Statement from University of Melbourne

On Thursday 17 October an article in the annual Ormond Papers publication outlined several accounts of sexual assault at University of Melbourne affiliated residential colleges.

The University of Melbourne is committed to ensuring the University and the affiliated residential colleges are a safe place for students and staff.

The University of Melbourne does not and will not tolerate sexual assault or harassment in any form and continues to work to create inclusive and respectful environments for students and staff.

No one should ever experience sexual assault or sexual harassment and these behaviours can never be excused or justified. The University is committed to preventing these unacceptable behaviours and providing better support for people affected by them.

Any account of a person who experiences sexual assault or harassment at our University or at any of the affiliated residential colleges is both saddening and concerning. It also reinforces the need for us as a University community to continue to do everything we can to protect and promote the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff as well as provide support for victims and survivors.

The University actively encourages and supports the reporting of sexual assaults to police, but it acknowledges and respects this is a decision for individuals.

Through the University’s Respect Taskforce, we continue to work with all affiliated residential colleges with the goal of eliminating sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Part of this endeavour includes streamlining incident reporting to minimise the need for victims and survivors to retell their story, increasing training and offering multiple ways to make a formal report, all available for both staff and students.

The University’s Safer Community Program and free ‘UniSafe’ app provide emergency contact details and safety information for all members of the University’s community.

If any of our students or staff members need support in relation to sexual assault, harassment or other unacceptable behaviour, we encourage both students and staff members to contact our Safer Community Program.