Sexual Harassment Officer – Week 5, Sem 1, 2017

Sexual Harassment Officers’ Report
Jessica Syed, Nina Dillon Britton, Iman Farrar and Ella (Rachel) Bickley

Hi! We’re Jessica Syed and Nina Dillon Britton, two of your Sexual Harassment Officers for 2017! We’ll be working to hold the University to account in supporting survivors of sexual harassment and assault on campus, as well as ensuring they take all possible steps to stop these instances.
So, the wins so far this year:

The USyd Survivor’s Network launched in O-Week, providing for the first time an on campus support network for survivors of sexual assault. The organisation is led by survivors and aims to provide support, resources and a platform to advocate for change and eliminate stigma.
The University has unexpectedly announced they will be reviewing their stance on mandatory consent modules. A module is currently being trialled. If any such trial does fail for whatever reason, we are committed to pushing management to find and implement something that works.
We have put together information pamphlets in both English and Mandarin distributed tat O-Week. We want to make sure we are aiding those who face barriers in accessing support following instances of sexual violence. We would like to thank Xia Bonan for kindly translating the pamphlet.

There’s still a long way to go. Though the university has launched its reporting system, a hotline called 1800SYDHELP, it has done so with minimal student consultation. Both we and this year’s Wom*ns officer’s are yet to be convinced that the service does not inadvertently traumatise survivors. In light of this opacity – strengthened by the university’s lack of advertising for their own initiative – we are still reluctant to refer survivors to 1800SYDHELP.

Our main priority for 2017 is ensuring that a sexual assault specific lawyer is made available within the SRC. It was more than a year ago that SRC lawyers first expressed that this is a vital necessity within the SRC for students, and we cannot agree more. We will continue to support the Wom*n’s Officers in striving to gain funding for this goal and hope to see it realised by the end of our term.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual assault, please do not hesitate to email us at harassment.officers@src.usyd.edu.au and we will direct you to professional resources that you can access. Feel free also to attend an information session about such resources on Wednesday 5th April in Carslaw lecture Room 452 – there will be free pizza.