University’s All About Respect project secures Home Office funding to tackle sexual harm and hate crime among teenagers

Project to address harassment and unwanted sexual behaviour expands to include schools and colleges in York.

York St John University is pleased to announce the expansion of its ground-breaking All About Respect (AAR) project to tackle gender-based violence and harassment. All About Respect in Education has already caught the attention of the Home Office as the team widen the reach of their work to now include schools and colleges in York.

The project All About Respect was first launched in 2017 to promote a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence, harassment and abuse on campus. It’s since blossomed into a city-wide collaborative initiative involving different community partners in York.

Late last year the University received funding from the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner as part of the Safer Streets project. This is now enabling the All About Respect team to expand their work into post-16 education settings.

As part of the rollout of All About Respect in Education (AARIE), the team has welcomed a representative from the Home Office to one of their awareness raising events on campus at York St John University.

Students were given the opportunity to find out more about All About Respect and how to get involved with the team’s work tackling gender-based violence and hate crime. There were resources to take away and the opportunity to sign a pledge and make a commitment to tackling gender-based violence and hate crime in your community.

The AARIE project also now includes:

  • Running awareness-raising days at schools, colleges, and universities which will include information highlighting the type of problematic behaviour they aim to target.
  • Delivering bystander training to young people to raise awareness of sexual harm and empower young people with the strategies to intervene.
  • Conducting focus groups with young people on these issues and what helps keep them safe.
  • A continuation of the innovative Dancefloor Project launched with funding from the University’s Institute for Social Justice and run in conjunction with Bolshee CIC. This uses an interactive installation to engage young people and gather their input on how they want to be treated, what makes them feel safe/unsafe, and how we can improve feelings of safety in our local community.
  • Evaluating North Yorkshire Police surveillance project Operation Vigilant. An anti-harassment project designed to prevent harm, improve feelings of safety in the nighttime economy, and promote positive relations between Police and community.
  • The project will also provide education and raise awareness of the options victims of gender-based violence have in making disclosures to the police, encouraging positive relationships between young people and the police, and providing local level data to help inform preventative strategies and police resources.

Dr Melanie Dawn Douglass and Dr Anna Macklin are co-leaders of the All About Respect project at York St John University. They said: “We’re really excited to be able to extend the project and work with young people across the city.

“The funding will enable us to continue educating about hate crime and sexual harm and raise confidence to tackle these behaviours.”

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe said:

“I am really delighted that we were successful in securing Home Office funding to tackle sexual harm and hate crime among teenagers and that York St John will be expanding their work to help us achieve this.

“Improving safety for women and girls and young people are priority areas within my Police and Crime Plan and Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. This initiative will have a real impact on keeping young adults safe and feeling safe.

“This new funding will enable a new range of activities to be undertaken, which is fantastic news and my office and I look forward to hearing how the project progresses.”

To find out more about AAR and current projects please visit https://allaboutrespectysj.wordpress.com/the-all-about-respect-community-network/