UNDA: Respect. Now. Always.
Notre Dame does not tolerate sexual assault or sexual harassment. The University believes that all members of the University community have the right to feel safe and secure, and to be treated with respect and dignity at all times.
Notre Dame, together with all other Australian universities, is a part of the Respect. Now. Always. initiative driven by Universities Australia. The initiative aims to raise awareness among university students and staff that sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable, and to ensure that avenues of support are available, appropriate and easily accessible.
In August 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission published a report titled Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities. The report includes results of a survey the Commission conducted, to find out rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities. Click here to see a summary table of the results for Notre Dame.
Based on the survey results for all Australian Universities, the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia have both made recommendations aimed at helping universities to reduce and prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment. The recommendations are set out in the Change the Course report and in Universities Australia’s 10-point Action Plan.
Notre Dame accepted all of the recommendations and significant progress has been achieved to date. Click here to find out about the work Notre Dame has done, and is doing, to meet the Australian Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia recommendations. The University’s work in this area is overseen by the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Addressing Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment on Campus. Click here to see the Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference. Click here to access the University’s Progress Report to the AHRC in accordance with AHRC Recommendation 1.
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What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behaviour that causes a person to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment may include:
- Staring or leering
- Unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person or unwelcome touching
- Suggestive comments or jokes
- Insults or taunts of a sexual nature
- Intrusive questions or statements about someone’s private life
- Displaying posters, magazines or screen savers of a sexual nature
- Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
- Inappropriate advances on social networking sites
- Requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates
- Behaviour that may also be considered to be an offense under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.
What is consent?
Consent occurs when a person freely and voluntarily agrees to engage in a sexual act. Consent cannot be given by people who are:
- incapacitated due to intoxication or the influence of drugs
- incapacitated due to their age or intellectual capacity
- unconscious or asleep
- under threat of or actual force
- intimidated, coerced or threatened
- unlawfully detained or held against their will
- tricked or manipulated due to the person being in a position of trust into providing consent