Change the Course

Andrea ChesterUncategorizedLeave a Comment

As you know the Human Rights Commission report on sexual assault & sexual harassment across Australian universities was released yesterday. Change The Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities (2017) summarises data from more than 30,000 students, from 39 universities, including RMIT.

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You can access a summary of the RMIT data here.

Universities Australia has produced a report outlining responses across all the universities, as well as a 10-point action plan (available here). Actions include:

  • the development of an evidence-based respectful relationships program for university students
  • new specialist training developed by the Australian Psychological Society to extend the skills of university counsellors to support victims and survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment
  • a 24/7 national interim support line offering specialist support for students, operated by Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, to supplement university services
  • broader availability of first-responder training for university staff
  • new training for university staff and leaders about prevention and responses to sexual harassment and sexual assault
  • working with Universities Colleges Australia to provide access to first responder training for residential colleges and halls of residence, and to take their own action to support students in a compassionate and timely way
  • the development of best-practice guidelines to support universities to respond to reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment
  • new principles on postgraduate student-staff interaction
  • a commitment to continue the Respect. Now. Always. awareness campaign
  • undertaking a follow-up student survey to assess progress and inform ongoing action.

In the School of Education we know that a safe environment is fundamental for learning. If you’d like to understand more about the effects of sexual assault and harassment and explore effective ways to respond to those seeking assistance developMe is offering sessions on Responding to Disclosure of Sexual Assault and Harassment. These are facilitated by RMIT’s embedded CASA House Counsellor/Advocate in collaboration with the Safer Community team. The next sessions will be running on August 27 and 28 on the City.

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