A new visual resource has been created for students and staff to facilitate conversations about how we should respond to and prevent gendered violence on university campuses.
August 3 marked one year since the Australian Human Rights Commission released the Change the Course report and the Australian Human Rights Centre (now Institute) released the report On Safe Ground: good practice guide for Australian universities.
On Safe Ground, a two-year research project (funded by The Caledonia Foundation) combined data from the Commission’s national student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment with research on international good practice approaches to the issue.
The report’s lead author, Professor Andrea Durbach, said it was fitting that the project – triggered by the release in Australia of the US documentary The Hunting Ground – started with a film and finishes with another visual resource.
“Ultimately, what we wanted to leave students, as the ultimate beneficiaries of our work, was something long-lasting,” Professor Durbach said.
“This resource is going to have some longevity as the issues are unfortunately going to be here for a while, and so we required the resource to be accessible, impactful, and bring together in a short frame a lot of the core issues. We see it very much as part of a prevention strategy.”
The resource is released after a year of consultation with the UNSW SRC and a team at Deloitte Digital, who worked to capture the key issues around sexual assault and power, and then teamed the animation with a striking script by Ann Luff.
The resource continues UNSW Sydney’s leading work in this area, which has included training and a reporting portal that has seen reports of sexual assault and harassment increase from less than 10 per year to 97 reports in 2017-18.
UNSW SRC Women’s Officer Angela Griffin said students had been central to these initiatives.
“Students may not be safe but they are certainly safer, and it has been really amazing to see all of these improvements,” she said.
“In terms of student consultation, one of the key recommendations of the On Safe Ground report was the importance of bringing students on to boards and into committees, into meetings about this.
“I do really feel like students have been key members of the formulating process of the policy.”
The On Safe Ground visual student resource is available on You Tube here: