Sexual Misconduct Prevention by UNSW

What does UNSW do to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment?

Sexual and gendered violence of all forms are a pervasive reality in today's world and, being in the education sector, Universities have a unique opportunity and responsibility to effect social change and eliminate these behaviours and the attitudes and beliefs which underpin them from our society. At UNSW, we accept our legal and moral obligation to ensure that every individual is treated with dignity, courtesy and respect. We believe that educating the university community is central to building a culture of respect and that education programs and standard setting is at the heart of any prevention program.

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy

UNSW has a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy  which sets out the principles for preventing and responding to incidents of sexual misconduct occurring at or connected with UNSW

Training provided

We provide comprehensive 'preventing sexual assault and harassment' awareness training to our student leaders and both staff and students in our residential colleges to ensure they:

  • know what consent is, in terms of sexual relationships, and when it can and can't be given
  • understand boundaries and how to communicate what people are comfortable and not comfortable with so they can navigate relationships successfully
  • recognise unconscious bias and the impacts of language and everyday gendered micro-aggressions that can unconsciously promote a culture of disrespect
  • recognise respectful and disrespectful behaviour to empower bystanders to speak out when they hear or see inappropriate behaviour
  • understand thoroughly UNSW staff and student codes of behaviour.

We have also conducted unconscious bias training for our university leaders. In addition, we will be implementing 'gendered violence' awareness training to staff and students over the coming months in person and by way of an e-learning package tailored specifically to the UNSW context. We communicate the expected standards of behaviour as part of the mandatory training for all new commencing students at UNSW. We recognise that effecting cultural change is a 'whole-of-campus' collective responsibility.

Underpinning our training and awareness programs we are also strengthening our staff and student codes of conduct and making our policies and procedures in relation to sexual misconduct more visible and more accessible. UNSW has been at the forefront of the Universities Australia 'Respect.Now.Always' campaign and is committed to preventing sexual assault and harassment in our community. Every report of sexual misconduct made to UNSW will be looked at immediately, support provided to affected individuals and any member of our community who is found to be in breach of a UNSW Code of Conduct or contractual agreement will be sanctioned in accordance with the severity of the breach.

UNSW benefits from the strong leadership and a collective of powerful advocates from staff and student groups driving the prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault on UNSW campuses. We will be an exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion; a university where our staff and students can reach their full potential in a supportive and respectful culture and a university that allows all our students to fully participate in every aspect of life on campus.