The Australian National University (ANU) is committed to providing a safe, respectful and inclusive study and work environment for our community. We put the health, safety and wellbeing of those impacted by sexual assault and sexual harassment at the centre of our response and processes.
This website provides access to reports and strategies relevant to the University's commitment to improving its response to sexual violence prevention and response. It also aims to fulfil our commitment to increase transparency of information about incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment disclosed or reported to the University and our ongoing response.
The Universities Australia National Student Safety Survey (the NSSS) ran across the Australian university sector in late 2021.
The survey collected data on the scale and nature of university student experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault. It was conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC) in partnership with leading violence prevention expert Associate Professor Anastasia Powell of RMIT University.
Results and analysis have been conducted and compiled by the SRC into a quantitative and qualitative national report, as well as individual infographics for each university.
ANU intends to publish more detailed results in due course, following discussions within the university sector about releasing results in a way that ensures victim-survivors are protected, and participants' privacy is respected.
The Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan builds on the University's ongoing work to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault on our campus. It bolsters work under the University's Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy.
As part of the plan, the University has published and accepted all the recommendations from the Independent Assessor's Report of our Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy, led by expert Lyn Walker.
The plan includes initiatives and investments targeted to where ANU can make the biggest difference, as well as continuing to ensure the University's policies and systems are best practice.
These include significant investments in staffing in ANU residences, recruiting new case managers, making consent training a mandatory part of students' enrolment and embedding a zero-tolerance approach in ANU culture, including policies, language, training and disciplinary procedures.
In September of 2021, the ANU Senior Management Group committed to a three-phase approach to rebuilding our internal capacity to implement and embed the SVPS under the direction of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and University Experience).
As one of our commitments endorsed under the three-phase plan and the SVPS, this report provides information on reports and disclosures of sexual misconduct lodged with the University between 2019 and 2021. The release of this report is a significant step towards improving institutional transparency and accountability at ANU.
We acknowledge and thank the students and staff in our community who have trusted us with their stories and information through making a disclosure and/or report.
We acknowledge that reporting and disclosing of sexual harassment or sexual assault can be a difficult decision, and that a person must feel safe and confident that any report and disclosure will be treated appropriately. Our commitment is to continue to improve our support and processes, be victim/survivor centred and improve the data we report on.
In summary, the report indicates the following:
Year on year, more individuals are coming forward to report and disclose incidents of sexual misconduct.
In 2021, all reports of alleged sexual misconduct heard at inquiry received a finding of misconduct and the majority of respondents were penalised with exclusion from the University.
The majority of individuals contacting ANU through confidential disclosures are doing so to seek support through our specialist case managers or to inquire about formally reporting sexual misconduct to the University.
The majority of incidents disclosed happened on campus in residential halls/colleges and off campus, usually in a nightclub, bar or private residence.
The Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy is part of the University's long-term, evidence-based and strategic approach to effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence across the University. It was developed over a two-year period in consultation with key advisory bodies and with the valuable contribution of many ANU students, staff, community members and victim-survivors and takes a holistic approach to prevention of and response to sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The Sexual Misconduct Policy outlines the commitment of the University to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct and to support members of the ANU community to navigate the policy framework as it relates to sexual misconduct. It clarifies ANU's capacity to act in matters of sexual misconduct, what factors inform and determine the parameters of ANU's action, and what the action can entail.
The Policy has been drafted to be trauma-informed and to provide members of the ANU Community with a range of options to access support, including directly from the Respectful Relationships Unit. It also references the online sexual misconduct disclosure form being developed by the Respectful Relationships Unit. Further, the proposed Policy outlines the responsibilities of all staff, students and members of the community to support this Policy and foster a campus free from sexual misconduct. The Policy is available in the University's Policy Library.
Review of ANU Residences' Response to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment
Release date: 13 December 2018
In early May, the University committed to undertake an independent review of student residences in response to one of the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission report released on 1 August 2017. The Nous Group was commissioned to undertake the review.
The review looked into the factors which contribute to sexual assault and sexual harassment in student residences on the ANU campus. It found there is a strong and positive culture in most residential halls and most students have a high level of satisfaction with residential life.
In August 2017 the University commissioned independent research consulting firm Rapid Context to undertake an independent review of all policies and procedures related to sexual assault and harassment. The researchers consulted staff and students, to provide the University with a report in September 2017.