The results of a study published by Amnesty Netherlands in June showed that rape is relatively common among students. One in ten women and one percent of men are raped during their student years. The study also revealed that most students do not know how to get help at their institution after experiencing sexual assault, or how to file a complaint.
Amnesty has asked higher education institutions to sign a manifesto, in which they promise to provide better protection for students. The manifesto aims to contribute to prevention and better support for victims.
The VU Amsterdam executive board and student council were the first to sign the manifesto. “It’s important to us that students know that they can come to us if they have problems”, VU rector magnificus Vinod Subramaniam said yesterday. “That includes any problems they might have off campus.” He hopes for a culture change.
“It is fantastic that VU Amsterdam has been so quick to sign our manifesto”, says Dagmar Oudshoorn, director of Amnesty Netherlands. She hopes other higher education institutions will soon follow suit.