Ms Amber Cohoun1
1University Of Sydney, University Of Sydney, Australia
Safer communities 2015-2018: Three years of initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual assault and harassment at the University Sydney.
In 2015 the University of Sydney surveyed students about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault on campus, as well as their experiences with and perceptions of existing institutional procedures for reporting. The same survey was run again in 2018. In those three years the global and local landscape shifted dramatically with respect to The Hunting Ground, Respect.Now.Always. campaign and increased public scrutiny.
Initiatives implemented at the University of Sydney across three years included Vice Chancellor’s statement and public stance on unacceptable behaviours, establishment an advisory group to consult with students, improved reporting options, improved complaint handling timelines, increased student awareness of reporting mechanisms, website improvements, policy improvements, a stand-alone sexual assault policy, staff and student training, compulsory consent education and expanded on-campus support (including RDVSA trained consultants).
This presentation notes some of the challenges experienced in implementing the recommendations of all internal and public documents and looks at findings from the 2018 survey. Discussion will include degree to which the campus wide multi-faceted initiatives had an impact on prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, whether students felt supported by the University and their knowledge of how and where to report.
Project Manager – Student Support Services