For decades, the issue of sexual assault and sexual harassment has not been taken seriously by universities across Australia- survivors have been blamed for their assault, perpetrators have gone unpunished and those who speak out have been silenced. To date the response of ANU has been totally inadequate.
The results of the AHRC survey shows that sexual assault and sexual harassment is endemic, both at ANU and in universities throughout Australia. This is a national problem - no university can say sexual assault does not happen at their institution. At ANU some issues will be more pronounced - such as on-campus and supervisory relationships - reflecting the composition of our student body.
The ANU Postgraduate and Research Students’ Association (PARSA) and ANU Students’ Association (ANUSA) stand in solidarity to demand that ANU take immediate action to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment in our university communities, and apologise for past mishandlings of sexual assault and sexual harassment, following the release of the results of the Australian Human Right Commission’s Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment survey.
Action by ANU to address the reccommendations will ensure that the safety of students on campus, that survivors are provided with high-quality support services, and that perpetrators of sexual violence are punished.