Mandala Project team works to spread word about how it can help DMU students

By Dili Ugada

The organisers of a scheme which supports students who have experienced sexual or domestic violence are trying to raise more awareness about their work.

The Mandala Project was created in 2016 by De Montfort University in Leicester as a method of looking out for the best interests and welfare of students suffering such issues, but also as a way of tackling the problem of sexual assault.

The team does this by matching students with a trained responder who is best suited to them and their needs.

Responders can range from other university staff to using links the team has with other welfare organisations, who then offer the student a range of support methods such as talking them through steps and actions they can take to either pursue their case, if they wish, or just ways of handling the potential trauma.

They aim for the matching process to happen as quickly as possible in order to provide students with immediate assistance.

The Mandala Project has also launched a campaign around the DMU campus called ‘I Love Consent’ which aims to educate students on what consent is with regards to sexual activities, how to be firm in their decisions and their right to refuse certain behaviours and activities, as well as how to spot a situation that requires them to assert their right to consent or not.

These guidelines aim to help students, not only when it comes to sexual violence, but in everyday life and activities.

DMU Student Welfare Policy and Projects Officer, Natalie McKeown, shed some light on the work they do, the impact they have, and what she believes needs to be done in order to further their reach and effect on student life.

She stated that sexual assault is “a problem within society” and it’s important that we tackle it. She explained that as a team, they’re working to draw attention to this problem by using their social media platforms to reach more young people.

Natalie declared that the best part of her job is “to see a survivor carry on with their degree and have goals” despite the trauma they’ve had to endure.

She continued that “feeling like you’ve had an impact on someone” humbled her and keeps her absorbed in her work.

If you need help with any of the topics discussed in this article, contact The Mandala Project on 0116 207 8309 or email themandalaproject@dmu.ac.uk.

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