Sexual misconduct reports at Australian National University up 46.4%

Reports of sexual assault and harassment at Australian National University (ANU) have increased 46.4 percent in 12 months, according to a report.

According to the report released by ANU , 366 victims, witnesses or support services disclosed sexual misconduct on campus in the 12 months to September 2021, reports Xinhua news agency.

It represents a 46.4 per cent increase from 250 disclosures made in the previous year.

Of the reported incidents, half were alleged to have occurred at on-campus accommodation.

Female undergraduate students made up the majority of victim-survivors and male undergraduates accounting for most of alleged perpetrators.

ANU introduced the Sexual Misconduct Disclosure form in 2019 as part of the response to a 2017 Human Rights Commission report that found nearly 40 per cent of ANU students were sexually harassed in a 12-month period.

The report attributed the uptick in reports to increased awareness of the reporting tool rather than a higher prevalence of misconduct.

It said that most alleged perpetrators who were identified during reviews undertaken by the University’s Registrar’s Office were expelled.

ANU deputy vice-chancellor Ian Anderson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that releasing data on misconduct was an important part of the university’s response to misconduct on campus.

“This is important to us. It’s important that we learn from survivors, we learn from their stories, and we learn in ways in which we can strengthen our services response,” he said.

“We meet with students every two weeks to discuss our next steps, to discuss how we are strengthening our service response, and to provide that trust that is necessary for students to also come forward and undertake a review under our discipline rule.”

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