Showing up against sexual violence: The people at Leeds here to help

University of Leeds
3 min readFeb 1, 2024

It’s time to confront the uncomfortable truth; sexual violence exists within our University community, and it’s a problem that everybody should care about.

SASHA: Your allies against sexual assault

Students Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (SASHA), winner of Bright Network’s Student Society of the Year Award 2023, is a dedicated group of students committed to combating sexual harassment and assault at our University.

Members of SASHA receiving the Next Gen Bright Network Society of the Year Award 2023 and holding a cheque.

Our goal is to create change in our community by raising awareness, spreading vital messages and campaigning against sexual violence. Some of the work we do includes:

  • Working with charities and hosting charity events — all membership fees go to SARSVL (Support After Rape & Sexual Violence Leeds), a rape crisis centre; and most of our events are to raise money for charities, such the Tender Flames Art Exhibition that we organised which raised over £400 for Young Abuse Support and helped raise the profile of local art students.
  • Chalking across campus — last year we put a call out on our social media for students to submit any comments they had ever received as catcalling. These were written on the ground across campus to spread awareness of this issue.
  • Advocating for consent training — we advocate for University societies to undergo consent training to ensure that members fully understand what consent is and how to properly give and get consent.
“Nice legs” chalked onto the ground somewhere on campus.

SASHA offers a safe space for anyone, no matter your gender, race, sexuality, or experiences; and we help students find the right support and resources where needed. We know how isolating university life can be, especially for survivors navigating the aftermath of traumatic experiences.

How you can get involved:

  • Follow us on Instagram: Join our growing community for daily updates about our work and campus-wide efforts to tackle rape culture.
  • Get a membership: All proceeds go to sexual violence charities that collaborate closely with us, supporting their incredible work.
  • Attend our weekly tea & chat sessions: Come along Wednesdays 4–6pm in LUU, Room 1 to immerse yourself in a safe, relaxed and inclusive environment with fellow students to chat and enjoy fun activities. Each week is a different activity; check out our Instagram to keep updated.

The Harassment and Misconduct team: Your first point of contact

The University’s Harassment and Misconduct team is a dedicated team of specialists serving as the first point of contact for students who have faced any kind of violence, abuse, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct or discrimination. We work closely to ensure that we can signpost students to the team to get the best support possible.

Accessing support

This specially trained team focuses on helping you however feels most comfortable to you, whether you want to get support, report something anonymously, or just chat to someone. The Harassment & Misconduct team will be there for you every step of the way. Explore the support options available to you.

“75% of students have experienced sexual violence” chalked onto the ground on campus.

There are lots of people at our University who care deeply about this issue and who hold a promise to stand together and advocate for change in our community. We invite you to join us, support us, and use our resources to make campus a safer and more inclusive space for all students.

Written by Kay Corbin, Secretary for SASHA