Taskforce

Minister: Act urgently to prevent rape at universities

Everyone deserves to learn in a safe environment. But right now, hundreds of university students are being sexually assaulted every week.[1] And media reports show that too many universities and residences are failing to adequately prevent or appropriately respond to this violence.

It’s time universities and residences that jeopardise students' wellbeing are held to account.

After months of campaigning from Fair Agenda and our partners for a bipartisan commitment to a Taskforce on campus sexual violence, the Australian Labor Party have committed to establish an independent and expert-led Taskforce if elected.

But this shouldn't be a partisan issue, and students shouldn't have to wait for a change of Government for this important safety measure.

Can you help build the pressure on the Minister to urgently act by signing the petition?  

More information (click to view) 

Since February Fair Agenda, End Rape on Campus Australia, National Union of Students and The Hunting Ground Australia Project have been jointly campaigning for an independent, expert-led taskforce with powers to investigate and hold universities and residences to account on sexual violence.

For too long problems with sexual violence in our universities have only been uncovered when affected students coming forward to the media about horrifying and traumatic experiences; often at great personal cost. We can’t keep doing this to students. It’s time for an independent expert-led body that is resourced to track and actively assess what universities and residences are doing to address and prevent sexual violence.

Before the Liberal leadership spill triggered a Ministerial reshuffle in August, former Education Minister Birmingham was ready to announce a Taskforce on campus sexual assault. It's appalling that new Minister Tehan has failed to establish the Taskforce, despite having months to do so.

-Sources-

Australian Human Rights Commission, Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities, 2017, p 49. The survey found 2.3% of women, 1.7% of trans and gender diverse students, and 0.7% of male students were sexually assaulted in a university setting in 2015 and/or 2016.

D for Disgrace, 60 Minutes, 4 March 2018. New students at St Mark's College subject to degrading, sexually abusive hazing, student tells 60 MInutes, The Advertiser, 5 March 2018.

'We were so close': Education Minister shelves sexual assault taskforce for universities, Sydney Morning Herald, 22 November 2018.

SIGN THE PETITION

3,929 SIGNATURES

To the Federal Education Minister Tehan, 

All students deserve a safe environment in which to learn.

We urge you to address the scourge of sexual violence on university campuses by establishing an independent expert led taskforce to track, assess and publicly report on university and residences’ measures to prevent, and improve responses to sexual violence.

Signed,

Fair Agenda will email petition signers from time to time with important updates

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Latest activity

Margaret , 2605  /  signed 2019-02-15 16:46:56 +1100
Renee , 3057  /  signed 2019-02-15 15:30:10 +1100
patricia , 2022  /  signed 2019-02-11 20:19:50 +1100
rhonda , 3840  /  signed 2019-02-11 17:07:15 +1100
Emma , 2617  /  signed 2019-02-09 14:41:55 +1100
"I am a former resident of a university residence and a survivor of sexual violence. I did not report my incident because I had little faith in university policy. Some universities are rapidly improving their policy, while others still lag decades behind. This will remain the case unless there is an independent taskforce to keep universities accountable."
Margaret , 6280  /  signed 2019-02-05 20:51:13 +1100
Robert , 3084  /  signed 2019-02-03 07:52:38 +1100
"No person should be subjected to harm in their home, their school or their workplace. Governments have duty of care over Australian university policies and practices, to protect students from harm. The only way to protect from harm is to assume that the harm is real, that the evidence is accurate, and then take steps to eliminate, reduce or minimise harm."
Catherine , 3071  /  signed 2019-02-02 08:59:11 +1100
"I am signing the petition because every person should feel safe on campus. For far too long, educational institutions have downplayed, ignored and, frequently, denied the threats to student safety in campus. Universities must be made accountable for the safety of their students."
Adam , 3477  /  signed 2019-01-31 15:04:36 +1100
"“surviving” Sexual Abuse Should Not be anyone’s life CHALLENGE
This has to Stop"
heather ruth , 5008  /  signed 2019-01-30 18:15:29 +1100
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