Fair Agenda is an independent community organisation made up of 35,000 Australians campaigning for a fair and equal future.
In light of increasing reports of sexual violence at Australian universities, many Fair Agenda members have expressed concerns about student safety on campuses.
Training is recognised as one of the critical interventions needed to improve student safety, but there has been very little information easily accessible about where it is being provided.
So in September 2016, Fair Agenda contacted 214 residences in Australia with a survey to obtain information on what, if any, training each residence planned on providing for students and staff in 2017.
As at 30 January 2017, 102 residences had responded to the survey, and 84 had indicated that they will provide relevant training to all student residents in 2017. Just 35 residences have so far indicated that a sexual assault service will be involved in providing that training. 80 residences have indicated that they will provide training in sexual violence prevention to all staff responsible for student welfare.
The survey questions were developed in consultation with sexual violence service experts, and aim to provide transparency for parents and students around what exists in each residence to protect students and promote safe and respectful relationships. You can find the results of that survey under the ‘Results’ section.
The survey asked basic questions about who would be providing training, and whether the training provided would include certain content considered important in best-practice training. A list of the questions is included below.
The survey questions were developed in consultation with sexual assault service experts.
Training was identified by these experts as being a critical intervention to reduce sexual violence - not only as a means to adapt the attitudes and culture of the student body to diminish the number of perpetrators and build a zero-tolerance community, but also to equip staff dealing with disclosures of sexual violence with training in how to best respond.
For effective outcomes, training for students and staff in consent and sexual violence prevention should be best-practice. According to sexual violence experts, best practice training should meet the National Standards for the Prevention of Sexual Assault through Education, and be provided in person (at least in part), over multiple hours throughout a year, and include these key aspects (amongst others):
This is the full list of the survey questions asked of the residences:
Fair Agenda made efforts to contact every residence in Australia, using the email contact information available on their websites.
Residences were given several weeks in which to complete the survey, and were contacted via email or phone at least three times during that period regarding the survey.
The residences who provided responses to the survey questions are visible on the 'results' page of the website. A full list of the residences, including those who have yet to provide a response, is available via the 'compare' page of this website.
Please note: Given the significant number of residences in Australia, Fair Agenda was not able to contact all 217 residences via telephone to confirm their receipt of the survey. Therefore the residences displayed as 'undisclosed/unknown' and 'no response' includes both those who have not yet responded to Fair Agenda's email contact regarding the survey; and those who have explicitly declined the opportunity to complete the survey.
A full list of all residences contacted and the full detail of their survey responses is available on the 'compare' page of this website.
If you wish to further clarify the position of a residence, we encourage you to contact the residence direct to request further information about the training they provide in this area.
If you represent a residence and would like to submit a response to the survey, or have further questions, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org to access the survey.
We urge you to do everything possible to prevent sexual violence on campus. As a first step, we call on every university residence to implement best-practice training in sexual consent and prevention of sexual violence for all students and relevant staff in 2017.