Respect. Now. Always.
Respect. Now. Always. Project
Macquarie University champions the Australia-wide cultural change project Respect. Now. Always. This project highlights our commitment to preventing and responding to sexual assault and sexual harassment across the University and its entities.
Sexual assault and sexual harassment are against the law and have devastating impacts on our society. One in five women in Australia over the age of 15 has been sexually assaulted, and seven per cent of sexual assaults are perpetrated against men (Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2012 Personal Safety Survey). People with disabilities, members of the LGBTIQ community, and young people aged between 16 and 24 have a heightened risk of experiencing sexual assault (Frohmader, 2011; Fileborn, 2012; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013 Media Release)
Macquarie University has partnered with Universities Australia, the institution that led development of the campaign following the screening of the documentary The Hunting Ground. Since the launch of Macquarie’s Respect. Now. Always. project in August 2016, there has been a dedicated team working across the University to improve individual and organisational capacity to ensure the safety of all members of our community. This work is led by Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton and executive sponsors Professor Kevin Jameson and Nicole Gower, Human Resources Director.
The Respect. Now. Always. project is implemented by the Student Equity and Diversity team, who have undertaken the following work since launching the project.
Access to information and support
- Developed a support website that provides a range of useful information about confidential counselling, medical support and complaint options for anyone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment.
- Identified Campus Wellbeing as the initial contact point on campus for students seeking assistance in this area, as well as specialist external service providers.
- Worked with departments across the University – including Security and Campus Wellbeing – to ensure that they are consistent in their person-centred approach to students seeking support and all first responders are fully trained.
- Reviewed our policies and procedures through the lens of sexual assault and sexual harassment, with a commitment to reviewing and monitoring our developments against emerging best practice in the area.
- Participated in the first national survey into sexual assault and sexual harassment of university students.
- Strengthened our relationship with North Sydney Sexual Assault Service and worked closely with Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia in developing the project.
- Collaborated with accommodation providers to incorporate education on respectful relationships among their student community.
- Consulted and engaged with students and staff through each phase of the project.
Education and cultural change
- Supported a team of staff to participate in Sex, Safety and Respect Training, which was delivered by the Full Stop Foundation and Professor Moira Carmody.
- Developed a workshop, informed by best practice in sexual violence prevention education, which provides an opportunity for students to critically analyse their attitudes and behaviours towards gender, sex and relationships, and develop bystander skills.
- Facilitated the Respectful Relationships workshops for student leaders, such as residential advisers, student representatives, the executive team of clubs and societies, student mentors and student buddies.
- Explored options for cultural change through embedding consent and respectful relationship education for all students.
- Developed Respect. Now. Always. communication and promotion platforms to reinforce the message that Macquarie is committed to shaping a culture of safety and respect for all students and staff.