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The Guild’s “We Will Not Be Left Behind” campaign is calling for all parties in this election to take a stand against sexual assault and harassment by committing to establish a national taskforce to address the issue on university campuses.
A national survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that only 6% of students thought that their university was currently doing enough to provide and promote clear and accessible information on sexual harassment procedures, policies and support services.
“A national taskforce would hold universities accountable for not acting on reports of sexual assault or harassment and would ensure survivors and victims’ are provided with adequate resources and support,” said Hana Arai, Guild Vice President – Education.
The report also found that students thought that attitudes around sexual assault or harassment acted as one barrier to reporting or seeking of help following an incident. Many students reported that they were dissatisfied with a lack of action taken in response to their report and felt that they were either not believed or were blamed.
“Universities should be responsible for providing clear policies and support services for students affected by these issues. Students have the right to have their complaints taken seriously.
“It’s time to change the culture around sexual assault and harassment. The government needs to commit to a coordinated response to ensure the safety and support of all students,” said Ms Arai.