ANU to establish new Respectful Relationships Unit

Thursday, July 5, 2018 — The Australian National University (ANU) will establish a central coordinating unit for sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) management, prevention, policy, training and reporting. 

The Respectful Relationships Unit will have a budget of about $660,000 per year and will be managed by staff experienced in sexual harassment and sexual assault case management, policy development, education and training. The Unit will also lead cultural change.

The Unit will provide a single point of contact for all services and policy relating to SASH at ANU. The Unit will not provide health and counselling services, which will continue to be available through the University’s healthcare providers and existing counselling services including the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.

Pro-Vice Chancellor (University Experience) Professor Richard Baker said the Respectful Relationships Unit embeds the cultural change ANU is driving into the very structure of University.

“The Respectful Relationships Unit will support survivors, hold perpetrators to account, change attitudes, empower bystanders and encourage culture change across the University.

“It will be a critical part of the University’s ongoing commitment to making ANU a more safe and respectful campus,” Professor Baker said.

The Respectful Relationships Unit was established following consultation with student representative bodies and the ANU Respectful Relationships Working and Steering Groups.

“I want to particularly thank the student representatives for their advocacy and hard work in developing ideas for the Unit,” Professor Baker said.

It is designed to help those looking to report a SASH incident, or seek guidance, training or support, as well as driving the policy and culture change within the ANU community.

The University Executive has approved ongoing funding for the Unit. The Unit will be housed in a central location on campus, and recruitment for the positions will begin shortly.

For media assistance, contact Jo Meehan +61 436 605 635 or the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979 or at <media@anu.edu.au>.