Respect. Now. Always.

Respect. Now. Always. is a national initiative launched almost two years ago by all 39 Australian universities as a long-term, shared commitment to address sexual harassment and sexual assault in university communities.

At Deakin, we work together to build a strong culture of safety, mutual respect and inclusion to ensure all members of our community can study and work in a safe and supportive environment.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault is a significant issue in our community – both at universities and beyond. Across Australian society, we know that one in five women will experience some sort of sexual violence during their lifetime. Young women aged between 18 and 24 are at particular risk of sexual violence. Research also confirms that men and members of the LGTBQI community experience sexual violence.

As a university community we set strong standards of behaviour, and all have a responsibility to address attitudes and behaviours that are not acceptable in today’s world.

Visit our student and staff website if you need assistance or wish to report sexual harassment or assault.

We want to emphasise that the safety and welfare of the victim is always the priority. We take all disclosures of harassment and assault in a compassionate and victim-centred way.

Australian Human Rights Commission survey

At the beginning of 2016, all Australian universities launched a major initiative to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment. As part of this initiative, the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted Australia’s first ever national survey to investigate the nature and scale of university student experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Access the results of the Australian Human Rights Commission report on sexual assault and sexual harassment

Prevention

The University has been working for many years with staff and students to build a strong culture of safety, mutual respect and inclusion – but there is always more to do.

Our aim is to prevent sexual assaults and to provide victim/survivor-centred support to students and staff who have been assaulted, regardless of where the assault has happened.

We have strengthened our policy and procedures specifically on the prevention and response to sexual assault. These are now available for staff on the Deakin Policy Library (log in required).

Deakin students and staff are receiving training to increase understanding of the issue, and equip trusted members of the University's community to handle disclosures of sexual harassment and assault appropriately.

By working together we can bring significant change to not only the Deakin community but the communities in which we serve.

Information for current Deakin students and staff

Sexual harassment or assault is never the fault or responsibility of the victim/survivor.

If any member of the University community has experienced sexual harassment or assault, there are a number of ways to report an incident and/or access support. This applies to recent and historical incidents that have occurred either on or off campus.

Comprehensive information on how to report, what to expect when reporting, and how to support someone else is available on our Safer Community website.

  • If anyone is in immediate or imminent danger on campus, contact Deakin Security on 1800 062 579  or Victoria Police on 000.
  • We ask all staff and students to download the free Safe Zone App and use it whenever feeling unsafe or threatened.
  • To report sexual harassment or assault and/or access support, contact Safer Community Service (Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm) on +61 3 9244 3734 or at safercommunity@deakin.edu.au.

Alternatively you can contact off-campus specialist services at any time, any day:

  • Victorian sexual assault crisis line (24 hours) 1800 806 292
  • 1800RESPECT

Respect. Now. Always. Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander.

Deakin has a strong commitment to building a culture of safety, mutual respect and inclusion – but there is always more to do. Our aim is to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. We will provide victim/survivor-centred support to students and staff who have been assaulted, regardless of where the assault has happened. By working together we can bring significant change to not only the Deakin community but the communities in which we serve.

Ongoing and sustained effort

This is not a project with an end date – the University is committed to continuously improving and learning. The national Respect. Now. Always. campaign, along with the Commission’s report and student survey results, will help to inform our work and test our policies and practice.