In the past few months, Erasmus Magazine has been investigating sexual harassment among students. We spoke to dozens of students, interviewed experts, dived into reports, studies and procedures and developed a survey.
In the article below, we explain why we did this. In this extensive accountability statement, you can read more about how we approached it, which choices we made and who participated in the research.
Why we investigate sexual harassment at the university
EM is currently conducting research into sexual misconduct among students. Editors Feba…
Two out of three students indicate that they’ve had sexually transgressive experiences during their studies. At the same time, this is almost never reported to the university and students often do not know where they can report such experiences. Read the most important findings and the response of rector magnificus Annelien Bredenoord here:
Reports about sexual harassment at university are tip of the iceberg
Two out of three students in a survey by EM say that they experience sexually…
Part 1: Almost everyone has a story about sexual harassment
In our survey, two out of three students indicate that they have had a sexually transgressive experience since studying at Erasmus University. In most cases, this concerns unwanted touching, sexually oriented remarks or street harassment. Dire cases are no exception and often incidents have consequences for mental wellbeing, social contacts or study results.
Dire cases are no exception for sexual harassment among students
Two out of three students say in a survey conducted by Erasmus Magazine that they have…
Part 2: 'The aftermath was even more intense in a way'
A student who experienced sexually transgressive behaviour talks about her experience and its consequences. She still regularly encounters the assaulter during lectures. “For two months I had to hyperventilate as soon as I saw him in the lecture hall.”
‘I run into the student who assaulted me all the time’
A student who was subjected to sexually transgressive behaviour tells EM about it. 'For…
Part 3: 'The complaint procedure was a long and painful process'
A student reported transgressive behaviour that she experienced to the official complaint committee at the university. She recounts anonymously how the university dealt with her report. “They asked me why I didn’t push him away harder.”
Part 4: Why sexual harassment is usually not reported, and why that is a problem
Only a small part of the students who indicate that they have experienced sexual harassment report it to the university. They have all sorts of reasons for this, from shame and the feeling of being responsible to preferring to solve the problem themselves or the idea that reporting it has no use. But partly because of this, there is little insight into the extent of the problem. “It happens so often that it doesn’t feel worth reporting.”
University has limited insight into sexual harassment among students
Only a small proportion of students who state that they have experienced sexual…
Part 5: Why sexual communication is complicated
Students have a broadly shared definition of what they consider sexually transgressive. At the same time, this is not in line with their experiences and there are differences in how they think about giving and asking for consent. “Explicit sexual communication helps to avoid misunderstandings.”
Students are struggling with sexual communication: ‘Checking seems pointless to me if the other person obviously wants to go further’
Six out of ten students who took part in the EM survey on sexual harassment think that…
In EM TV, presenter Tessa Hofland talks to editors Feba Sukmana and Tim Ficheroux about what they encountered during their investigation.
EM TV: Why even ‘minor’ sexually transgressive experiences can have a big impact
This week in EM TV: presenter Tessa Hofland talks to editors Feba and Tim about what they…
In the same broadcast, students talk about what they mean by sexually transgressive behavior and how they deal with such situations:
Campus Talk: ‘I bought you a drink, why don’t you do what I expect of you?’
Erasmus Magazine conducted research into sexually transgressive behaviour among students.…
Editor-in-chief Wieneke Gunneweg explains how an idea to make a special about students and love led to the investigation into sexual harassment. “Five years after the start of the MeToo movement, the series of revelations about sexual harassment in the Dutch entertainment world and after two years of social distancing, a fluffy approach to this special didn’t feel right. Because sexual misconduct is everywhere, also at universities and among students.”