Unis: stop leaving rape survivors without adequate support

Win! Hotline for student survivors of Uni sexual violence

Great news! After weeks of campaign pressure, Australia’s Universities have just announced that they will establish the dedicated specialist counseling hotline for students affected by sexual assault that Fair Agenda members and partners have called for!


Previous: Right now students at Australian universities are being sexually assaulted at an alarming rate -- and many students affected by this violence and trauma aren’t being provided with adequate service support.

At Universities across the country, students who have been raped or sexually assaulted on campus are being told they have to wait up to four weeks for a university counseling appointment. Others who have dropped out of their degrees because of the impact of the assault are being refused access to university counseling services altogether.[1]

Student advocates say university facilitates are “already stretched beyond capacity”. And that demand is set to increase further, with a pending report into the issue expected to trigger further disclosures from victim-survivors when it is delivered in August.

Student group End Rape on Campus and survivor advocate Nina Funnell are calling for universities to address this problem by funding a dedicated specialist counseling hotline for affected students. 

Can you join the call on Universities to make sure they have timely, adequate, and trauma informed counseling services for students and former students affected by violence on campus?


Find out more (click to view)

In response to other similar inquiries into broad scale sexual violence (such as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse), specialist support hotlines have been set up to support those affected, in recognition that existing NGO services don’t have capacity to respond to the additional trauma and demand caused by these kinds of inquiry.

Student advocates say that a new dedicated and specialist service is needed to help alleviate existing pressure on university counseling services and also to ensure a consistency in the quality of counseling service provision across the university sector. Media reports suggest that most university services are staffed by generalist counselors who do not necessarily have specific expertise in sexual assault trauma, with some university websites stating that they can assist with problems such as "exam stress", "procrastination", or "adjusting to university life"; and only some have the specialised capacity to respond to sexual assault trauma.

You can view the call from End Rape on Campus Australia here.

*If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, you can call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for 24/7 support. If you are in immediate danger call 000.*


1. Rape victims face four-week wait for counselling at some universities, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 May 2017.


To Universities Australia, and all Australian Universities,

We are extremely concerned that victim-survivors affected by sexual violence at university aren’t able to access timely and appropriate service support.  

We urge you to ensure that all students and former students affected by sexual violence at university have access to adequate, timely and trauma informed counselling services. 

We particularly note our support for the call to establish a specialist and trauma informed 24/7 counselling hotline to be run by sexual assault experts like Rape and Domestic Violence Service Australia ahead of the Australian Human Rights Commission report in August.


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Latest activity

Salli , 3154  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:21:02 +1000
"Salli Weston-Barry"
Jennifer , 2211  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:21:01 +1000
Steve , 2062  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:20:35 +1000
Sandra , 4272  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:19:43 +1000
Sheila , 2071  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:19:41 +1000
"Any sexual assault should be fully dealt with, and quickly"
Vicki , 6172  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:19:33 +1000
"I have a daughter at University. A campus should be a safe haven for students not a place of violence and menace, where she needs to always be looking over her shoulder. Students should not have to worry about being attacked whilst trying to get an education. Counselling should be on hand at all times and all students should attend a compulsory unit about sexism, appropriate behaviour and respect of others."
Liz , 4520  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:19:28 +1000
Penelope , 3011  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:19:10 +1000
sandra , 2031  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:19:08 +1000
"Because sexual violence, or any violence for that matter against women and men at Uni should not be happening. They should be able to feel safe while studying."
Bronwyn , 5600  /  signed 2017-05-26 12:18:18 +1000
"Barriers and discouragements to accessing education and continuing with studies must be opposed!"
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