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What is ESAS?

Equally Safe at School (ESAS) has been developed by Rape Crisis Scotland in partnership with the University of Glasgow. It was designed and piloted in several schools in Scotland with support from Zero Tolerance and a wide range of other voluntary and statutory partners and stakeholders.

It is designed for secondary schools to take a holistic approach to preventing gender-based violence, consistent with the Scottish Government’s and COSLA's Equally Safe strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls.

The Equally Safe definition of gender based violence:

Gender based violence is a function of gender inequality, and an abuse of male power and privilege. It takes the form of actions that result in physical, sexual and psychological harm or suffering to women and children, or affront to their human dignity, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life. It is men who predominantly carry out such violence, and women who are predominantly the victims of such violence.

By referring to violence as ‘gender based’ this definition highlights the need to understand violence within the context of women’s and girl’s subordinate status in society. Such violence cannot be understood, therefore, in isolation from the norms, social structure and gender roles within the community, which greatly influence women’s vulnerability to violence.’

(Scottish Government and COSLA 2018)

ESAS is also designed to meet the health and wellbeing outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence and other key frameworks such as Getting It Right For Every Child.

ESAS takes a whole school approach, working with staff and students to prevent gender-based violence and to increase confidence and skills in responding to incidents and disclosures of such violence. It aims to positively influence the school culture by fostering a shared, consistent approach to gender-based violence. ESAS is underpinned by principles of equality, safety and accessibility, with student voices at the forefront.

This website has been developed to support schools to implement ESAS and designed to make activities as straightforward and achievable as possible, and to enable senior management to lead, delegate, monitor and report on progress easily. Schools will make the best progress if they think about ESAS in a holistic way and carry out all the activities involved; however, they can access individual sections of the intervention according to their needs.

These webpages contain information about ESAS, gender-based violence and support for survivors of gender-based violence.

Once schools register an account they can login to my esas and access the tools and resources that will help them implement a whole school approach. Find out how here.

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