By Hannah Rowand

Rape Awareness Week took place from 1 November to 5 November, with the Student’s Association hosting a string of successful events dedicated to raising awareness of the ‘RAW10’ campaign.

The campaign was set up with a view to raise awareness of rape and sexual assault in St Andrews, challenge old fashioned views towards rape, offer help and advice, and publicise the different types of victim support available within the University and beyond.

Events held throughout the week included a tea party complete with Bibi’s cupcakes, pots of
tea, and talks about Rape Awareness from a variety of speakers; a self-defence session held in
conjunction with Krav Maga Edinburgh; and finally RAW Live on Friday night with live performances from St Andrew’s talent including improv comedy group ‘Blind Mirth, creative writing society Inklight, and Vday who campaign to raise awareness about violence against women.

Colleen Roberts, SRC Member for Sexualities and Gender, and one of the organisers of the RAW
campaign, said of the week, “I have had some great feedback about the events and the week in
general. Students seem glad that we are finally addressing the issue of rape in St Andrews and that we are giving out really important information.

For example, students have been asking me to do a self-defence class for ages, so obviously they feel this is important – being aware about personal safety is always important in the bubble and beyond.

The tea party at the start of the week was also a huge success – we had speakers from Rape Crisis
Scotland, Student Support, The Police and Nightline who gave out info on attitudes towards rape and how to stay safe. We had a great turnout and the free Bibi’s cakes and tea we offered went really fast.”

Colleen also highlighted that the campaign was about more than just the free events, as more went on throughout the week in an effort to raise awareness and get information to as many students as possible. Time was spent putting up posters in bars around town from ‘This is not an invitation to rape me’ which aim to challenge attitudes towards rape and raise awareness around St Andrews; and RAW bookmarks were also distributed around the halls and town providing students with information on how to get involved with the campaign.

Siena Parker, Director of Representation at the Students’ Association, was also involved with
organising the week and said, “Rape Awareness Week is all about trying to challenge traditional
images of sexual assault – that it happens down a dark alley by a stranger. In fact, most assaults
happen by someone you know. One thing I found really shocking about the national campaign Rape Crisis Scotland have been running is how many people, especially teenagers, think that if a woman wears a short skirt or dresses provocatively that she ‘deserves it’. It was this attitude that we were trying to challenge with our campaign as well.”

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