UNE partners on national Respect. Now. Always. campaign

Published 12 February 2016

The University of New England has unveiled a major new campaign to prevent sexual assault and harassment, partnering with other Australian universities in a national initiative.

The campaign – Respect. Now. Always. – highlights the determination of Australia’s universities to ensure that students and staff are safe from sexual assault and harassment.

UNE Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annabelle Duncan said the campaign built on longstanding work at UNE and across the Australian university sector.

“It is essential that universities are places of safety and respect,” Professor Duncan said.

“Over the years, policies have been developed to prevent sexual assault and harassment and ensure that services are in place to support students when they disclose or report.

“But there is more that can be done, and this campaign is the next step to ensure that we keep improving and learning from best practice.”

Professor Duncan said the campaign would raise awareness among university students and staff that sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable, and provide clear pathways of support for those who need it.

“A key aim is to educate that sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable and empower those who have experienced sexual assault or harassment to seek help and support if they need it,” Professor Duncan said.

“The campaign seeks to prevent assault and harassment by raising awareness, support students in need of help, and give bystanders the confidence to speak up.”

The campaign will also be an opportunity for the university sector to review the effectiveness of local policies, responses and support services to ensure they are best practice.

Respect.Now.Always

Respect.Now.Always

Working with partners including the Australian Human Rights Commission, the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre and The Hunting Ground Australia Project Team, the sector has begun

collaborative work to:

• Seek more comprehensive data on Australian sexual assault and harassment in universities through a national survey;
• Participate in a review and update of policies and procedures at universities to prevent sexual assault and harassment; and
• Share global best practice models for reporting incidents and supporting students who disclose sexual assault or harassment.

The campaign will coincide with the release of the US film ‘The Hunting Ground’ in Australia.

To learn more about the campaign visit www.respectnowalways.edu.au.