Sexual assault and harassment have no place in Australian universities, just as they have no place anywhere in Australia.
Survey results released today show that Australian universities face similar challenges as institutions around the world to prevent sexual assault and harassment, and to support those who are subjected to it.
Australians rightly expect that universities provide a safe environment on their campuses.
Universities Australia and its members have taken steps to acknowledge the problem, to seek to measure it through this survey, and to tackle it via the “Respect. Now. Always.” policy and subsequent initiatives.
To ensure our institutions lead the world in tackling these problems I have today written to each university to seek their response to the survey’s findings and recommendations given their legal obligation to provide a safe learning environment.
The Turnbull Government has made a significant investment in addressing violence against women and children, including $100 million for the Third Action Plan and $100 million for a Women’s Safety Package.
Our government will work with universities to ensure they address the findings and recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report and implement changes that will make them safer and more inclusive environments in the future.