RECOMMENDATION THREE<br>Ensure students and staff know about support services and reporting processes for sexual assault or sexual harassment.
Ensure students and staff know about support services and reporting processes for sexual assault or sexual harassment.
Various new initiatives, processes and partnerships have been established since 2017 to further improve how we respond to disclosures and reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment. This has included extensive work to not only promote, but ensure our students and staff understand that there are many support services and reporting pathways open to our community. Progress has been made but we’re committed to a continuous cycle of monitoring and evaluation to ensure this process remains accessible, trauma-informed and victim-centric. Key changes since 2017 are summarised as follows:
- Centralised student general misconduct:
- In 2017, Monash commenced a process of centralising student general misconduct. All reports of alleged sexual offences are now referred to Monash University's Safer Community Unit which provides information, advice, support and referrals to appropriate support service areas of the University and assistance and referrals to external agencies including Victoria Police and the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA).
- The strengths of moving to a revised centralised process were affirmed through the Independent Review conducted in 2018.
- The policy, procedure and process for handling student general misconduct is regularly reviewed with input from various stakeholders including Safer Community Unit, the Office of Student Conduct and Respectful Communities.
- Introduction of Sexual Misconduct Response Procedure:
- In 2019, with external expert advice from Worklogic, Monash developed a Sexual Misconduct Response Procedure.
- The Procedure recognises that nuanced approaches are required for responding to disclosures and reports of sexual misconduct, which includes taking a victim-centric, trauma-informed approach. Furthermore, the Procedure importantly commits the University to prevention initiatives.
- All reports of alleged sexual offences are referred to Monash University's Safer Community Unit which provides information, advice, support and referrals to appropriate support service areas of the University and assistance and referrals to external agencies including Victoria Police and the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA).
- New Monash bSafe app: following the successful Respect. Now. Always. (RNA) Support App launched in 2017, the Monash bSafe app was released in August 2020. The app contains specialist, trauma-informed information about sexual harms for our community, as well as covering a wide range of other harmful behaviours as well as key support services and reporting options. The app was designed and developed by students for students, with a project team of students from IT, design, marketing and communications and gender studies. The app has been endorsed by SECASA. Research from Monash’s own XYX Lab was consulted extensively to assist with this nuanced approach to a safety app.
- Online, anonymous reporting: available (through website and app) open to staff, students and third parties.
- Partnership with SECASA:
- SECASA provides a specialist counsellor two days per week at Monash’s Clayton campus; with both in-person and telehealth appointments available to ensure students and staff at other campuses can access their services. In addition, they provide specialised sexual assault and trauma training to Monash counsellors, contracted psychologists and licensed psychologists.
- SECASA provides support, information and guidance to Monash in respect to the development of programs, initiatives and digital assets such as the Monash bSafe App and the Respect at Monash module.
- SECASA provides regular trauma-informed refresher training to staff in key student-facing roles.
- SECASA also sits on our RNA Advisory Committee to provide expert advice on RNA initiatives.
- Updated webpages for clear information on reporting pathways and support services: various updates have been made, with a continuous cycle of review in place, to ensure our website continues to make very clear the different roles, reporting options and support services available to students, staff and third parties.
- Orientation campaign: we’ve developed an elaborate orientation campaign to reinforce key messages to reduce sexual assault and harassment and provide information regarding reporting process and access to external referral services.
- Respectful Communities hosts an information marquee for the duration of each O-Week carnival at the Clayton, Caulfield, Peninsula and Parkville campuses. See recommendation 2, item 1 for more information.
- Respect at Monash module: With the development of the Respect at Monash online module, comprehensive information about support services and reporting pathways for victim/survivors was integrated. From the 2019 academic year, it’s compulsory for all new students studying at our Australian campuses to complete the module. This means within their first semester of study all new students are communicated too regarding support services on-campus. In addition, these messages are reiterated in the recommended Monash Essentials module and throughout various other orientation events. See recommendation 2 for more information.
- Other initiatives to promote support services and reporting pathways include:
- Within Monash Residential Services (MRS) –
- In addition to placing a ‘Safe and Respectful Communities Card’ in every resident room outlining support services and reporting pathways, MRS has included the support services information contained in the card in their ‘Welcome Home – Your guide to MRS’ booklet for 2018 and 2019.
- New residents are required to complete the Respect at Monash module prior to collecting their keys, and the key messages from this module are reiterated in both the compulsory Sexpectations training as well as ResStart training.
- Starting from March 2018, Respectful Communities places monthly half-page advertisement in the Monash Student Organisations Magazines (Lot’s Wife and Esperanto), outlining reporting, referral and support options for victim/survivors of sexual violence.
- The resource guide What You Should Know is updated annually in a partnership between the MSA Women's Officers and Respectful Communities. From 2018, the content from the University’s Be Aware – Prevention is Protection Student Safety Guide was integrated into the What You Should Know resource guide. The resource is updated each year and includes content on hazing, playing it safe online, sexual health, and support services on- and off-campus. The latest version of the booklet is available through Respectful Communities and MSA Women’s webpages.
- Respectful Communities promotes on- and off-campus support services and reporting pathways at all events and training hosted by the team. To learn more about these initiatives, see recommendation 2 or the Respectful Communities website.
- Within Monash Residential Services (MRS) –