Today, the University of Sussex has released the findings of an independent review into their handling of the Lee Salter case.
The report has been damning of the University, saying it held an inadequate risk assessment, failed to follow its own policies and procedures, failed to communicate with the victim and external organisations in a professional manner, and failed in its duty of pastoral care towards Ms Smith.
I welcome the fact that the University will implement all the recommendations presented by the report to ensure such behaviour doesn’t happen again (and by the review’s claims that Ms Smith’s case was not an isolated incident, this is desperately needed).
Whilst the new Vice-Chancellor’s pledge to take all allegations of abuse seriously is obviously welcomed, it is disappointing that it has had to come to this. The report and Professor Tickell’s words won’t reverse the harm caused to Ms Smith and others who have been subjected to domestic violence and have not been treated with the respect and seriousness they deserved.
It is now up to the Students’ Union and groups like Safer Sussex to ensure that the University’s actions match their words.
Once again, I’d like to thank the over 3,000 people who signed the petition to show solidarity with Ms Smith and demand that her attacker no longer be employed by the University. We have shown that inaction on domestic violence is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.
A link to my post on the scandal in August can be found here.