When you’re studying in Australia you might be exploring new relationships and it is important that they be respectful and healthy. You may encounter sexual assault and sexual harassment while you are a student, whether personally or through someone you know. ‘Your body, Your choice’ is a factsheet designed to give you information about your rights and how to get support if you need it.
In a pretty groundbreaking move by Australian universities in 2016, a huge enquiry was launched to examine sexual assault and sexual harassment on university campuses.
It was an incredibly important move by these universities that was triggered by some staggering statistics. In late 2016, the Human Rights Commission conducted the first-ever survey on university students’ experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Tens of thousands of students from 39 Australian universities were asked to participate and share their experience, and in August 2017, the report ‘Changing the Course’ was released. The report showed that in 2015 and 2016, the majority of students didn’t report their experience of sexual assault or sexual harassment to their university. For international students, it was even more difficult to do so because of cultural and language barriers.
So, to keep you informed on what you need to do if you come across sexual assault or sexual harassment, the City of Sydney, Redfern Legal Centre and Study NSW have launched a very helpful resource for both local and international students. The resource was developed in consultation with Rape Crisis NSW, NSW Health Sexual Assault Service and NSW Police. While many of the support services listed are based in Sydney, the fact sheet is a crucial guide for any student studying in Australia. It is available in 12 different languages and can be downloaded from the links below.