Know Your Rights Against Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities

A recent report published by the Australian Human Rights Commission (Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities) reviewed more than 30,000 understudies from Australia’s 39 colleges and found that over half (51%) had been sexually irritated on no less than one event in 2016. Besides, 6.9% of understudies were sexually ambushed on no less than one event in 2015 or 2016.

You can read the full report here.


The report (which sketched out discoveries on the pervasiveness of sexual attack and sexual harassment at Australian colleges, and furthermore examined the viability of existing college strategies and administrations) additionally uncovered that a huge extent of sexual harassment experienced by understudies had occurred in a college setting, including:

  • on the college grounds
  • while heading out to or from college
  • at an off-grounds occasion composed by or embraced by the college, and
  • at college business (Australian Human Rights Commission).

Ladies were accounted for as three times as likely as men to have encountered sexual strike – and two times as prone to have encountered sexual harassment – in a college setting in 2016.

In any case, notwithstanding the way that over portion of understudies experienced sexual harassment or ambush in 2016, the report additionally found that most by far of understudies (94% of understudies who were sexually hassled, 87% of understudies who were sexually struck) did not hold up a formal grievance to their college.

Of all understudies studied, just 6% trusted their college was doing what’s necessary to give understudies clear data on sexual harassment bolster administrations, strategies and arrangements. Just 4% of understudies thought their college was doing what’s necessary in connection to sexual strike.


The report prescribes colleges start executing arrangements, introducing counseling bodies and creating activity wants to straightforwardly address issues of sexual harassment and attack.

Existing college approaches ought to be reassessed and redeveloped, with colleges made a request to commission autonomous audits inside a year.


Numerous understudies who experienced episodes did not talk up on the grounds that they didn’t know to whom to turn, where to go and what ventures to take to record formal protests.

Colleges must place more noteworthy accentuation on instructing instructors and understudies on “practices that constitute sexual ambush and sexual harassment, assent and conscious connections, ‘brutality steady dispositions’ and onlooker intercession” (Australian Human Rights Commission). They should plainly understandable to understudies and instructors the best possible moves to make while seeing or encountering episodes of sexual harassment or attack, and where to get to administrations.

More prominent accentuation ought to likewise be set on changing negative demeanors and practices inside college settings.


Numerous understudies who experienced sexual strike or harassment abstained from making formal grievances or reports to their colleges as they didn’t feel their encounters were not kidding enough to warrant objection. Others feared saw and existing marks of disgrace or having their personalities be uncovered. The report prescribes that colleges:

  • guarantee reports are gathered and put away privately
  • give understudies more noteworthy control over what happens to their reports
  • guarantee the prompt prosperity of understudies
  • offer help for understudies to proceed with their investigations
  • oblige the necessities of understudies from different foundations (Australian Human Rights Commission).

Here are some contact numbers and information about the various organizations that you can approach to for help in sexual harassment and similar cases:

National University Support Line: 1800 572 224 (until November 30, 2017)

Another national support arrange built up in guide reaction to the current reports. The National University Support Line is a 24 hour helpline for understudies who have encountered (or are encountering) rape and inappropriate behavior in their understudy group.

Contact hours: 24 hour support

1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732

The National Sexual Assault and Domestic Family Violence helpline offering advising and direction.

Contact hours: 24 hour support

Lifeline: 131 114

National helpline offering help for individuals encountering an individual emergency, offering emergency support and suicide counteractive action administrations.

Contact hours: 24 hour support

Online live talk hours: 7pm – 4am

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Non-benefit association giving prompt support, direction and data tending to uneasiness, despondency and suicide, diminishing shame and advancing great emotional wellness.

Call contact hours: 24 hour support

Online live visit hours: 3pm – 12am

Email: Get a reply within 24 hours

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About Sugandh Ratan Agarwal

A fun loving gal set in her own ways. Embarking on a journey to make a name. Write such that someone else can write about you! Cheers!
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