CDU partners on national ‘Respect. Now. Always.’ campaign

12-Feb-2016

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks says the campaign built on longstanding work at CDU and across the Australian university sector

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks says the campaign built on longstanding work at CDU and across the Australian university sector


Charles Darwin University has unveiled a major new campaign to prevent sexual assault and harassment, partnering with other Australian universities in a new national initiative.

The campaign – Respect. Now. Always. – highlights the determination of Australia’s universities to ensure that students and staff are safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said the campaign built on longstanding work at CDU and across the Australian university sector.

“It is essential that universities are places of safety and respect,” Professor Maddocks said.

“Over many years, policies have been developed to prevent sexual assault and harassment and ensure that services are in place to support students when they disclose or report.

“But there is more that can be done, and this campaign is the next step to ensure that we keep improving and learning from best practice.”

Professor Maddocks said the campaign would raise awareness among university students and staff that sexual assault and harassment were unacceptable, and provide clear pathways of support for those who needed it.

“The campaign seeks to prevent assault and harassment by raising awareness, support students in need of help, and give bystanders the confidence to speak up. We all have a role to play to ensure our university communities are places of respect - now and always,” he said.

The campaign also would be an opportunity for the university sector to review the effectiveness of local policies, responses and support services to ensure they are best practice.

Working with partners including the Australian Human Rights Commission, the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre and The Hunting Ground Australia Project Team, the sector has begun collaborative work to:

* Seek more comprehensive data on Australian sexual assault and harassment in universities through a national survey

* Participate in a review and update of policies and procedures at universities to prevent sexual assault and harassment; and

* Share global best practice models for reporting incidents and supporting students who disclose sexual assault or harassment.

The campaign will coincide with the release of the US film “The Hunting Ground” in Australia.

Screenings of the film, which looks at sexual assault in American universities, also will encourage discussion in Australian university communities about the importance of respect and safety.

To learn more about the campaign visit W: respectnowalways.edu.au