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

3,941 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

John , 2753  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:59:38 +1100
"Sexual harassment is unacceptable and allowing it to flourish is a failure of governance"
margot , 4560  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:56:17 +1100
Heather , 4870  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:54:58 +1100
"Heather McNamee
As the mother of 2 teenage daughters one of whom dtarts uni next week i am horrified at the toxic and dangerous cultures on Australian University campuses."
terry , 3070  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:53:14 +1100
David , 2289  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:52:28 +1100
Tamara , 4069  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:51:20 +1100
"Universities should be places of learning, advancement and connection – not places of harassment, violence and abuse. Universities are not doing enough to address the culture of sexual violence and ensure the safety of their student body. Aside from the basic right to safety, it is clear that students who are suffering from psychological trauma caused by these acts are less able to pursue their studies. Funding for counseling services are also inadequate with excessive waiting times demonstrating the low priority of student care. I speak both as an alumni and an academic."
Patrick , 2753  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:48:24 +1100
Ian , 4215  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:36:22 +1100
Brianna , 2285  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:30:48 +1100
Tamsin , 3140  /  signed 2018-02-23 07:27:18 +1100
"Tamsin Kelly"
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