Published on 23 August 2016
The University of the Sunshine Coast will partner with other universities across Australia in a ground-breaking national student survey on sexual assault and harassment that was officially 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.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said USC would participate in the survey as part of its longstanding efforts to keep improving policies and support services to keep students safe.
“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,” Professor Hill said.
“I want us to keep improving our responses and drawing on best practice – so our students know that their university is doing even more to ensure a culture of respect and safety.”
Professor Hill said the confidential survey would be open for completion by students at USC in September.
“A representative sample of students from our university will be selected to participate,” he said.
“All students selected will be asked to complete the survey – even if they have not experienced these behaviours – to ensure we get a clear picture of prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in our student community.”
All the information provided by students is strictly confidential and will not be provided to USC. 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.
Participants who feel distress at any time during or after participating in the survey can access support by calling 1800 RESPECT.
Counselling services at USC can be reached via Student Wellbeing on 5430 1226.