The Australian Greens are encouraging universities to adopt the guidelines for sexual assault and harassment put forward by Universities Australia today.
“Sexual assault and harassment is all too common on university campuses and in colleges. The Australian Greens hope Universities Australia’s report will help set a new standard for the way universities help victims of sexual assault and harassment,” Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Holding perpetrators to account while supporting victims of sexual assault and harassment is a vital step in tackling the culture we see all too often in university environments.
“Students on university campuses and in colleges have the right to not only feel safe, but be safe, while they’re learning, working or socialising. Universities have a duty of care to their students to make sure they have systems in place that provide support to students who need it and act on incidents of sexual assault and harassment.
“Too many students, the majority of which are women, are sexually assaulted and harassed during the course of their education and while the community needs to do more to address stamping out the behaviour, it is important that universities have strong policies in place that support and assist victims.
“Since calling out sexist behaviour in my own workplace, I have been inundated with stories of sexual harassment and abuse in workplaces, on the street and at university campuses. We are seeing a shift in society in the way people talk about sexual assault and harassment, and it is important those who want to speak out are supported to do so if we are going to see real change.
“The Greens acknowledge the bravery of sexual assault survivors for driving this shift, and stand in solidarity with those who are fighting for positive change.”