We want to talk about sexual assault and other forms of violence.

Readers are advised our report will talk about sexual assault and other forms of violence.
Hi everyone! In our latest adventure, we are hosting a panel discussion to mark the launch of a poster campaign designed to raise awareness about the indispensable services of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sexual Assault Service. This panel will address sexual assault and violence against wom*n, including topics of defining sexual assault, rates, intersectionality, effective advocacy, unpacking victim-blaming and dismantling rape culture. We want to acknowledge what sexual assault is, what the issues are and brainstorm how we can work towards a violence-free future.

Joining us on the panel will be Rachel Moss, Program Manager and Sexual Assault Counsellor at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s Sexual Assault Service; Moo Baulch, Project Manager at Domestic Violence NSW; and a representative from People with a Disability, Wirringa Baiya and the NSW Women’s Legal Service. The Panel will be held at 6pm, in New Law Seminar on Thursday April 3rd. 

Please be aware that the panel discussion will be addressing a variety of issues surrounding violence against wom*n. We realise that discussion may bring up traumatic experiences, discomfort and/ or distress for some individuals. We would like to extend support to those individuals. Leaving the room, tuning out or doing anything to make yourself feel more comfortable is entirely welcomed and will not be drawn attention to. If you or someone you know has either experienced sexual assault or feels confused/ unsure about an unwanted sexual experience and would like to speak with someone, please contact RPAH Sexual Assault Service on (02) 9515 9040 between 8.30-5pm weekdays or (02) 9515 6111 anytime if the sexual assault happened in the last 7 days.

We hope this event can impart essential information about the RPA Sexual Assault Service and start a campus dialogue, and in the world at large, about the widespread issue of sexual assault, particularly in regards to men’s violence against wom*n.
We’d also like to give a big shout-out to the wonderful organisers of Critical Race Discussion Group. They’ll be another discussion group that focuses on travelling, tourism and Diaspora in Physics Lecture Room 4, Monday at 6pm – we are really looking forward to attending and encourage everyone to come!

Georgia Cranko, Julia Readett and Phoebe Moloney.

Sexual Harassment Officers’ Report

‘Sexual harassment’ is a term that many people have come to associate with women, and associate with unwanted physical attention of a sexual nature. In reality, sexual harassment is ANY unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature, including (but not limited to) verbal harassment such as sexist jokes and catcalling, and physical harassment such as physical intimidation or assault. And while women are the most common victims of sexual harassment, it can and does happen to people of all sexes, genders, sexualities and cultural identities.

Considering the myriad contexts in which sexual harassment is experienced – workplaces, uni, online, on the street, in the home – it appears there are very few truly safe spaces where men and women can freely and autonomously go about their lives without being at risk of facing verbal, emotional, mental and physical sexual assault.

Sexual harassment is appallingly prevalent even into the 21st century, and calling out harassment is an active, useful way of challenging discrimination, as it assertively confronts the perpetrator as well as affecting onlookers who witness the harassment.In opposing sexual harassment, we must ALWAYS keep in mind that the victim is NEVER, not even partially, responsible for the crime committed against them, despite what media and popular culture propagate.In the coming year, we see education-based and consciousness-raising campaigns as essential in fighting sexual harassment both on and off campus. We will be looking to work alongside the Wom*n’s Collective to provide informational resources, help and advice to others interested in working towards a culture of zero tolerance towards sexual harassment.
The Wom*n’s Collective will be holding a panel discussion on Thursday 3rd April at 6pm to address sexual assault and violence against wom*n, with the aim of raising awareness about the RPA Hospital Sexual Assault Service. Panellists currently include Rachel Moss from the RPA Sexual Assault Service, Moo Baulch from Domestic Violence NSW, Carolyn Jones from Women’s Legal Services NSW and Mel Harrison from People with Disability. If you would like to know more about the services available to those who have experienced sexual assault then come along to learn how we can work towards a violence-free future.
There are also free autonomous self-defence classes and accompanying feminist discussion workshops for wom*n-identifying people held from 5-7pm every Friday from Weeks 3-12 at USyd. For details of location, follow facebook.com/womnsselfdefenceusyd.

Georgia Carr and Kitty-Jean Laginha.