A study has pointed out that the reason behind increasing sexual assault cases in universities might be connected to the drinking culture and gender inequality in Australia.
The Guardian reported that Australian universities have collaborated for the first time and shared available data on sexual abuse cases in the height of its alarming rise. By reporting the cases and supporting sexual assault victims, universities are taking the initiative to addressing this on a national scale.
The universities around the country have launched a major campaign in February with an aim to help students and staff members to remain safe within the premises. “Respect. Now. Always” has been launched by Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson, who seemed hopeful in making the campaign a long standing work with complete effort from universities across the nation. “Over many years, policies have been developed to prevent sexual assault and harassment and ensure that services are in place to support students when they disclose or report,” the University World News quoted her as saying.
“But there is more that can be done, and this campaign is the next step to ensure that we keep improving and learning from best practice.” Robinson said that the main motive of the campaign is to raise awareness about having zero-tolerance for sexual harassment among university students as well as staff members. The students or staff might seek help from the institutional authorities in case they need it.
On the other hand, Australian Human Rights Centre Director Andrea Durbach addressed the Universities Australia national conference on Wednesday and stated that gender inequality was only one of the causes to rising sexual abuse incidents. “When you combine that with a drinking culture that is often the case on university campuses, the chances of this conduct becomes more heightened,” Durbach said.
“We do have to start addressing this issue. Whether it’s in the corporate world, or in the military or wherever, the presence of alcohol or substance abuse just sparks it in many ways.”