Do deaf women feel safe on campus? A qualitative case study of one UK university

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Abstract

With increasing attention to sexual misconduct on university campuses, universities have focused attention on campus safety, but safety systems are based on assumptions that people who live and work on campuses are able-minded and able-bodied. Any contemplation of campus safety needs to consider the intersectional experiences of students and staff. Considering the experiences of people from minoritised groups can provide insights into socially constructed notions of safety on campus. One such minoritised group is deaf women. Using the broader concept of safety to mean ‘the state of being ‘safe’ and the condition of being protected from any harm or other danger’, this paper reports on interviews conducted with five deaf women who work or study at one UK university to examine whether they feel safe on the campus. Four key themes were identified: (i) safety on campus, (ii) safety as a woman, (iii) safety as a deaf person, and (iv) accessible safeguarding. These five deaf women reported having more concerns because they are deaf rather than because they are women, but noted that the intersectional experience of being deaf and a woman create deeper safety concerns. Recommendations are made for university campuses to ensure that their safeguarding practices are accessible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHumanity & Society
Early online date6 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Feb 2024

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