Sexual Harm Prevention and Response 2022 Annual Report

Content warning: Contains information about gender-based violence and sexual harm.

The Sexual Harm Prevention and Response 2022 Annual Report demonstrates Monash University’s commitment to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and sexual harm. It captures the measures the University has put in place since the release of the Change the Course Report in 2017, and provides an oversight of plans to continue to change on- and off-campus culture through primary prevention.

Action taken against sexual harm

We have undertaken significant work, beyond implementing the initial nine recommendations from the Report, to ensure the University’s prevention and response strategies are best practice.

This work has included:

  • establishing the Respect at Monash Committee, which comprises senior University staff to govern and oversee Monash University’s Respect at Monash Initiative;
  • establishing Respectful Communities, a dedicated sexual and gender-based violence prevention team. Monash University has committed considerable resources to Respectful Communities to run training programs and events to engage students;
  • reviewing policies and response pathways to ensure a best practice, consistent and trauma-informed approach to managing reports of sexual harm, leading to a redesign into a centralised process for managing student general misconduct;
  • development of anonymous reporting platforms for both students and staff;
  • establishment of an Advisory Group and Project Team to oversee and coordinate the strengthening of the University’s response to staff disclosures and reports of sexual harm;
  • the development of a stand-alone Sexual Misconduct Response Procedure in 2019, with Monash committed to an ongoing cycle of monitoring and evaluation of these documents, with a review period currently underway; and
  • launching the bSafe App, which offers support, resources, safety information and reporting options for students.

We have also implemented a variety of student-focused initiatives to transform attitudes and behaviours of students in support of a more safe, respectful and inclusive campus community.

A commitment to ongoing improvement

Transparency with our community is the foundation on which to effectively review and improve our response to sexual harm, and affect change. There is always more work to be done, and our focus on cultural change through primary prevention remains unwavering.

Our 2023 priorities include:

  • fulfilling the National Student Safety Survey Action Plan;
  • launching a primary prevention communications campaign for students and staff;
  • redeveloping the current Sexual Misconduct Response Procedure into a Sexual Harm Prevention and Response Policy and a Sexual Harm Response Procedure;
  • expanding and refining the role of the Student CARE team within the Safer Community Unit.

As we continue our work to ensure a safe and respectful on- and off-campus culture, we resolutely support victims-survivors, respond swiftly and empathetically to all disclosures and reports, and provide a diverse and evidence-based range of prevention programming for staff and students.

Support services

Reach out to the Employee Assistance Program (staff only) on 1300 360 364, the University counselling service (staff and students) on (03) 9905 3020, or the Safer Community Unit on (03) 9905 1599 if you need support..