This morning the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released its report Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Harassment at Australian Universities. The report presents the results of the largest-ever national survey of Australian university students on sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The results of the report are unflinching and confronting. The report has shown us that across Australian Universities:
• One in five survey respondents experienced sexual harassment at university in 2016 (21%).
• 1.6% of survey respondents experienced sexual assault in a ‘university setting’ in 2015 or 2016.
At Southern Cross University, the report has shown:
• 17% of survey respondents experienced sexual harassment at university in 2016.
• 2.6% of survey respondents experienced sexual assault in a ‘university setting’ in 2015 or 2016.
It is simply unacceptable that this has occurred.
On behalf of Southern Cross University, I want to apologise without reservation to all of those persons under our care who have experienced sexual assault or harassment. Every case of sexual assault or harassment is one too many. We have the potential to shape change, both in our own university communities and across society, and we will do so.
Further information for victims of sexual assault or harassment is available at scu.edu.au/help
Sexual assault is a crime. Sexual harassment is never OK. At Southern Cross University, we will listen - and we will act.
Professor Adam Shoemaker
Vice Chancellor & President, Southern Cross University
Media contact: Sharlene King 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349