By Alicia D’Arcy, Features Sub-Editor
CW: sexual assault, sexual harassment
UNSW has released university-specific findings for the results of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Change the Course report.
Key findings are as follows:
- 5 per cent of UNSW students were sexually assaulted in 2015 and 2016, and 1.3 per cent of UNSW students were sexually assaulted at university.
- 52 per cent of UNSW students were sexually harassed in 2016, and 29 per cent were sexually harassed at UNSW.
- 68 per cent of the UNSW students sexually harassed in 2016 were female.
- 56 per cent of UNSW students knew nothing to very little about where to seek support or assistance from the university with regard to sexual harassment. In cases of sexual assault, that figure jumped to 65 per cent.
- Only 2 per cent of UNSW students who were sexually harassed made a formal report or complaint about their most recent incident of sexual harassment at the university.
- 50 per cent of students sexually harassed at UNSW knew their perpetrator. 71 per cent of perpetrators were fellow UNSW students.
- Men were perpetrators in 83 per cent of sexual harassment incidents
- 70 per cent of UNSW students didn’t seek support from the university after they were sexually harassed because they didn’t it was serious enough. 22 per cent didn’t make a formal complaint because they didn’t know who they could make a formal complaint or report to.
UNSW Women’s Officer, Lizzie Butterworth, says that the UNSW statistics are concerning.
“The accessibility of services is a serious issue at UNSW. If staff and students are unaware of reporting and support options then the university is not fulfilling its duty of care,” she told Tharunka.
“The launch of the UNSW specific reporting portal on Monday last week was a necessary step towards combatting this, and the estimated use of it since the launch – one report per day – emphasises the void that existed previously.”
If you or someone you know are impacted by sexual assault or sexual harassment within university communities, you can call the National University Support Line on 1800 572 224 for free, confidential counselling 24 hours a day.