Minister: Act to prevent rape at universities

Everyone deserves to learn in a safe environment. But right now, sexual violence is such a huge issue at Australian universities that hundreds of students are being sexually assaulted on uni campuses every year.[1] And new revelations from students involved in this year's O'Weeks show that universities still aren't adequately addressing major risk to student safety.[2]

It’s time universities and residences were held to account for endangering students' wellbeing.

That's why Fair Agenda, End Rape on Campus Australia, National Union of Students and The Hunting Ground Australia Project have launched a joint call for the Government to establish an independent, expert-led taskforce with powers to investigate and hold universities and residences to account on sexual violence.

But it won't happen without your support. Can you sign your support, and then ask your friends to join you in calling for this vital change?

More information (click to view) 

The issue of sexual assault on campus an issue so huge that if current rates continue, hundreds of students will be sexually assaulted at university just this year.

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. 

While universities have finally acknowledged the problem and committed to take action, many are still dragging their feet on substantive change.

That’s why it’s absolutely critical the Government establish an expert led taskforce to track progress, and publicly hold universities and residences to account if required.

This taskforce should require universities and residences to report on what they’re doing to prevent sexual violence and what disciplinary actions are being taken against perpetrators; and also to asses whether or not those measures are actually improving outcomes. And to publish public assessments and recommendations around where further action is needed.


1. 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. 

2. 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.



To the Federal Education Minister, 

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.


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

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Latest activity

Kate , 3781  /  signed 2018-04-02 19:40:28 +1000
"In 2002 I was interviewed for an academic position at a big University in Melbourne. as part of the interview I was asked if I was prepared to work after dark ( which can be 5.30 pm during winter) because of the likelihood of rape and assault.
No one should have to make that decision to have a job."
Mary , 2530  /  signed 2018-04-02 19:31:33 +1000
"The safety of university students while on campus should be of absolute importance to everyone involved. time something was done to correct this situation."
Peter , 3184  /  signed 2018-04-02 17:54:37 +1000
"Dear Sir

All students must be kept safe at University. This is surely a fundamental need and right in order for learning and love of learng to occur.

jude , 2102  /  signed 2018-04-02 16:42:20 +1000
Mark , 3977  /  signed 2018-04-02 16:08:47 +1000
kaye , "2617  /  signed 2018-04-02 15:14:12 +1000
"I have been associated with Universities here and overseas for 66years and this unspeakable behaviour has been going on, all that time. Now Minister Birmingham it is your duty to endeavour to put a stop to it.
Please consider mandatory sacking of perpetrators. No more excuses."
Maelor , 3042  /  signed 2018-04-02 14:27:59 +1000
"Because freedom from violence is a right everyone should have."
Anne , 2604  /  signed 2018-04-02 14:02:45 +1000
Gary , 4120  /  signed 2018-04-02 13:47:58 +1000
"Students need to be protected"
Pamela , 2089  /  signed 2018-04-02 13:32:19 +1000
"No one should ever be the victim of a rape. It’s time the management at Australian Universities moved into the modern age and worked to make their campuses safe for all students. To do otherwise is outrageous and criminal. It’s time for them to wake up and take drastic action."
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