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Prevention Work

Ending sexual violence and harassment in third level education

It Stops Now logo

We’re delighted to launch the ‘It Stops Now’ Campaign as part of the Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in Third Level Education (ESHTE) Project, funded by the European Union. The project aims to build a culture of zero tolerance of sexual harassment and violence in third level institutions by raising awareness through active campaigning and developing training and policy resources for students and staff. Rape Crisis Scotland is working in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and University of Glasgow, and will work to complement the range of vital and important interventions underway in other Scottish universities.

The ESHTE project is led by the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) with project partners; Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) in Cyprus, The Women’s Issues Information Centre (WIIC) in Lithuania, and The Women’s Equality Commissioner, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich in Germany.

National Sexual Violence Prevention Programme

Young people taking questions from the audience at an event at the Scottish Parliament on their ideas about preventing sexual violence

[Image: Young people taking questions from the audience at an event at the Scottish Parliament on their ideas about preventing sexual violence]

Young people want safe spaces to talk about sex and relationships, and our prevention programme forms a key part of this. Our evidence-based resource pack has been externally evaluated by DMSS Research and Consultancy, and the findings on strength of impact indicate that the programme is very effective in changing young people’s knowledge and attitudes. You can read the evaluation here, and see a sample of the resource pack here.

Our sessions are broken down into seven topics, and each is adapted for four different age or stage groups. We plan programmes in partnership with schools and youth groups to best meet their needs.

Topic wheel

Workshop delivery

Prevention workers are based in fourteen centres around Scotland, and bring in-depth knowledge and the skills to help young people explore sensitive and challenging issues in a safe and supportive space.

Prevention workers also support young people to take a lead in shaping their own actions to help prevent sexual violence, for example through co-facilitating workshops, joining campaigns and engaging with other young people through social media about gender stereotypes in the media.

The programme plays an important role in contributing to children’s rights as set under under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular: article 19 - the right to protection from violence, abuse and neglect; article 34 - the right to protection from sexual abuse and exploitation; and article 2 - the right to non-discrimination. You can find out more information about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child here:

You can follow the links below to contact centres directly, or contact Kathryn Dawson at Rape Crisis Scotland with a general enquiry.

Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis have a long-standing independent prevention project called the TESSA Project, which you can find out about here.


The programme is funded by the Scottish Government Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention Fund and the Scottish Government Violence against Women and Girls Fund until March 2020.

What young people and teachers say

Interviews and feedback from teachers for our external evaluation found that 97% agreed that young people were highly engaged in the sessions, and 99% agreed that the materials were age appropriate. 93% agreed that the sessions had clear links to the Curriculum for Excellence.

94% young people agreed or strongly agreed that they should have education on these issues. They identified the importance of the sessions being delivered by someone approachable, with relevant expertise, and independent of the school. The workshop leader not being a teacher at the school seemed especially important.

What do young people think is the most important thing they learnt?

What consent is & don't rush people

What the law states. It's given me more understanding about the whole topic

Sexual violence and how it can be more than just rape

A lot about the different types of sexual violence

That there are many stereotypes about how men and women should be

That LGBT people may feel left out/alienated when watching tv

Where to go for help if anything ever happens to me, my friends or family.

About making sure both people are 100% sure they want to do something before doing it

Where to go for help and support, and more about consent issues when people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

That you shouldn't always blame yourself, and there is always support when it's needed.

No matter how far you go with a person you should always be able to say stop and that's ok, its not 'teasing'.

Why do young people like the workshops?

I enjoyed the workshop. It was fun and now I know that everyone knows what it feels like when you are under pressure.

I liked this workshop. It was reassuring that I know everyone knows how it feels to be pressured by social media and societys perfect image

fun and interactive

I learned a lot but I'd still like to know more

I think it's a good idea to have someone who is properly qualified teaching us about rape/ sexing and consent.