CHARLES Sturt University’s zero tolerance towards sexual violence is being reinforced after the university announced it would “redouble its efforts” to keep students safe on campus.
More than 800 Charles Sturt University (CSU) students responded to a national Human Rights Commission survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities, and the results were concerning.
Eighteen per cent of the 803 Charles Sturt University survey participants had been sexually harassed at university and 3.3 per cent had been sexually assaulted at university in 2015/2016.
CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said this behaviour was unacceptable.
"Sexual assault is a crime and we will be redoubling our efforts to reduce these numbers through a broad range of initiatives," Professor Vann said.
He said the survey provided valuable information for the university to act on immediately.
"The survey and its findings are critical to raising the profile of the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities," Professor Vann said.
The Commission provided nine recommendations to universities for reform and further work to improve the prevention of and response to sexual assault and sexual harassment in Australian universities.
Charles Sturt University will be adopting all the Commission's recommendations.
"Charles Sturt University is already addressing the majority of these through a number of key initiatives such as the roll-out of first responder training to staff to improve their ability to respond and support students who disclose sexual assault or sexual harassment,” Professor Vann said.
Over 100 key front-line CSU staff have completed this online training, Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence. This is designed to give staff the information they need to provide the support and assistance to a sexual assault survivor who is reporting an incident to them.
All staff will complete this training by 2018.
New protocols have also been developed by CSU for staff to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault from students including current, recent or historic allegations.
For students, the online training, Consent Matters will be available soon.