The pledge commits universities to not using Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence people who come forward to raise complaints of sexual harassment, abuse or misconduct, or other forms of harassment and bullying.

University of Exeter supports national pledge to end use of Non-Disclosure Agreements in Sexual Harassment cases

Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter has today signed a new pledge backed by the UK government, campaigners and several other UK universities to state that the victims of sexual harassment should no longer be silenced by Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). 

The pledge commits universities to not using Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence people who come forward to raise complaints of sexual harassment, abuse or misconduct, or other forms of harassment and bullying.

You can read the full story on the Department for Education website.

On signing the pledge Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Exeter said:

“The University of Exeter is committed to not using Non-Disclosure Agreements to silence people who come forward to raise complaints of sexual harassment, abuse or misconduct, or any form of harassment and bullying.

“We take our duty of care towards students and staff very seriously and everyone has a right to thrive and be safe at University. We believe in an open and honest culture where people can speak out about concerns and harassment to get support and enable fair investigations. We have not used Non-Disclosure Agreements in student cases for many years.

“It is also vital that universities have wider strategies to tackle and prevent sexual harassment and abuse with leadership from the top and throughout the organisation. Our Provost and Registrar jointly chair a Gender Safety group with representation from our Guild and Students’ Union, staff, community partners and experts – who provide advice on everything from trauma counselling and training to communications and investigations.

“We have developed consent training for all students, an innovative Bystander Intervention training programme to be delivered in 2022, a £25k fund for student-led projects to support gender safety initiatives and we have recently been awarded Home Office Safety of Women at Night funding to work with our local partners to improve safety at night in the local community.

“Sexual harassment and abuse is a daily reality in our society and that must change. The University of Exeter and colleagues across the higher education sector are joining forces to lead the action we need.”

Date: 18 January 2022

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