Curtin Student Guild News

Guild responds to Human Rights Commission findings

Posted By Maryanne Shaddick on 1/08/2017

*Media Release: Guild responds sexual harassment and assault at Australian universities *

1 August 2017

Any incident of sexual assault or harassment at our universities is unacceptable, according to WA’s largest student representative body, the Curtin Student Guild.

“The release of the Human Rights Commission report was deeply confronting for all of us but especially for those who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault,” said Curtin Student Guild Women’s Officer Elly Bijlsma.

“There has to be zero tolerance to sexual harassment and sexual assault at our universities.

“Now is the time for student and university leaders to work together to improve education, reporting and support services to make our campuses safer.”

“Changing attitudes is always challenging but we must develop a culture where everyone understands that sexual harassment is not tolerated – ever – and that sexual assault is a crime.

“According to the report, women are the main victims of sexual harassment and assault at Australian universities which highlights the issue of gender inequality and attitudes toward women,” said Ms Bijlsma.

“At the same time, there were unacceptably high incidences of sexual harassment and sexual assault toward members of the transgender, gay and lesbian communities.”

Ms Bijlsma said that Curtin Student Guild had made eight recommendations for change to Curtin’s current policies and procedures around sexual assault and harassment.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe on campus. The Guild has identified areas of improvement and we will be working with the University’s leadership to address them.

“We know from the report findings that university protocols can be confusing and inconsistent and often lead to victims not reporting their experience.

“We are committed to educating both students and staff, improving support services and facilitating an independent, transparent and effective reporting and investigation system,” Ms Bijlsma said.

Media contact
Elly Bijlsma
Curtin Student Guild Women’s Officer
(08) 92662900