South Lanarkshire College is proud to be the pioneering college in Scotland to receive the EmilyTest Gender Based Violence charter.
EmilyTest is a Scottish charity working to improve prevention, intervention and support concerning gender-based violence. The charity was created in 2016 by Fiona Drouet, following the death of her daughter undergraduate student, Emily Drouet, who took her own life after being subjected to a campaign of gender-based violence from a fellow student.
The EmilyTest Charter is dedicated to enhancing prevention, intervention, and support related to gender-based violence. The charter, bearing a comprehensive framework informed by evidence and student perspectives, plays a pivotal role in further and higher education by offering an institution-wide and nationwide approach. It serves as both an internal toolbox, facilitating effective prevention and intervention, and an external marker for celebrating progress and ensuring accountability.
South Lanarkshire College were presented the Charter by Graeme Dey MP, Minister for Further and Higher Education during the Emily Test annual conference, which was held at 200 SV in Glasgow earlier today.
Speaking on the College’s inclusion to the charter, Fiona Drouet, Founder and CEO of EmilyTest, stated: “We are absolutely delighted to see South Lanarkshire College and the University of St Andrews being awarded today.
“The time and commitment they have invested in achieving Charter status is truly exceptional. No words can express my gratitude and admiration for all the staff and students who have supported and continue to support this life-saving work.
“Being awarded with the Charter exemplifies a university or college that takes gender-based-violence seriously. It shows they are committed to working towards a safer campus but also understand the importance, for students and staff, of quality-assuring their efforts.
“The Charter not only acts as an internal marker of achievement but an external one too, helping to ensure students and their families can make an informed choice when it comes to their place of study. I believe if it had existed when my daughter Emily was at university, she might still be alive today.
“Our charity has seen incredible enthusiasm and dedication from our charter institutions and many others are working towards obtaining that hallmark. We hope it won’t be long before all universities and colleges across the country follow suit.”
South Lanarkshire College’s Head of Student Services, Rose Harkness added: “We are delighted to have received the GBV Charter for Colleges and Universities. This award holds special significance for us, and we would like to dedicate it in remembrance of 'Emily Drouet'. We view the Charter as a significant stride towards eradicating GBV in our academic institution, aiming to create a safe and inclusive campus for everyone while ensuring accessible support for those in need”.
South Lanarkshire College Principal, Stella McManus agreed, stating “We would like to express our gratitude to Fiona and the entire EmilyTest team for their invaluable assistance, support, and expertise. Their guidance significantly influenced our GBV prevention and support initiatives across all facets of the College, contributing to a positive shift in attitudes and increased awareness of the issue of gender-based violence.
Stella concludes “South Lanarkshire College enforces a zero-tolerance stance toward all forms of GBV. We have taken proactive measures to ensure a secure learning environment for both our staff and students. Our commitment extends beyond the college, reaching into the wider community through active participation in local events and activities. We firmly believe that there is no room for GBV in our college community or broader society. As an educational institution, we recognise a moral responsibility to undertake every possible action to prevent such incidents.
Working in partnership with EmilyTest has allowed us to expand on our existing approach, learn new ways to improve attitudes and to further highlight the issue of GBV.
Achieving this Charter helps South Lanarkshire College demonstrate our ongoing commitment to achieving our vision of preventing and eradicating all forms of gender-based violence”.