A Norwich university and its students' union have joined forces to promote a zero tolerance attitude towards sexual violence, harassment and hate crimes.

Eastern Daily Press: UEA vice chancellor professor David Richardson. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYUEA vice chancellor professor David Richardson. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY (Image: ARCHANT NORFOLK)

The University of East Anglia (UEA) and the UEA Students' Union hope to further highlight the Never OK campaign, which aims to foster a culture of zero tolerance and spark open debate about the issues.

From the start of the new academic year, students will be given Never OK business cards, which will set out expectations around mutual respect and non-tolerance of harassment and will offer pointers for help, advice and support.

Temporary graffiti carrying national statistics from the Universities UK (UUK) Changing the Culture report on the problems has also been sprayed on pavements around campus.

Vice-chancellor professor David Richardson, who was a member of the UUK's taskforce, said: 'I was proud to represent the university and UEA students on the UUK taskforce and I know these issues are vital to help ensure that our campus is as safe as it can be for everyone.

'At UEA we're very clear that any form of sexual harassment, violence or hate crime is never okay.

'Norwich is a great and safe city but there is more we can do to work with community partners to help ensure living and studying in the city is as safe as it can be.'

Students at UEA will be encouraged to undertake Consent Matters training online, while a bystander intervention programme is also being developed to help staff and students best respond to incidents of abuse.

India Edwards, the students' union welfare, community and diversity officer, said: 'It's great that UEA has embraced the Never OK campaign, which we are so passionate about.

'By working together, each and every person on campus can understand that they have the right to feel safe. We're particularly excited to see this roll out across the city, extending our Good Night Out programme to other universities, colleges, night clubs and transport providers.'

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