Jewish Women’s Aid, University Jewish Chaplaincy and the Union of Jewish Students, have come together to bring consent and healthy relationships education to more Jewish students on campus and to professional teams working with Jewish students.
JWA will now work with student groups to expand its already established Safer Dating programme at UK universities. Safer Dating was launched in 2016 and brings relevant and engaging relationships education to 16-25 year-olds across the community, delivering sessions in schools, on campuses, in youth movements and other settings for Jewish young people.
University Jewish Chaplaincy and UJS, have offered to work with the community’s domestic abuse and sexual violence support service, to help reach more students and other relevant professionals, starting at the beginning of the new academic year.
The groups are collaborating to improve and expand the signposting around sexual violence and education on healthy relationships on campus, as well as working on ways to deliver educational content and sessions in the pandemic context.
CEO of JWA, Naomi Dickson, said, “What has come to light at St Andrews is sadly not a surprise to us, as an organisation that supports women and girls every day. The sessions we are already offering receive very positive feedback and allow young Jewish men and women to take time to think about the critical issues of consent and healthy relationships. We are delighted to be working together with University Jewish Chaplaincy and UJS to increase the reach of this programming and jointly develop new opportunities to engage with Jewish students on these issues.”
CEO of University Jewish Chaplaincy, Sophie Dunoff, said, “Unfortunately we know that our community and campuses are not immune to issues around sexual violence and abuse. Our Rabbis and Rebbetzens have been trained by JWA to ensure they can help support and signpost students on campus effectively and we are grateful for their expertise and guidance. We will continue to work with UJS and J-Socs around the country making sure that students can access training, information and receive support when they need it most.”
President of UJS, James Harris said, “Support for Jewish students’ experiences of sexual violence is absolutely vital, but giving students the tools and foresight to protect themselves and their fellow students before the support is required is the best way to start along the road to eliminate this serious issue faced by the general student population, and of course by Jewish students too. The coming together of these three key organisations working in this area is absolutely vital for educating around these very serious issues, bringing expert advice and guidance as well as the leading educators on the topics of healthy relationships and sexual violence to the palm of the hands of Jewish students. The relationship with JWA and Chaplaincy will ensure that Jewish students are well-informed on how to mitigate the risk of sexual violence and domestic abuse occurring within our community and in the wider society.”
The initiative is backed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council.