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.


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Latest activity

Sadie , 3101  /  signed 2018-03-30 13:05:18 +1100
Veronica , 2337  /  signed 2018-03-30 13:02:24 +1100
Lorraine , 4825  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:59:14 +1100
"Too bad if, as a young woman or young man, at University, you were wanting to wait until marriage, to lose your virginity. To have this treasure forcibly destroyed by someone (or more than one) who doesn’t give a damn about you or your feelings, is the pits."
John , 3149  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:55:21 +1100
"This is a much under-estimated problem. The hazing rituals are a relic of a time long past and should be stopped. The fact that it is condoned is part of the problem. Sexual assault is not condoned but more difficult to prevent and it sometimes escalates from consensual interaction.

John Cashion"
Will , 2040  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:41:02 +1100
Ron , 2083  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:28:26 +1100
"This was happening when I was at Uni 50+ years ago and was grossly unfair and stupid then (freshman nonsense
/abuse + predation on females)
Time to stop
PS Use the past tense & sign me in for first 5 options below."
Rebeccah , 2134  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:26:41 +1100
"I don’t want to live in fear of being raped anymore"
Victor , 2100  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:23:52 +1100
"Resdential colleges appear to be the last bastions of male privilege and mysogony, the relics of a bygone era. Time to acknowedge the 21st century and how much the world has moved on in respect of the place women either hold or should, in our society."
Mark , 5087  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:22:18 +1100
Hannah , 3052  /  signed 2018-03-30 12:15:35 +1100
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