The Human Rights Commission has released Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities, based on a nationwide student survey.
As the peak student representative body at the University of Newcastle, the Newcastle University Students’ Association (NUSA) is pledging to support survivors of sexual violence and work with the University to ensure a safer campus.
The nationwide results are sobering. More than a quarter of university students report being sexually harassed while at university in 2016.
The University of Newcastle was found to have incidences of sexual harassment and sexual assault above the national average. In response, the University is launching a broad suite of policy measures.
Women are disproportionately victimised and the perpetrators are overwhelmingly men. LGBTIQA-identifying people are also in greater danger of harassment. NUSA offers autonomous representation, support and safer spaces for women-, transgender- and non-binary-identifying students and students who identify as LGBTIQA.
Quotes attributable to Michael Labone, NUSA President
“Students need institutional change. NUSA will work with the University of Newcastle to do everything we can to reduce sexual violence on campus and ensure the safety of students.”
“NUSA will keep the University accountable and do what we can to provide support to survivors and reduce risk on campus.”
“It is the role of every student and staff member to build a safer campus.”
Quotes attributable to Liz Murphy-May, NUSA Women’s Convenor
“The statistics in this report are shocking but not a surprise. The rate of sexual violence in Australian universities is nothing short of horrific.”
“NUSA is committed to making sure that any campaign in this space keeps the responsibility for sexual violence firmly on the perpetrator and never the victim.”
Quotes attributable to Phoebe Turnbull, NUSA Acting Queer Convenor
“The report makes it clear that queer- and LGBTIQA-identifying students are disproportionately impacted by sexual violence.”
“The Queer Collective will work to make sure that the safety and support of queer students is made an utmost priority.”
National. Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence National Help Line: 1800 Respect (1800 737 732)
Campus Security: (02) 4921 5888 24/7 – for any emergences on campus
Campus Care: (32) 4921 8600 Mon- Fri
NSW Rape Crisis Centre for telephone and online counselling. Ph: 1800 424 017
National Counselling Helpline for sexual assault and domestic violence. Ph: 1800 737 732
Counselling Appointments at UoN: https://uonblogs.newcastle.edu.au/counselling/sample-page/about/booking-appointments/
Information about Sexual assault and Harassment at UoN: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/current-students/support/solving-issues/managing-allegations-of-sexually-based-assault-and-harassment
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Online Counselling through UoN: https://uonblogs.newcastle.edu.au/onlinecounselling/online-support/blog/