The Greens are in solidarity with tireless campaigning groups like End Rape on Campus, Fair Agenda, The STOP Campaign and the National Union of Students who continue to shine a light on sexual violence on campus, and support their calls for an independent mechanism to hold universities to account on sexual assault.
Lines attributable to Acting Greens Leader & Greens spokesperson on Education, Senator Mehreen Faruqi
“While it’s great that the Government has appointed Patty Kinnersly to their working group on uni governance, there is so much more they must do to keep students safe.
“The Government must establish an independent mechanism to hold universities accountable on sexual violence and commit to funding another student safety survey. A working group to examine the issues is just not good enough on its own, when we know decisive action is needed now.
“Every student has the right to study in a safe, respectful environment, without fear of being sexually assaulted or harassed.
“Sadly though, far too many uni students continue to experience sexual violence across the country, especially women, non-binary people, people with disability, and First Nations people. For many, these traumatic experiences can totally upend and ruin lives.
“Both governments and universities have failed to act, despite knowing for years about the shocking prevalence and damaging effects of sexual violence on campuses.
“The Greens stand in solidarity with tireless campaigning groups like End Rape on Campus, Fair Agenda, and the National Union of Students — who have bravely shone a light on sexual violence on campus, and who are holding the government and universities to account for their abject failures.”
Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson on Women, Senator Larissa Waters
“There is an epidemic of sexual assault on campus and universities and governments need to stop trying to brush it under the carpet.
“Labor is in government, they have all the levers. Students need to know their safety is being taken seriously. Parents need to know their kids are safe in residential halls. Universities need to be forced to take action.
“End Rape on Campus, Fair Agenda and The STOP Campaign continue their calls for an independent mechanism to hold universities accountable on sexual violence, and the Greens support those calls.
“The 2021 National Student Safety Survey found that 275 students are reporting assaults on campuses across the country every week, but that survey was done in the middle of COVID lockdowns. We need to know the true extent of the epidemic of rape on campus once students are back to post-pandemic campus life.
“Universities Australia have said it is up to the vice-chancellors whether they run another student safety survey, and that they haven’t yet decided. That prevarication is unacceptable - student safety surveys must be funded and committed to by both government and universities. You can’t fix the problem by hiding it. These are the same vice-chancellors who canned the $1.5 million consent education program Universities Australia was funded to provide, because of the archaic mindset of a few old dinosaurs in charge of our tertiary institutions.
“We are still waiting on a response to Questions on Notice from Universities Australia regarding whose archaic opinions were relied on in the decision to pull the plug on its consent education campaign, but it’s pretty clear that if they 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.
“Despite the tireless efforts of advocates like End Rape on Campus, Fair Agenda and The STOP Campaign, who Minister Clare met with last week, far too many students, particularly women, still feel unsafe at uni. The Greens support their calls for an independent mechanism to hold universities accountable on sexual violence.”