Cutting edge research to help tackle harassment and assault

Monash University will play a key role in the development of a groundbreaking new education program to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment in society.

Monash is one of four universities that will trial the next-generation respectful relationships education program announced today by Universities Australia in partnership with leading violence prevention organisation Our Watch and the Victorian Government’s Office for Women.

The online module will be trialled with students over the next 18 months and is part of a whole-of-institution approach to prevent violence — the Respect and Equality Program (REP) — also to be guided and developed with Our Watch.

Monash University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) Professor Susan Elliott AM, said the program would be a valuable addition to the strategies already in place at the university to tackle this issue.

“Monash is committed to creating a safe campus and encouraging a culture of support and reporting to address sexual harassment and assault,” Professor Elliott said.

“Our Respectful Communities Unit (RCU), established in early 2018, leads a range of workshops and training for students and staff, along with running campaigns and events to help raise awareness across our community.

“The RCU’s online module Respect at Monash, which covers topics including rights and responsibilities, misconduct, respectful behaviour, consent and how to be an active bystander will be a mandatory requirement for all new Monash students in 2019.”

The REP will draw on cutting edge research and be tailored specifically for students in Australian universities, drawing on insights from violence prevention and online learning experts.

It will also deliver a new set of workplace standards, training packages, resources and toolkits for senior leaders, staff and students to promote gender equality.

Following the trial all resources will be made available to the sector after rigorous testing and evaluation.