Last week the 2021 National Student Safety Survey results were released

GSA condemns the behaviour as represented in the findings, highlighting the ongoing severity of sexual misconduct on university campuses, including the University of Melbourne. GSA is particularly concerned that:

  • One in six students experience sexual harassment, and one in twenty sexual assault.
  • Transgender and non-binary students are significantly overrepresented as victims of sexual misconduct.
  • Only one in twenty students who are sexually assaulted make a formal complaint to their university.

GSA has zero-tolerance of sexual misconduct and is committed to preventing sexual misconduct/violence, advocating for appropriate support services for affected students. GSA will offer ongoing support to the survivors and engage in relevant programs that will seek to change behaviours of perpetrators.

While we welcome the university’s commitment to implementing the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy and provision for the new anonymous reporting tool, this is only the first step in addressing sexual misconduct on our campuses.

Graduate students demand more, and the implementation phase of the policy must be student-led and trauma-informed.

GSA continues to advocate for urgent change with survivors and our partner organisations, including through the Respect at Melbourne Committee.

If you or someone you know has experienced or is experiencing sexual misconduct, there are reporting tools and support services available at the University of Melbourne. The full list of university resources can be accessed here: Respect at the University (unimelb.edu.au). UMSU also has a list of alternative avenues for support available here: Survivor Support Services.

If you would like to contribute ideas for how GSA can tackle this important work please reach out to policy_advocacy@gsa.unimelb.edu.au