Consent education to be expanded for Jewish students after St Andrews

Jewish Women’s Aid will take its ‘Safer Dating’ programme to Jewish students across UK, with help of student bodies


Jewish Women’s Aid is to take its consent and relationships education programmes to Jewish students across the UK, in collaboration with the Union of Jewish Students and University Jewish Chaplaincy. 

UJC and UJS will work to expand JWA’s ‘Safer Dating’ programme – as well as its main domestic abuse and sexual violence support services – and aim to reach Jewish students in time for the coming academic year. 

The initiative has received the backing of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council. 

The groups will also take steps to improve the visibility of relationship education on campuses. 

The move follows the allegations of dozens of counts of sexual assault and rape made by current and former students at St Andrews University in Scotland, many of which centred on the university’s chapter of American-Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi. 

Naomi Dickson, the CEO of JWA, said: “What has come to light at St Andrews is sadly not a surprise to us, as an organisation that supports women and girls every day.” 

“The sessions we are already offering receive very positive feedback and allow young Jewish men and women to take time to think about the critical issues of consent and healthy relationships”. 

She added that JWA’s collaboration with UJC and UJS would create greater reach and opportunities to engage with Jewish students. 

James Harris, the President of UJS, said: “Support for Jewish students’ experiences of sexual violence is absolutely vital, but giving students the tools and foresight to protect themselves and their fellow students before the support is required is the best way to start along the road to eliminate this serious issue”.  

Mr Harris noted that the collaborations would ensure that “Jewish students are well-informed on how to mitigate the risk of sexual violence and domestic abuse occurring within our community and in the wider society.”

University Jewish Chaplaincy also welcomed the collaboration, adding that its “Rabbis and Rebbetzens have been trained by JWA to ensure they can help support and signpost students on campus effectively.” 

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