Addressing sexual violence on campus a year after the national report

A year after the national report on sexual violence on campuses, Universities Australia says all 39 institutions have “continued to enhance student support services, university policies and prevention programs,” with 800 actions and initiatives. Last week UA added an extra, releasing a ten-point plan for universities to use in responses to reports of sexual assault and harassment (CMM July 20). However, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations is not especially impressed, stating last night, “One year on, we believe that there is widespread recognition in the sector that sexual violence on campus is a problem, but actions against this have been slow, limited, and not always the best use of resources.”

“Some universities are more concerned about the optics of implementing response measures than they are about the number of students being assaulted each day. Others have made strong public statements but have failed to implement evidence-based and properly resourced measures,” CAPA states.

CAPA calls for a range of improvements, including “adequately resourced on-campus counselling, monitoring of university residential colleges and bans on “inappropriate relationships” between research supervisors and students. This morning UA delivers on that one with a set of principles “for respectful supervisory relationships” developed in cooperation with stakeholders, including CAPA.


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