Respect. Now. Always is a campaign was developed in 2016 by Universities Australia to enhance safety and support in Australian universities. The University of Tasmania is committed to being a place where all members of our community feel safe, secure and respected.
We want to ensure zero instances of sexual assault and sexual harassment at our University, with a zero tolerance approach.
Our approach towards sexual assault and sexual harassment is:
- Zero tolerance – sexual assault and sexual harassment is never okay and will not be tolerated
- Victim/survivor centric – where people feel empowered to make the best choices for themselves and choose their own pathway forward
- Trauma-informed – sensitive to understanding and responding to sexual assault and sexual harassment matters in accordance with principles of trauma informed practice
- Timely and confidential – responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment that are efficient and prioritise confidentiality
- Not time restricted – all matters will be supported, including matters that are historical (in the past) or current
- Collaborative and supportive – community members can seek information and support about sexual assault and sexual harassment from our Wellbeing Officer
- Preventative – we encourage bystander intervention to reduce occurrences of sexual assault and sexual harassment (where safe to do so)
SaFCU’s role in sexual assault and sexual harassment:
- Increasing community awareness of bystander intervention
- Being a participant in the National Redress Scheme
- Reviewing the contribution of Behaviour Contact Officers (BCOs) and how we work with university staff
- Take proactive action to support and protect community members by making referrals to external agencies, where appropriate
- Inform people on matters relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment
- Develop and deliver training and educative material
As part of the Respect.Now.Always campaign, Universities Australia commissioned two surveys (the National Student Safety Survey; NSSS) that ran in 2016 and 2021 to understand the scale and nature of university students’ experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The results of the 2021 survey, which we participated in, were released on Wednesday 23 March 2022:
- 2021 National Student Safety Survey outcomes
- 2021 University of Tasmania infographic
- 2021 University of Tasmania data table
The results contains sexual misconduct and mentions of self-harm, drug use and suicide ideation. We understand that conversations about the NSSS and its results can be distressing for members of our university and wider community.
We thank students and survivors for sharing their experiences. It continues to help us create a stronger, safer University of Tasmania community.
More information on the surveys and our response
Following the 2016 survey, the Australian Human Rights Commission released Change the course: National report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities.
- You can find the Change the course report on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.
- You can find our institutional report from this first survey at Institutional Report (PDF 228.0 KB).
One of the Change the course recommendations was to commission an independent, external review of our University’s current policies and procedures.
- You can read the review report at An Initial Review of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Prevention and Response at the University of Tasmania (PDF 413.2 KB)
The University implemented all recommendations from the Change the course report and independent review.
It is a vital task to improve how we prevent and respond to incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment and create a safer community. Our focus on this remains a priority – our actions and documents related to our progress are listed below.
How we are creating a safe and fair community
In recent years, we have:
- Established a central unit – the Safe and Fair Community Unit – which is experienced in responding to reports of sexual violence. This has included the recruitment of skilled investigators.
- Increased the number of counselling staff for students and introduced an after-hours crisis service.
- Rolled out staff and student training initiatives which address consent, gender violence and trauma-informed responses.
- Implemented an online reporting tool and case management system for managing reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and other forms of inappropriate behaviour.
- Established guidelines for first responders of disclosures of sexual violence.
- Implemented a new policy framework, which included the development of a new student conduct procedure.
What we are working on moving forward:
- Providing greater support to people affected by sexual misconduct with our Wellbeing Officer, which is a new role aimed at providing best practice care
- Further collaboration with colleagues on best practice approaches.
- Provide more extensive training at the University, including to Student Living.
- Creating more processes and documentation to enhance our response to sexual misconduct.
- Providing further information and education materials to the University community about sexual misconduct.
Improving how we prevent and respond to incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment and create a safer community is a vital task. It remains a focus and you can follow our progress below.
Support and assistance is available to anyone affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment.
Please contact the Safe and Fair Community Unit where the team will respond confidentially and with sensitivity.
Support and counselling is also available. Please visit the student portal to book an appointment with a counsellor and access our range of wellbeing services. If you are a staff member please visit our Employee Assistance Program page on the Safety and Wellbeing site or you can call 1300 687 327.
Alternatively, you can reach out to one of the national referral services.
- Change the Course recommendations implementation table (PDF File, 148.1 KB)
- SASH Action Plan 31 May 2020 (PDF File, 344.3 KB)
- Change the Course implementation progress (PDF File, 227.8 KB)
- 2019-2022 Statistics for Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Complaints (PDF File, 124.7 KB)
- Unreasonable-Conduct.pdf (PDF File, 95.7 KB)