Recently, the Australian Government’s Department of Education published a provisional report titled The Australian University Agreement, which addresses, among other issues, the alarming sexual violence on university campuses. The document is based on a comprehensive analysis of the cases and experiences of various educational institutions in Australia.
This review finds that sexual harassment in Australian universities is a deep-rooted and complex problem affecting students, staff and faculty alike and highlights the prevalence of inappropriate behaviour, including verbal, cyber, physical and threatening sexual assaults. exposes.
According to the study, the 2021 National Student Safety Survey found that 16.1% of students have been subjected to sexual assault and 4.5% to sexual harassment since they started university. The report shows that students who are victims of sexual assault experience higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and clinically significant depression and anxiety, which is linked to higher rates of non-attendance, lower academic performance and, ultimately, higher rates of depression. gets connected. of non-attendance. High rates of academic failure, something already revealed by reference research. Furthermore, another most worrying data highlights that a large number of sexual harassment cases are not formally reported due to fear of retaliation, lack of trust in reporting mechanisms and the perception of lack of institutional culture to address these problems. are not reported.
After examining the various responses offered, the review found that current approaches to reducing the incidence of sexual violence on campus are insufficient. In stakeholder dialogue to implement effective solutions, there is one key area that advocates for greater transparency, monitoring and accountability mechanisms.
Based on such findings, the Australian report recommends that the country’s universities take urgent measures to address sexual harassment and create a safer and more respectful environment for all members of the academic community by making it clear that gender-based violence happens. and occurs in different contexts. In the case of universities and higher education institutions, it is time to confront and root out this scourge, a growing movement with a global reach. In the case of this interim document, it is an important first step through which it is hoped that the actions derived from it will lead to a change in institutional culture and foster a more supportive, inclusive academic community with zero tolerance. violence.