The Strategy comes shortly after the release of the 2021 National Student Safety Survey, which found that one in six students have been sexually harassed, and one in twenty have been sexually assaulted since starting university.
Professor Jan Breckenridge, Co-Convenor of the UNSW Gendered Violence Research Network told Tharunka the Strategy “specifies clear targets and outcomes” and has the full support of the Vice Chancellor, Attila Brungs who “has committed to properly resourcing actions and activities.”
‘Stop. Empower. Support.’ outlines the steps the University will take to prevent all forms of gendered violence on campus and create a safe environment for staff and students to report incidents of it.
Gendered violence is defined by the action plan as “as any type of harm that is perpetrated against a person or group of people because of their actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation and/ or gender identity.”
A Gendered Violence Steering Committee will be set up to supervise the implementation of the Strategy and a review will be conducted into the existing Reporting Portal to ensure that it is sensitive to victims’ experiences, including multiple reporting options such as email or through conversation with a staff member.
The University has also committed to implementing an education and awareness strategy, including compulsory gendered violence e-learning training for all staff and students.