Our response to the National Student Safety Survey

Message from the Chair of the Respect at Monash Committee

The results from the National Student Safety Survey, five years on from the first national survey into students’ experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment on-campus, have provided further critical insights into our students’ lived experiences.

Monash University remains wholeheartedly committed to the prevention of, and sound response to, sexual and gender-based violence.

Extensive action has occurred since 2016 at Monash, with our staff and students achieving a great deal. We have developed an extensive suite of prevention programming, unparalleled in the Australian higher education sector; and have implemented exceptional trauma-informed practices around responding to reports and disclosures, as informed by experts such as the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault and our own Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre. The results from the National Student Safety Survey suggest some promising signs of change; but we cannot and will not be complacent. Incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault within our community continue to occur, and despite extensive efforts to ensure our community is informed of the services available for seeking support and reporting, access levels of these services by our students and staff remains low – with some unaware of their availability. 

We need to continue forging ahead, nuancing and adjusting our approach and initiatives based on evidence. We need to take a comprehensive approach to prevention, and continue to build our primary prevention strategies to ensure long-term cultural change occurs. We need to better consider intersectionality in the prevention of gender-based violence, and more critically reflect on how patriarchal power and privilege intersects with many other forms of oppression - from racism, to ableism, to classism. We need to remain accountable, and work in collaboration across our community to ensure we engage everyone in this important movement for change.

Professor Sharon Pickering
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Senior Vice-President

Our plan for action

We’ve developed a comprehensive action plan (PDF, 11.19 MB) to directly respond to the results of the National Student Safety Survey. You can view the action plan and check out our progress below. The action plan sets out four key priority areas and associated action items to ensure Monash continues to lead the sector with sound response and support, as well as best practice prevention. These priorities represent a shared understanding of the key areas for focus and collaboration between stakeholders across the University at large.

Fostering safe and respectful spaces

Awareness raising

Governance, coordination, support structure and system development

Capacity building