The Social Research Centre was funded to conduct the 2021 National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) to collect data on the scale and nature of university student experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Our research team partnered with leading expert on violence prevention Dr Anastasia Powell of RMIT to re-design and to deliver the survey. The 2021 survey builds on and extends the first survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2016.
The NSSS was funded by Universities Australia, the peak body for the university sector and was approved by the RMIT Human Research Ethics Committee.
The National Student Safety Survey was conducted as part of the Respect. Now. Always. Initiative. The aim of the survey was to measure the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment experiences among university students.
It also measured 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.
Discussions around sexual harassment and sexual assault can be distressing for many in our community. If you would like to speak to someone for support, there are national counselling and referral services available to you:
Support services are also available at each university for its community: www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au/our-universities/student-safety/