CDU partners on national ‘Respect. Now. Always.’ student survey


Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks

Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks

Charles Darwin University is partnering with universities across Australia in a ground-breaking national student survey on sexual assault and harassment, which will be launched officially today.

The survey is an important part of the Australian university sector’s Respect. Now. Always. campaign to ensure students and staff are safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Maddocks said CDU would participate in the survey as part of its longstanding efforts to continually improve policies and support services to keep students safe.

“This survey will tell us what more needs to be done to prevent sexual assault and harassment, and to support students when they seek help,” Professor Maddocks said.

“I want us to keep improving our responses and drawing on best practice so our students know that their university is doing even more to ensure a culture of respect and safety.”

The confidential survey will begin at CDU in September.

A representative sample of CDU students will be selected to participate, and will be asked to complete the survey – even if they have not experienced these behaviours – to ensure that a clear picture is gained of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in the student community.

All information provided by students will be strictly confidential and will not be provided to CDU. The survey is being run by the independent Australian Human Rights Commission with assistance from Roy Morgan Research. Responses will be de-identified to protect student privacy.

Any university student who has not been selected in the survey sample but who would like to share their experience can do so confidentially via the Australian Human Rights Commission website. These online submissions also will inform improvements in university policies.

The survey data will be analysed and reported by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The survey has been developed with input from experts including the Australian Human Rights Centre at the University of NSW, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Roy Morgan Research, and the Australian Human Rights Commission. It is funded primarily by Universities Australia. Seed funding for the survey was provided by The Hunting Ground Australia Project. The survey is supported by the National Union of Students and the National Tertiary Education Union. 

About Respect. Now. Always.

Earlier this year, Australia’s 39 universities launched the Respect. Now. Always. campaign. It has three key elements: raising awareness of these issues and lifting the profile of support services for students; obtaining prevalence data to guide further improvements in policies and services; and assisting universities to share resources and best practice across the sector.

NOTE: Anyone feeling distress at any time during or after participating in this survey should call 1800 RESPECT for support.

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