Gender-based violence taskforce

  • A woman in profile holding up her hand in fear. Gender-based violence

The Gender-Based Violence Taskforce was set up in 2017 to develop, from a research foundation, the University's policy and practices to address gender-based violence (GBV). It considers GBV in the context of the whole University community, which includes both staff and students

Gender-based violence refers to behaviour or attitudes underpinned by inequitable power relations that hurt, threaten or undermine people because of their (perceived) gender or sexuality

Whilst women and girls constitute the majority of victims of GBV, it is recognised that men also can be victims. GBV includes a continuum of behaviours and attitudes such as domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, homophobia and transphobia. 

Taskforce Objectives


  • Existing policy and practice at UoL around receiving, investigating and resolving complaints of GBV
  • Current forms of support for both those who have experienced GBV and those against whom allegations have been made
  • Current activities aimed at generating attitudinal change and prevention of GBV

Make recommendations:

  • Policy and practices for reporting an incident
  • Appropriate support mechanisms
  • Interventions and activities aimed at the prevention of GBV
  • Management and governance structures to ensure the implementation and monitoring of activities and recommendations.

Taskforce activities

  • ​Our inaugural task was to establish a sector-leading Policy.The new Policy was underpinned by research and supported the University in its need to prevent and respond to gender-based violence within its staff and student communities.The University's Policy on Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence was established in June 2019. The Policy can be accessed through the download section in the righthand panel of this page
  • Campaigns. The Taskforce supports the White Ribbon Campaign, and related activities at the University, to end violence against women
  • Education. During 2022 we will be working with the Organisational Development team to establish staff learning modules around sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and gender-based violence. We will also be looking to co-develop similar modules for our student community
  • Raising awareness through research and lived experience (explore through the icons below). 


Working Definitions

The Taskforce adopts the following definition of Gender-based Violence (GBV):

  • Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, within the general community or in institutions, including: domestic abuse, rape, incest, sexual harassment, sexual coercion, homophobic and transgender abuse, cyber-bullying and stalking
  • Sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in the wider community; commercial sexual exploitation including prostitution, pornography and trafficking
  • Dowry-related violence; forced and child marriages; honour crimes
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The University recognises that such incidents can occur in all relationships and situations regardless of age, disability, economic status, ethnicity, faith, gender, gender reassignment, marital status and sexual orientation. All people, including men in heterosexual and same gender relationships, can experience gender-based violence.

The University also recognises that gender-based violence is statistically most frequently perpetrated by men against women and children and against gender and sexual minorities. Many forms of gender-based violence derive from gender inequality and the different power relations based on gender and sexuality. However, acknowledging this does not mean that women and gender and sexual minorities cannot be perpetrators of gender-based violence or that men cannot experience gender-based violence.

Examples of Gender-based Violence

These apply to both staff and students and can include, but are not limited to:

  • Actual, or the threat of, physical, sexual and psychological violence (e.g. physical assault, rape, sexual assault and coercive control)
  • Unwanted and unwelcome sexual or gender-based verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct (e.g. being groped in a nightclub or texted or told rape jokes)
  • Sexual harassment and intimidation at University, work or in the community (e.g. sexually inappropriate comments)
  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person (e.g. not respecting another’s personal space or boundaries)
  • Discrimination defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational, employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender and/or (perceived) sexuality (e.g. exclusion from activities such as group work or work meetings where a person would reasonably expect to be included)
  • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another (e.g. threats to ‘out’ a person or threats of rape)
  • Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviour likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (e.g. purposely using the wrong pronouns)
  • Violence between those in an intimate relationship (including romantic relationships, dating, domestic and/or relationship violence). Intimate relationship violence is a pattern of abusive behaviour used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. This type of violence can be physical, emotional, economic, sexual, psychological or threats of actions that influence another person
  • Stalking, defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact or any other conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear for their safety or the safety of others (e.g. unwanted gifts, text messages or messages through social media)
  • Dowry-related violence – dowry includes gifts, money, goods or property given from the bride’s family to the groom or in-laws before, during or any time after a marriage. Dowry is a response to explicit or implicit demands or expectations of the groom and his family
  • Forced and child marriages – forced marriage is when a person faces physical pressure to marry (e.g. threats, physical or sexual violence) or emotional and psychological pressure (e.g. made to feel like they are shaming the family if they do not comply)
  • Honour crimes involve physical, emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse (including murder), committed by people who want to defend the reputation of their family or community
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there is no medical reason for this to be done. It is also known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘cutting’ and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan
  • Any other University policy, rule or regulation when a violation is motivated by the actual or perceived sex or gender identity of the person against whom the action or conduct is directed may be pursued using this Policy

Getting Support

  • Student Wellbeing Centre — 01522 886400 or
  • Lincolnshire Rape Crisis — 0800 33 4 55 00 or
  • Spring Lodge (Lincolnshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre) — 01522524402 or
  • Trust House — 01476 579379 or
  • Lincolnshire Police — In an emergency you should call 999. If you are no longer in immediate danger you should call 101. The address for Lincoln City Centre Police Station is West Parade, Lincoln, LN1 1YP
  • Rape Crisis — 0808 802 9999
  • Galop provides support to LGBT+ people who have experienced any form of sexual violence. Call 0800 999 5428 or Email
  • Victim Support — Lincolnshire specific number: 0300 3030158 or National number: 0808 1689 111
  • NHS — In a medical emergency you should call 999. For non-emergency medical advice you can call 111
  • SurvivorsUK — Text: 020 3322 1860 or WhatsApp 07491 816 064 or Web chat via website (see links below)

More pages in this section