The National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) is a nationwide survey conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC) on behalf of Universities Australia.
It collects data on the scale and nature of students’ perceptions of safety and experiences relating to sexual harm (including sexual assault and sexual harassment) at Australian universities.
The NSSS builds upon the data and recommendations from the Change the Course survey completed by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2016 and Universities Australia’s Respect. Now. Always. initiative.
In March 2022, the SRC released the results of the latest NSSS, conducted in September and October 2021. The survey set out to collect data on the scale and nature of university students’ experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment. The results indicate that sexual harassment and sexual assault remain relatively common experiences for Australian university students.
A total of 10,000 ACU students were selected at random to receive an email. Participation was voluntary and responses were anonymous.
While the prevalence of sexual assault and sexual harassment at ACU is below the national average, the survey results highlight that ACU still needs to do more to build students’ confidence and awareness of the reporting processes and support services available at the university.
In response to the 2021 National Student Safety Survey, ACU has developed an action plan that aims to increase education, awareness, prevention and response to sexual assault and sexual harassment on all ACU campuses.
Updates on the progress of the action plan will be published here on a yearly basis.
In late 2016, all 39 universities in Australia participated in a national survey on university student experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
Conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission, it surveyed more than 30,000 students, including ACU students.
This ground-breaking initiative was launched by Australian universities in 2016 to prevent, and address, sexual harassment and sexual assault on campus and in the university sector.
Respect. Now. Always. is a sector-wide program that aims to:
ACU is one of the 39 universities across Australia committed to the Respect. Now. Always. program and to improving how we, as a university, report to and support those who have been affected .
This is an important survey for ACU as it gives us valuable information on which to base new initiatives and strategies for addressing issues of student safety and wellbeing.
Participation in the survey will help ACU to protect students and future students. No matter your circumstances, views or experiences, your participation in the survey is important as it will help ensure the results of the study accurately represent the experiences of students at our university.
When someone experiences sexual assault or sexual harassment, the person they choose to talk to plays a vital role in their support. When someone discloses such personal information to you, it is important that you remain calm and reply with a safe response to ease their possible feelings of fear, discomfort, or anxiety. You are not expected to have all the answers, it is just important that you make them feel safe, heard, and supported.
It can be difficult to know how to respond and you may be unsure about how to help. Remember to Listen, Reassure and Respect. Below are some guidelines that may assist you.
Hearing another person’s experience of sexual assault or sexual harassment can be difficult and it is normal to be impacted by this experience. It is important you take time to recognise signs that you are being impacted and know that support is available for you too. To find out about the support services available please visit the Support section above.
To report a disclosure of sexual assault or sexual harassment to ACU please visit the ACU Respect.Now.Always. webpage
If you require further information, please contact the National Manager, Safeguarding and Student Safety on 02 9739 2002 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday or alternatively email email@example.com.
ACU has implemented a range of initiatives to ensure students safety and to prevent harm. Some key initiatives that ACU has implemented include:
To view more initiatives undertaken by ACU in the university’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission, visit the ACU Respect.Now.Always webpage
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