The Social Research Centre has been funded to conduct the next national survey on students’ perceptions of safety at Australian universities and experiences relating to sexual harassment and sexual assault. Our research team has partnered with leading expert on violence prevention Dr Anastasia Powell of RMIT to re-design and deliver the survey. The 2021 survey will build on and extend the first survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2016. The survey will be conducted online and piloted at Australian National University and Charles Sturt University in March and April 2021. The main national survey will be conducted at all Universities in September 2021. The study has been funded by Universities Australia (the peak body for the university sector) and has been approved by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee.
The National Student Safety Survey is being conducted as part of the Respect. Now. Always. Initiative. The aim of the survey is to measure the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment experiences among university students at Australian universities. It will also measure broader perceptions of safety and views towards student campus life. The findings of the survey will help to measure the extent of these experiences among university students. This in turn will help to understand the context in which these behaviours occur, understand help seeking and reporting behaviours, and inform universities’ services and responses for student safety and wellbeing.
Students will be randomly selected to participate in the survey to ensure results are representative of the student population. If you have been randomly selected, you will initially be approached via email. Some students may also receive an invitation via SMS.
Participation is voluntary and involves completing an online survey. The survey questions will take most people 10 to 12 minutes to complete. No matter your circumstances, views or experiences, your participation in the survey is important as it will help ensure the results of the study accurately represent the views of all students at your university.
Student safety and wellbeing is at the centre of the research process as the survey is developed and deployed. Contact details of free and confidential support services will be provided to you before, during and after the survey. These include university-based counselling and support services, as well as external counselling services, such as:
A more detailed list of support services is provided below.