RESPECT. NOW. ALWAYS. update

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On Friday 27 May, the Parramatta Campus Council hosted a free student movie screening of the short film, The Hunting Ground. The film is a controversial documentary that explores the culture of sexual assault on American university campuses. The movie was used to begin discussions and inspire students to show their support for a safer Western Sydney University. The primary purpose of the film is summed neatly in a single line:

“What happened to these people [the rape] was bad, but how they were treated when they tried to report it, was worse.”

The movie screening is part of an on-going University-wide campaign: RESPECT. NOW. ALWAYS

This campaign -Respect. Now. Always – seeks to engage and empower the University community about respectful relationships and safe campuses. The campaign seeks to raise awareness amongst University staff and students that sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable. Most importantly, the campaign is to highlight and provide clear pathways for those who need the support.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

1 in 3 females in Australia will experience physical violence.

1 in 5 females in Australia will experience sexual assault.

2 in 5 females will NOT report it.

1 in 6 males in Australia will experience sexual assault.

HOW DO YOU JOIN?

Hashtag #respectnowalways

LIKE the Parramatta SCC Facebook page.

DROP in to talk to our Parramatta SCC team in EA.G.35

Visit the Students Welfare Office in EF

START talking about the importance of a safe campus

JOIN the University and your Parramatta SCC at our upcoming events in Spring!

– We will be hosting regular sessions that provide safe and private spaces for students to discuss the issue and gain access to support material that may help them.

– Another screening will be hosted in case you missed out!

– The University will be engaging in a survey that seeks to collect statistics about sexual assault and harassment on campus. When you get the email or call, please take the time to participate.

– If you have ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe on campus and you feel as if your complaint was not taken seriously, please submit an online Complaints Form which you can find on our University website or in the PSSC Office, EA.G.35. Speak out and let your voice be heard.

Student of B Social Work (Honours), Kylie Henman:

This campaign seems to be aimed at starting a conversation that has long been seen as a taboo in our society. I firmly believe that in order for us to empower victims (past and future) we need to speak out against perpetrators, we need to remove the shame and victim blaming that surrounds the issue. Let’s start some open dialogue and engage in: Respect. Now. Always.

Student of B Laws and B International Studies with B Critical Thinking and Leadership, Marija Yelavich:

This campaign isn’t just about me…and it’s not about you either. It’s about everyone: standing up for those who have been a victim and not felt safe or strong enough to say something. It’s about providing a safe and judgment-free environment to our friends and family members. It’s about showing our future sons and daughters that this is not okay, and violence and sexual abuse is not normal. The statistics show that you or someone you know will or has been a victim to sexual violence and/or harassment. Don’t sit here in silence and don’t let them suffer in silence. LEARN about how you can support them. LEARN about how you can support yourself. Let us create a Western Sydney University culture of empowerment and respect.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

www.westernsydney.edu.au/wellbeing_mentalhealth/wbmh/promoting_health/sexual_assault

Students who need immediate support are encouraged to call:

Campus Safety & Security – 1300 737 003 (24 hours)

University Counselling Service – 02 9852 5199 (business hours)

Emergency Services – 000 (24 hours)

image: from the documentary The Hunting Ground

WSUP Editorial Team

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