18% of Newcastle University students have been sexually harassed

Nearly one in ten University of Newcastle students say they’ve been sexually harassed in the past 12 months. 

That’s according to the National Student Safety Survey reporting on the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual assault among university students in 2021.

Nationally, one in six students or 16% have been sexually harassed since starting university and one in 20 or 4.5% of students have been sexually assaulted since they began their studies.

In the last 12 months one in 12 students have been sexually harassed and one in 90 assaulted.

The study had 862 University of Newcastle students participate in the study and out of those in the past 12 months 9.3% said they had been sexually harassed and 2.8% sexually assaulted.

Out of the same group 17.9% of the respondents say they have been sexually harassed (12% of those females and 4% males) since they began university and 6% sexually assaulted. 

The University said they are committed to ensuring any student who has been impacted by either sexual assault or sexual harassment is supported in a way that is “effective and sensitive”.

An email was sent out to students from Vice-Chancellor and President Alex Zelinsky and Sudents’ Association President Jessica Philbrook this morning responding to the survey.

“Our University is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for everyone. As a student, you have the right to feel safe on campus at all times.”

“Over the past five years, the University of Newcastle has been working to better respond to, and support victim-survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Our overall approach centres on education, and the development of a ‘culture of consent’ in the university community with the aim of preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment.”

“Today, we (the University and UNSA) are writing to all students and staff about the survey findings and the University’s response. UNSA will be reviewing the report and its findings very closely and as always, commit to bettering student welfare and wellbeing. There is much to do, and we will continue to work alongside the University on pathway development to address and eliminate sexual assault and sexual harassment at our institution.”

More details on their response to the survey here: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/current-students/support/national-student-safety-survey

There is support available if you need it:

1800RESPECT – The national sexual assault, family and domestic counselling service, available 24 hours, 7 days a week on 1800 737 732

MensLine Australia – The telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns, including issues of violence, on 1300 78 99 78

Men’s Referral Service – Men’s family violence telephone counselling, information and referral service for men using or at risk of using violent or controlling behaviour on 1300 766 491

QLife – An anonymous and free peer support and referral service for the LGBTI community, on 1800 184 527

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