A new set of guidelines, released by Universities Australia on Friday, promises to put student safety and wellbeing at the centre of responses to sexual assault and harassment on campus.
“We want every student to be supported through their trauma and recovery — and know that their safety and wellbeing will be at the centre of their university’s response,” UA chief executive Catriona Jackson said.
“Advocates and experts have been integral to this work. Without them, this work would not have been possible and we thank them for their crucial input."
The document includes recommendations to streamline academic special consideration for victims, minimise the number of times victims are asked to recount traumatic experiences, and to offer multiple channels for victims to make formal reports.
“Every student should feel — and be — safe, both on campus and in the wider community," Ms Jackson said.
“Many of these actions and policies are ones that universities already have in place or are actively considering. These guidelines are not intended to replace institutional approaches to dealing with these unacceptable behaviours, but rather provide further advice."
The guidelines were developed with input from Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, student leadership organisations, advocates, Professor Margaret Otlowski, the Society of University Lawyers, Dr Lisa Warren from Code Black Threat Management, Professor Andrea Durbach, university student services staff and Sparke Helmore Lawyers.
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