<p>On 1 August, students rallied at the University of Melbourne against sexual violence for the first anniversary of the nation-wide survey into sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian Universities.</p>
Content warning: sexual violence
On 1 August, students rallied at the University of Melbourne against sexual violence for the first anniversary of the nation-wide survey into sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian Universities. The rally was organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) and the University of Melbourne Student Union (UMSU) women’s departments.
Students gathered on South Lawn at 2pm to listen to speakers discuss university inaction on sexual assault and sexual harassment and to criticise university measures such as Consent Matters, an online consent module which has been widely criticised. The speakers were UMSU Women’s Officer Molly Willmott, NUS Women’s Officer Kate Crossin, National Tertiary Education Union Branch Secretary Sara Brocklesby, writer and editor Zoya Patel, journalist Nina Funnell and Reason Party leader Fiona Patten.
Students also had the opportunity to write their experiences of sexual violence on a banner, which was then presented to chancellery after students marched it to Raymond Priestley.
Rally organisers also had a number of demands for universities, such as greater oversight of colleges, the yearly release of data pertaining to campus sexual assaults, increased counselling and support services, and survivor-centric reporting processes.
Some students claimed that University security told students to stop distributing flyers for the rally and attempted to confiscate the flyers. The University has denied this.
If you or someone you know requires counselling or support, the 1800 Respect national support line is open on 1800 737 732.