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Launch of the UniSAFE Toolkit

Oct 3, 2023 | Blog, Project news

A valuable resource to support higher education institutions and research organisations in ending gender-based violence.


We’re excited to present the UniSAFE Toolkit!  

While research organisations and higher education institutions increasingly acknowledge their institutional responsibility in addressing gender-based violence, setting up effective policies and tools to address this remains challenging. 

Where to start? How can institutions promote cultural change? What key elements should a policy include? How should an institution respond to disclosure? How to better protect students and staff? What are some best practices from other institutions in Europe? And what is the scale of gender-based violence within European higher education and research organisations? 

This toolkit has been designed to support higher education institutions and research organisations in addressing gender-based violence: whether they are just starting to reflect on how to address this issue, designing a policy or are more advanced and seeking to improve an institutional policy or its implementation.  

The materials developed and collected are based on a holistic framework – the 7P model – which will help institutions develop and implement comprehensive policies, covering all aspects such as prevalence, prevention, protection, prosecution, provisions of services, and partnerships. 

 The materials underpinning the toolkit were developed within the UniSAFE project and consist of the theoretical framework (Mergaert et al., 2023), two sets of policy mappings, a quantitative survey, in-depth interviews with victims/survivors, and institutional case studies. All outputs from UniSAFE’s research are available here. Additionally, nine workshops were run between November 2022 and June 2023 with researchers and experts to gather input for the development of tools to address and stop gender-based violence in higher education and research organisations. The empirical material for the different strands of the UniSAFE research has been collected in European academic settings, higher education, and research institutions. This toolkit addresses different aspects that are required for a comprehensive institutional approach to addressing gender-based violence and does not focus on any specific form of violence.

We hope you find this toolbox inspiring as well as useful to develop effective policies and implement concrete measures in your institution, as we work together towards providing students and staff a safe place to study and work! 

Key components: 

 If you’re interested in discovering more about improving, implementing, and assessing institutional policies, join UniSAFE’s final conference,

21-22 November in Namur!