Greens back calls for independent body to hold universities to account on sexual violence


Despite the tireless efforts of advocates like End Rape on Campus and Fair Agenda to hold universities accountable, far too many students, particularly female students, still feel unsafe at uni.

The Greens support calls on the Albanese government to establish an independent mechanism to hold universities accountable on sexual violence.

Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson on Women, Senator Larissa Waters

“The 2021 National Student Safety Survey found that 275 students are reporting assaults on campuses across the country every week. Without major changes, thousands of students are at risk. 

“Universities have a clear responsibility to provide a safe environment for students, with 275 sexual assaults in a university setting each week, it's clear they are failing. 

“Universities can play a key role in ensuring students understand consent. If Universities Australia don't want to provide sexual consent education to the adults on its campuses, it should hand back the $1.5 million it was provided to do so.

"A recent report showed universities have chosen not to provide the educational resources young adults need, because of the archaic mindset of a few old dinosaurs in charge of our tertiary institutions.

"Allowing the prudish nonsense of a minority of vice-chancellors to shelve a government-funded campaign is embarrassing enough, but Universities Australia attempting to hide the decision is outrageous.”

“An independent authority would be able to monitor what universities are doing to deal with sexual violence, whether those responses are working and have the power to impose consequences for those unis who don’t make the grade.”

Lines attributable to Acting Greens Leader & Greens spokesperson on Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi
“Universities have been hotbeds for sexual violence for far too long, especially for women, non-binary students, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and those with a disability. 

“The current system of self-regulation is completely failing students and causing lasting harm to so many people. Universities are failing in both preventing sexual violence and in responding to it.

“Universities must actively build and promote a culture that does not tolerate sexual assault, violence or harassment of any form.

“We need an independent authority with powers to not only monitor and evaluate universities on their work to end sexual violence on campus, but to also impose consequences for universities who are failing to protect students.”