University residences should be doing everything possible to stop sexual violence on campus

I AGREE

The Survey

Fair Agenda is an independent community organisation made up of 37,000 Australians campaigning for a fair and equal future. We believe that no matter where you study, you should be able to trust that everything possible is being done to provide you with a safe learning environment.

In light of increasing reports of sexual violence at Australian universities, many Fair Agenda members expressed concerns about student safety on campuses.

Recognising that training in the prevention of sexual violence is one of the critical interventions needed to improve student safety, Fair Agenda sought to ensure all residents were investing in this important area of prevention.

But there was very little information about where it was being provided.

So, since 2016, Fair Agenda has been contacting all residences in Australia with an annual survey to obtain information on what, if any, training each residence planned on providing for students and staff.

The survey questions were developed in consultation with sexual violence service experts, with an aim to provide transparency for parents and students around what training is provided to students in each residence. You can find the results of that survey under the ‘Results’ section.

The questions

The survey asks basic questions about who will be trained, who will provide training, and whether the training provided will 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 violence prevention 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):

  • The involvement of an external provider experienced in providing services to survivors of sexual violence,
  • Training in what constitutes sexual consent,
  • Ethical bystander training - which teaches students who might witness someone perpetrating, or about to perpetrate sexual violence, how they can respond to prevent that assault and assist the victim to get help. 
Click here to view the full list of survey questions provided to residences

This is the full list of the survey questions asked of the residences:

  1. Will your residence ensure all students are provided with training in sexual consent and preventing sexual violence in 2019?
  2. Is student attendance at this training compulsory?
  3. Will a sexual assault service be involved in the training of those students (including by certifying those who provide your training?)
  4. Who will be the provider(s) of the training for students?
  5. Does the training provided by your residence:
    1. Include content around sexual consent training?
    2. Include content around ethical bystander training?
    3. Include content around ethical decision making?
    4. Include content around legal issues?
    5. Include content around how to respond compassionately to someone disclosing they have experienced sexual assault?
    6. Get delivered face-to-face?
    7. Get delivered online?
    8.  Amount to at least two hours of training in consent and preventing sexual violence for every student? 
  6. Will your residence ensure all staff responsible for resident welfare have been provided with training in preventing and responding to sexual violence before or during the 2019 academic year? 
  7. Will a sexual assault service be involved in the training of all staff with responsibilities for residents welfare (including by training and certifying the people who provide the training)?
  8. If yes, who will be the provider(s) of this training for staff with responsibilities for residents welfare? 
  9. Does the training for staff include:
    1. Content around appropriate response to a disclosure of sexual violence? 
    2. Content around evidence-based violence prevention research?
    3. Content around how to create a zero tolerance environment for sexual violence?
    4. Content around how to promote respectful relationships?
    5. Amount to at least 2 hours of  training per staff member?
  10. Is there any further information or clarifying detail you'd like to provide about the training your residence will provide to students and staff in 2019?

The process

Fair Agenda made efforts to contact every residence in Australia, using the email contact information available on their websites. 

Residences were first approached with the first annual survey in September 2016, and have been contacted every year since.

This year's survey was sent to residences via email in early October, with reminders in November.

A full list of all residences contacted and the full detail of their survey responses is available on the 'detailed results' page of this website.

A small number of residences were not able to be contacted via email, and they have been indicated in grey and annotated in the spreadsheet of complete survey results. Given the significant number of residences in Australia, Fair Agenda was not able to contact all residences via telephone to confirm their receipt of the survey. 

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 info@fairagenda.org to access the survey.

 

Get Involved

To all Australian University Residences,

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.

Will you sign?