Currently a Level 5 Professional Policing Student, Pin-up Hair stylist and Full-time Feminist; I believe in the radical notion of Equality.
For a young woman, in a world designed by male elitists I have come to realise that if someone tells me I can’t, that’s because they don’t want me to. If you tell me that I can't - I have to. This has also led me to go through unfortunate experiences which, have led to fortunate outcomes: Pro Empower. My story is not one I wish to tell but one I understand I have to utilise to make sure that those who have similar experiences will get the correct support as a result of my efforts. Please know that what's in between your legs does not define who you are.
Pro Empower started out as my own idea but it has been made into a reality by the founding team and the support around me. I have always been lucky to have such a close family and surrounded by the best people one could meet; so for me I have been able to share my experiences with them in confidence… I will be forever grateful and know how lucky I am. It is not my own experience that made me realise the need for change, but watching those closest to me be affected by the education system's lack of adequate procedures which has made me realise the need for change.
The negative experience may change us but it's the positive ones that make us. I have been fortunate enough to talk to marvellous individuals, been involved with headstrong women on The Sprint and volunteered for some incredible organisations throughout the years.
I believe that there shouldn't be a price on working and supportive sexual misconduct procedures and the respect I, and others, deserve should not be held back by incomplete, inadequate, overriding policies.
''There's no such thing as non-consensual sex. It's rape.''
''Our student bodies matter.''
''Universities need to deliver on their promises; the promise of safety, the promise of justice, the promise that victims will be heard.''
''For how long are we going to act like sexual harassment is a secret, something unspeakable, so far from our reality? Because it is not.''
''Only around 15% of those who experience sexual violence report it, add in poor university procedures and how can they? This must change.''
''The word 'no' doesn't lose it's meaning, no matter how many times you're asked.''
''Clothing isn't a substitute for consent.''
Pro Empower began with two best friends, who became two students from two different universities, who both found themselves victims of sexual assault, and who were both let down by their university's sexual misconduct procedures.
The first incident was as recent as 2019, yet on campus sexual misconduct has been going on since the start of higher education. This is not about our individual stories, rather it is about our shared story, as students; together failed by their system.
Pro Empower is a Student-led organisation which aims to improve upon the Sexual Misconduct procedures and policies within Universities across England and Wales. The organisation grew from our efforts to convince several universities to improve their procedures to support students to a higher standard, but were rebutted due to the universities reluctance to financially support such improvements. Pro Empower does not accept these excuses and we are fighting for universities to take responsibility. Students deserve to be taken seriously, to feel safe in their education and have effective support should an incident occur. This is a non-profit organisation; we want universities to see to it that appropriate support for students is worthy of funding.
Pro Empower isn't just for the students but for their families and friends also who don’t believe their loved ones' body’s aren’t worth the cost.
In 2020 Pro Empower came up with 3 objectives (that can be found on our home page) which we believe all universities in England and Wales should implement. Universities need to have the correct processes in place for students' wellbeing should they find themselves in such an unfortunate, yet sadly common circumstance. The aims are evidence-based and are drawn from anecdotal evidence of similar experiences and from numerous students’ feedback. We felt that current procedures in place are inadequate therefore, new safeguards need to be implemented at the earliest.
This will not only help protect the students, it will also help ensure that no universities receive any negative coverage, or worse, significant legal action.