VC Professor Glyn Davis on #RespectNowAlways survey results

Last year, the University of Melbourne joined
with every other Australian university in the Respect. Now. Always. initiative, to declare universities a no-go zone for sexual harassment and sexual assault in our communities, on and off-campus. Working with Universities Australia, the Australian Human Rights Commission has now conducted the first ever national survey of the nature and scale
of university students’ experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault. As part of this initiative, here at the University of Melbourne, we encouraged students to participate in this survey and i’m pleased to say we secured one of the highest rates of participation in the nation. Today, 1 August 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia have released the national report and the results of the survey and Melbourne has published all of its data on our website. Can I express appreciation for the many students who engaged with this important survey As a community we are committed to learning from the results and making this a safer place for students. The release of this disturbing survey data
is a timely reminder that sexual harassment and sexual assault are a significant issue
for us all. They’re always unacceptable – at
university and everywhere else. Let me state this as bluntly as possible,
and make crystal clear the view of the University of Melbourne. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are unacceptable. Every time. And they are never the fault – or the responsibility – of the victim. To Melbourne students who are watching: I want you to know that your safety, and the welfare of any victim, is always the University’s priority. Every disclosure of sexual harassment or sexual
assault will be treated with respect, your privacy will be respected, and every effort will be made to support you through the process. This applies to recent incidents, and to historical cases. If you have experienced concerning behaviour,
including sexual harassment or assault, please contact the University’s Safer Community
Program, where you can report incidents and access support, advice, information and
specialist services. If you’re a current student, drop into Stop 1 on the corner of Grattan and Swanston
Streets. The Safer Community Program website includes
information about reporting to Victoria Police. For current University of Melbourne staff, I encourage you to raise any concerns with a Human Resources
team member, or contact the Inappropriate Workplace Behaviour Line
on 1800 685 463 If you want, you can do so anonymously. As Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne,
my interest, like yours, lies in seeing a safe and respectful community on campus, as
in the wider world we share. So I call on all Melbourne students, former students,
staff members and past staff members to reflect on the findings of this important national
survey, and to commit to build a stronger community of respect.