23 August 2016

respect logoThe University of South Australia is to partner with other universities across Australia in a ground-breaking national student survey on sexual assault and harassment, which is being launched today.

The survey is an important part of the Australian university sector’s Respect. Now. Always. campaign to ensure students and staff are safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd says UniSA is participating in the survey as part of its longstanding efforts to keep improving policies and support services to keep students safe.

“As a University and as a community, the care, safety and wellbeing of our students is a chief priority and we want to know if our students have experienced any situations that are unsafe or threatening,” Professor Lloyd says.

“This survey will tell us what more needs to be done to prevent sexual assault and harassment and to support students when they seek help.

“This is about improving our responses and drawing on best practice – so students know that their university is doing all it can to ensure and engender a culture of respect and safety.”

Professor Lloyd says the plan is to distribute the confidential survey in late September.

A representative sample of students from UniSA will be selected to participate and all will be asked to complete the survey – even if they have not experienced these behaviours – to create a clearer picture of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in the student community.

All the information provided by students is strictly confidential. The survey is being run by the independent Australian Human Rights Commission with assistance from Roy Morgan Research. Responses will be de-identified to protect student privacy.

Any university student who has not been selected in the survey sample but who would like to share their experience can do so confidentially via the Australian Human Rights Commission website. These online submissions will also inform further improvements in university policies.

The survey data will be analysed and reported by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The survey has been developed with input from experts including the Australian Human Rights Centre at the University of NSW, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Roy Morgan Research, and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

It is primarily funded by Universities Australia. Seed funding for the survey was provided by The Hunting Ground Australia Project.

The survey is supported by the National Union of Students and the National Tertiary Education Union.

About Respect Now. Always.

Earlier this year, Australia’s 39 universities came together to launch the Respect. Now. Always. campaign. It has three key elements: raising awareness of these issues and lifting the profile of support services for students; obtaining prevalence data to guide further improvements in policies and services; and assisting universities to share resources and best practice across the sector.

Note to media and communications teams: When publishing materials about the survey, please include contact numbers for support services. 

If you feel distress at any time during or after participating in this survey, support is available by calling 1800 RESPECT.

 Media contact: Will Venn office +61 883020096 mob 0401 366054 email will.venn@unisa.edu.au

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