrounding the disappearance and death of Sarah Everard. Our thoughts are with Sarah’s friends and loved ones and all those who have been affected.

We know that this has caused feelings of anxiety and distress and so wanted to reach out to women within the University and to our whole community.  

We wish to state from the outset that any form of violence or sexual violence is always a crime and is never acceptable. The fault always lies with the offender and is never the fault of the victim.

We commend and support the statements which have been issued by the Students’ Guild and the Students’ Union, which also contain links to helpful and thought-provoking resources.

We do know that some of you are seeking advice about safety. We have lots of information on our Exeter Speaks Out web pages. If you need it we strongly encourage you to reach out for support from our wellbeing services teams, the Students’ Guild Advice Service or Students’ Union Advice Service.

We can all play our part

Over the last few days a national conversation has started within the UK about these issues and we would encourage all members of our community to take part; to listen to the voices of women and, if you feel able, to share your experiences, to help develop better understanding and empathy. Men have joined the dialogue to consider the ways in which they can minimise any distress or anxiety they may cause women.

At the University of Exeter we strive to support each other and to work together to keep all members of our community safe. This is a moment for reflection and for each of us to consider what we can do, individually and as a community, to extend our compassion and consideration to those around us.  

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor

Professor Janice Kay, Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor