It has been three months since the release of the sexual harassment and sexual assault survey undertaken by Universities Australia. Responding to this survey the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) released a set of 19 recommendations aimed at countering this sector wide problem.
The campaign to stop sexual assault and harassment at Australian universities is an ongoing one, and, after three months, it is now time to evaluate the sectors progress so far. CAPA will now be contacting vice-chancellors across the country to establish which of the recommendations from CAPA and Universities Australia have been implemented.
An essential recommendation was the inclusion of students in the development of sexual assault and sexual harassment policy. This will be a key focus in our survey, where, we will also be asking student leaders about their engagement in policy development at universities.
A number of universities and organisations have responded positively to the recommendation presented by CAPA and we are looking for further compliance. These recommendations included such initiatives like the development of community standards and educational programs for students.
Tackling this issue is a challenge for everyone involved but a systematic approach needs to be maintained as well as continued, national monitoring of progress.
CAPA Women’s Officer Alyssa Shaw says:
“The results of the survey was the beginning to addressing this issue but it is essential that an ongoing effort is maintained.”
CAPA National President Peter Derbyshire says:
“The task ahead of the entire sector is a big one but CAPA is committed to continue working with universities until everyone can feel safe on campus.”