Tuesday, July 11, 2017 — The Australian National University (ANU) and its students are joining forces with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre to improve access to on-campus counselling services for survivors of sexual assaults and harassment.
Under the new arrangements, counsellors from the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre will be based at ANU in a full-time equivalent position to help educate the community on respectful relationships and to help survivors of sexual assaults and harassment.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said the new agreement would supplement existing counselling services at ANU, and would build on the long-standing links between the University and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre dating back to 2005.
“This an exciting new initiative and reaffirms the University’s strong commitment to do everything we can to stop all forms of sexual assault and harassment, and to support survivors,” Professor Schmidt said.
“The new agreement will see both female and male counsellors from the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on campus, building on our long-running ties with the Centre in working to educate our community on respectful relationships and the need to ensure our campus is safe for all students, staff and visitors.
“I’d like to acknowledge the strong leadership of the ANU student community working with the Univeristy to develop this new initiative and for their strong support to make it happen.”
Under the agreement with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, the counselling position will be jointly funded by the ANU and the ANU Students Association (ANUSA), with support from the Post-Graduate and Research Students Association (PARSA).
Canberra Rape Crisis Centre Chief Executive Officer Chrystina Stanford said the Centre was pleased to work with ANU to help fight sexual assault and to support survivors.
“We need to remember that universities are environments for learning, and the issue of sexual violence on campus is a nationwide problem that ANU has been working on with CRCC for well over five years,” Ms Stanford said.
“This is a further step forward for ANU and I have yet to see another university in the country that has been so pro-active."
ANUSA President James Connolly said students were delighted to build on the strong University links with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, and to support expanded counselling services on campus.
“ANU students are determined to show leadership on this issue and to make it clear that sexual vilolence or harassment of any kind are unacceptable and have no place at any university campus,” Mr Connolly said.
The MOU with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre is the latest initiative by ANU to end all forms of sexual violence and harassment on campus.
In early 2017, ANU introduced a new pilot Consent Matters on-line training module for new students and residential students. The course is accessible for students of all backgrounds, genders and sexualities.
Since 2005 ANU has also run annual training sessions with the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre for Senior Residents in residential colleges.
The Univeristy is a strong supporter of campaigns aimed at preventing sexual assault and promoting safe and respectful relationships within the ANU community.
ANU is also an active participant in the Respect. Now. Always campaign and the Universities Australia-commissioned Human Rights Commission student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment.
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