What is UniSA doing to address sexual harm?

UniSA is committed to creating a safe and respectful University community. We have taken actions in key areas to address sexual harm. However, our work is ongoing and we continue to review our processes, reflect on evidence-based practice, and engage with staff and students on these issues.

Key initiatives at UniSA

Since the 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission Change the Course Report, UniSA has taken the following actions:

  • Created specific Sexual Harm Policy and Procedures, which have been regularly reviewed. The Policy takes a trauma-informed, survivor-centric approach to addressing sexual harm and supports the principles of natural justice.
  • Developed a confidential online form for students and staff to report sexual harm.
  • Established a Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH) Steering Group that is responsible for effective implementation of sexual harm policy and procedure and embedding these across the University as part of core business.
  • Appointed a Specialist Counsellor to provide specialist support to students who have experienced sexual assault and deliver training to staff and students across UniSA. The Counsellor can be contacted through UniSA Counselling Services.
  • Created the First Responders network of staff in key roles across the University who are trained to  provide support and respond to disclosures of sexual harm.
  • Appointed a Coordinator: SASH Response and a Coordinator: SASH Prevention to provide specialist expertise and coordination of UniSA’s prevention and response strategy.
  • Conducted research reviews into best practice training activities and continue to review our approaches to preventing and responding to sexual harm.
  • Developed and implemented mandatory training for staff about the drivers of sexual harm and how to respond to disclosures.
  • Developed and continue to provide a range of online and in-person training students across the University about sexual harm.
  • Continue to deliver regular communications activities for staff and students about sexual harm, including the development of videos, fact sheets, posters, and more.
  • Continue to deliver a range of events including webinars and presence at on-campus events to raise awareness about sexual harm and where to get support.

What is UniSA working on now to address sexual harm?

We know that more needs to be done to create a safer University community. 

Since 2021, we have been undertaking a review of our current practices and processes to address sexual harm. With the release of the 2021 National Student Safety Survey, we will take time to reflect on these results and consult with our students and staff to improve our prevention programs, support services, and response processes.  

We have some works in progress for 2023 - for example, April is ‘Respect Month’ at UniSA in honour of international Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Events and activities are planned for students which will raise awareness and facilitate conversations about respect, safety, inclusion, and healthy relationships. Additionally, we have recently hired more staff to assist with coordinating our sexual harm prevention and response programs.  

The UniSA SASH Steering Group will meet in 2023 to review changes that have been implemented to reflect the findings of the NSSS and discuss how to continue improving our responses to sexual harm. The SASH Steering Group will feed back to the UniSA Community on planned actions and update the SASH website accordingly. For more information about UniSA’s work to address sexual harm, please see the SASH website or contact respect@unisa.edu.au.