Sunday, 16 November 2014

Universities shelve sexual assault survey

Australia's universities and residential colleges have shelved a plan to collect and share data about sexual assaults on campus.  This idea came out of the 2011 review into the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy led by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick. It is a lost opportunity.  Whilst some colleges and universities run educational programs for staff and students others do have such programs.  It would be really useful to have an agreement about what should be provided on campuses to deal with sexual harassment and sexual assault.
It would be even more useful to have accurate data on which to base these programs rather than the anecdotal information we have that there are high levels of sexual assault and harassment in some areas.  It is hardly surprising there a high levels of bad behaviour since we are talking about large numbers of young people, with little supervision, often away from home for the first time but this is even more reason to have a comprehensive approach across the country.

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