St Andrews Students' Association
Gender-Based Violence Charter Award

Gender-Based Violence Charter Award

First university to receive Gender-Based Violence Charter Award​

Content warning: gender-based violence, suicide

The University was awarded the EmilyTest Charter Award at the EmilyTest Conference in Glasgow on 22ndNovember. Along with South Lanarkshire College, we are the first Higher Education institution to receive this award, in recognition for the work of our students and staff in tackling gender-based violence in our community.

The EmilyTest charity and Charter were set up in memory of Emily Drouet, an undergraduate who took her own life after she was subjected to a sustained campaign of gender-based violence by another student. The Charter is the first gender-based violence charter for colleges and universities in the world, and provides minimum standards which would have saved Emily’s life, and prevent gender-based violence in our communities. The Charter is currently open to all colleges and universities in Scotland, and the charity is seeking to extend their work to English institutions.

To achieve Charter status, institutions submit extensive evidence of policies, procedures, and systems, so an independent review panel can check what we do against criteria set by the EmilyTest. 

I am really proud that the amazing efforts of the St Andrews community to tackle gender-based violence has been recognised through the achievement of the Emily Test charter award. This milestone is the culmination of years of hard work in improving support for those who have experienced GBV and challenging rape-supportive culture, much of which has been led by student volunteers and societies. The charter report included praise for preventative work spearheaded by Got Consent and other student working groups, highlighting the collaborative nature of this work. 

This award is a great achievement but by no means an endpoint in our work; in five years the institution will complete a full resubmission to retain the charter award, and there will be annual check-ins in-between to see how ongoing work is progressing. Gender-based violence remains a systemic issue, and we must continue to actively challenge the structures and cultures that perpetuate it. However, in a climate where it can sometimes feel difficult to see progress being made, I hope that this charter award serves a reminder of how far we have come in enacting much-needed cultural change. During the introduction of the conference last week, I learned that the stickers in halls of residence and the union building which signpost to resources for those experiencing gender-based and intimate partner violence are a result of the early work of Emily Test. I remember the instant reassurance I felt when I saw those as a fresher for the first time, and realised how such a seemingly small, simple action can have such a big impact in a short space of time for those who need it. In the following four years, we have witnessed the broadening of discussions on GBV, the introduction of Got Consent’s mandatory matriculation module, and numerous community-organised actions around gender-based violence awareness raising. These things together show that we can make change, and why it is so important that we continue fighting for it.

Caitlin Ridgway, Director of Wellbeing & Equality






If you have ever been affected by gender-based or sexual violence, here are some resources that may help you:

Student Services

You can reach out to them for an appointment Monday-Friday 9am-5pm by calling 01334 46 2020, emailing theasc@, or by using the Enquiry Form.

If you need support out of hours and over the weekend, you can call Security and Response and ask for Student Services on 01334 468999.

Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre

You can reach out to FRASAC if you live in Fife and have ever experienced sexual violence, regardless of your gender, sexuality, or how long ago it happened. You can call them on 01592 642 336 or email them at [email protected] during working hours.

Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre,

You can reach out to WRASAC if you live in Dundee and Angus and have ever experienced sexual violence. The service is open to anyone who identifies as a woman, including trans women. You can contact them Monday-Friday 10am-3pm on 01382 201 291 or you can email [email protected]

Rape Crisis Scotland

Anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality, can reach out to Rape Crisis Scotland, no matter when they experienced sexual violence. They have resources in a variety of languages, including BSL video information. Their support services are open 5pm-midnight every night:

Survivors UK

This is a national helpline for men and non-binary people who have ever experienced sexual violence. You can reach out to them every day 12pm-8pm by online chat or text (020 3322 1860).


Galop is the national helpline for LGBT+ survivors of abuse and violence, including sexual violence. You can call them on 0800 999 5428 Monday-Thursday 10am-8:30pm and Friday 10am-4:30pm. You can email [email protected] at any time. Webchat is also available within helpline opening hours.


AMINA is an intersectional Scottish organisation supporting Muslim and BME women. You can contact them about many different things, including sexual violence. You can call them on 0808 801 0301 Monday-Friday 10am-4pm.