Wom*n’s Officer’s Report – Week 9, Sem 2, 2016

Anna Hush

Welcome to week 9! This semester is flying by, and I can’t believe this is my final report as Wom*n’s Officer! The Wom*n’s Collective has been busy as ever – on Monday, we hosted the President of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, who spoke about the newly launched national survey on campus sexual assault. The survey is being rolled out at USyd this week, so look out for an email with details about participation! It’s important to note that while this research is obviously valuable, it must be complemented by substantive action from university management. We are still calling for the demands made in our August open letter to be implemented in full.

One group that often gets forgotten in the conversation around campus sexual assault is staff. Like students, staff are vulnerable to sexual assault and harassment in the workplace; staff can receive disclosures of sexual assault from students, which can be traumatic, especially for staff who have themselves experienced abuse or violence in the past. Staff have been supportive of the undergraduate-led campaign against sexual assault from day one, and we are extremely proud to launch a new network called Staff Against Rape, through which staff can access resources designed to support survivors, and take a pledge to stand with students on this issue. Check out our website at staffagainstrape.org, and give our Facebook page ‘Staffagainstrape’ a like and share. With the support of the Sydney branch of the National Tertiary Education Union behind us, we are so proud to have staff as allies in the fight against sexual assault on campus.

What’s up next for the Wom*n’s Collective? On Thursday 22 September, we are co-hosting an event with the Law Society, called ‘Sexual Violence and Women’s Rights in the Cyber World’. A panel of activists, lawyers and industry experts will discuss online harassment and misogyny – join us in the Law Lounge at 1pm on Thursday!

If you’d like to get involved with the Wom*n’s Collective, or you have any comments or questions, please email womens.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.