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EROC AU In the News

 

Hijacked: Report finds universities need to overhaul their sexual assault policies                                                                                     March 3, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                               The report notes that “...sexual assault and harassment policies and procedures at Australian universities are generally not survivor-centric” and this needs to change.

The Canberra Times: Canberra Rape Crisis Centre records "dramatic increase" in student contacts                                                                   February 28, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         A Freedom of Information investigation of police records, detailed in End Rape on Campus Australia's submission to a Human Rights Commission survey on sexual assaults within university communities, found 153 rapes and sexual assaults were reported to police as having occurred at universities, including in the ACT.

ABC News: Figures show most rapes on university campuses go unpunished                                                                                         February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         The advocacy group End Rape on Campus Australia has accused Australia's universities of covering up sexual assaults to protect the country's reputation as a destination for foreign students. The group has released a detailed report that says 500 official complaints of sexual assault have been made to universities in the past five years, but only six people have been expelled as a result.

The Guardian: Universities 'actively covering up' sexual assault and harassment, report says                                                                            February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         'Connecting the Dots' written by the End Rape on Campus Australia organisation, examined the frequency of sexual harassment and assault among tertiary students and accused universities of having inadequate support mechanisms and response policies, and of delegating responsibility to untrained staff.

Buzzfeed: Australian Unis Have Been Accused Of Covering Up Sexual Assaults                                                                                                    February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         "Too often, our universities have dealt with sexual assault and harassment of students by turning a blind eye, by claiming it is not their responsibility or, most shamefully, by actively covering up assaults," the submission said.

Buzzfeed: Australian Unis Have Been Accused Of Covering Up Sexual Assaults                                                                                                    February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         "Too often, our universities have dealt with sexual assault and harassment of students by turning a blind eye, by claiming it is not their responsibility or, most shamefully, by actively covering up assaults," the submission said.

ABC Radio National: How do universities deal with sexual assault?                                                                                                                          February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         Audio: a report by the advocacy organisation End Rape on Campus Australia suggests that universities are not doing an adequate job at addressing sexual assault and harassment.

Women's Agenda: Sexual assault at universities is rife, covered up & rarely reported                                                                                    February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         “Across the sector, institutional response to sexual assault is often appalling,” Funnell says.  “Very often survivors report there is an attempt to cover up or minimise their experiences. There is a severe institutional betrayal that follows the experience of sexual assault.”

Triple J Hack: Teaching Consent on Campus                                                                                                                                                February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         Audio: educating first-year uni students about sexual consent

Xinhua: Interview: Aussie universities accused of failing to protect students from sexual assault                                                                      February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sharna Bremner, founder of EROC, told Xinhua that international students are even more at risk than Australian students, and in particular, students that have come from Asia.

News.com.au: The questions about sexual assault young Australians want answered                                                                              February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         “High school sex education is often less than adequate and, at best, students will enter university with varying degrees of understanding of the issue of consent. This sort of event can help to iron out some of those inconsistencies.”

ABC News: Rape claims at universities covered up, taken less seriously than plagiarism, advocacy group says                                                February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                   "We have definitely worked with students whose universities have tried to cover up their assaults, have tried to silence them."

Sydney Morning Herald: Sixteen of my students at the University of Sydney told me they were raped                                                              February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         University reputation and income should not take priority over the wellbeing and safety of students, and processes that retraumatise rape victims or deter reporting are only protecting and enabling offenders.

Sydney Morning Herald: 'Devastating' report shows universities are 'failing' students                                                                                         February 27, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         "The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency does mandate universities have to provide a safe learning environment, at the moment with their approach to sexual assault they are failing to uphold those standards." 

ABC News: Sexual assault: what is your university doing to prevent it?                                                                                                       February 25, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                         "There is a long history of sexual assault prevention initiatives at universities which target women and reinforce myths about stranger danger," Ms Bremner said."                                                                                                                           

News.com.au: James Cook University Vice Chancellor worked on 'independent' survey                                                                                    January 30, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                   "No Vice Chancellor should have been permitted to work on the survey in any capacity and the inclusion of JCU Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding is concerning for students.”

News.com.au: James Cook University knew Douglas Steele was guilty of rape                                                                                         January 25, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                  “More importantly, we need to remember the rape victim in the middle of all this, who has been let down and betrayed. The broader community must support victims and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.”

The Guardian: University employed man for three months after he pleaded guilty to rape                                                                                    January 20, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                  “[Steele] was allowed to remain not only on campus but in contact, one on one, with other Aboriginal students – and that’s a population that’s already more vulnerable to sexual assault than the general student population. It’s mind-boggling.”

News.com.au: James Cook University adviser Douglas Steele promoted after raping student                                                                          January 19, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sharna Bremner from End Rape On Campus Australia says that this is one of the most egregious examples of institutional negligence she has encountered.

News.com.au: Police reveal what the 'secretive' universities didn't want you to know                                                                          December 6, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                       "Understanding consent is vital and at least some of those acquaintance assaults could potentially be prevented with better consent education."

Daily Telegraph: We have a right to know which universities are safe from sex attacks                                                                       November 4, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                       "No university wants to be known as the 'rape university' and all universities have a vested financial interest in keeping sexual assault figures artificially low to protect their brand" 

News.com.au: Universities Australia defends $1m donation to 'independent' campus rape survey                                                    November 2, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                       Ms. Bremner said survivors of sexual assault had had contacted her directly to express their concerns about detailing their most intimate stories to Universities Australia when, on previous occasions, the organisation's response was to sweep their stories under under the rug

Sydney Morning Herald: Concerns raised as Universities Australia funds Human Rights Commission survey of sexual assaults and abuse  November 1, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                        "It's like the Catholic Church funding the royal commission," said Sharna Bremner, the founder of sexual abuse advocacy group End Rape on Campus Australia.  

ABC AM: Independence of sexual assault study questioned                                                                                                                     November 2, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                       Student advocates and victim support groups are questioning the independence of a landmark study into sexual assaults at universities

The Project: Something We Should Talk About - #TrumpIsNoLaughingMatter                                                                                                        October 10, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                       "When you take a moment and think about it, almost every woman you know will have a similar story" 

Mashable: We're only just beginning to understand the extend of sexual assault at university                                                                          October 10, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                         "When universities say they've had zero reports, that doesn't mean what they think it means...it's always hard to encourage people to report with some of the responses I've seen on university campuses"

News.com.au: Full list of universities exposed by sexual assault investigation                                                                                                  October 10, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                         "What they've done is just another way of silencing people and I have to ask, what are you trying to hide?"

Sunday Night: The Hunting Grounds - Less than 2% of sexual assaults led to expulsion, SN university FOI reveals                                         October 9, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                           "It's a no-win situation - you report to the police, or the university can't help you, but once you've reported to the police, the university can't help you" 

News.com.au: Largest FOI request paints a dirty picture of sexual assault at Australian unis                                                                              October 7, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                             "We've known for decades that there is a sexual assault problem on campuses across Australia... we've also known that universites often have a vested financial interest in concealing those figures"

The Project: Sexual assault at university                                                                                                                                                    September 21, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                      A partnership between Australia's universities and the Human Rights Commission has begun to reveal the frightening levels of sexual abuse and harassment on campus

The Daily Telegraph: Shame on you, Universities Australia. This is no way to treat rape survivors                                                                       September 15, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                  End Rape On Campus Australia has now independently addressed this deficit with their own FAQ to support students

The Guardian: If universities want to know about campus sexual assault, they're doing it wrong                                                                        September 15, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can find out more about the submission process and common student concerns, via this FAQ blog post prepared for End Rape On Campus Australia.

The Saturday Paper: Campus assaults                                                                                                                                                           September 10, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                  The response of these universities to the cases of sexual assault and harassment... has been "appalling", marred by inertia, indifference and victim blaming.

ABC News 7.30: Investigation into sexual harassment and assault on uni campuses                                                                                      August 23, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                           "It seems that universities have intentionally or unintentionally made it incredibly difficult for students to report sexual violence to them, which helps to keep numbers artificially low". 

MamaMia: Police are still clueless when it comes to dealing with cyber crime                                                                                            August 20, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Just because you give a photo with consent, you don't give consent for that photo to be uploaded to the internet"

News.com.au: The police response I never expected                                                                                                                                        August 20, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                            "... we must be talking to young people about these issues, but we should start by talking to potential perpetrators about the consequences of their choices, rather than always putting it on girls to manage [and prevent] their own exploitation and victimisation". 

News.com.au: Australian schools targeted by pornography ring posting nude photos                                                                                August 17, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sharna Bremner from End Rape on Campus Australia says she felt "physically sick when [she] learned of the website and it's contents". “These boys and men are behaving like a pack of hyenas hunting their prey, and then sharing the spoils with the rest of the group,” she said.

Radio Monash: Exclusive Interview with Sharna Bremner                                                                                                                                    July 21, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                We don't believe that it should be on the backs of survivors to hold the universities to account for failing to address the issue, so part of our job is to ensure that both the students and universities are aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to sexual assaults.

The Age: Police Investigate Alleged Monash University Student Rape                                                                                                                    July 16, 2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Sharna Bremner, who is behind the End Rape On Campus Australia group, said many universities refused to acknowledge that sexual assault was an issue. "Nobody wants to be known as the rape campus, it is not a way to attract funding or students," she said.

News.Com.AU: Shocking sexual assault statistics revealed as more victims come forward to news.com.au
July 6, 2016

Sharna Bremner from End Rape on Campus Australia says that, “in rape cases, it’s not uncommon for institutions to use ‘gaslighting’ techniques — which undermine victims by silencing and psychologically manipulating them, and making them doubt their own decision to speak up”

Honi Soit: Sydney University estimates 340 unreported sexual assaults a year, according to new data
July 5, 2016

“If you consider as a rule in wider society you’re looking at one in five women [will be sexually assaulted] and the age you’re likely to become a victim of sexual assault is the age you are a student,” she said. “It fits in perfectly with the university demographic.”

Daily Mail: Australian woman starts group to tackle sexual assault on campus - as she says 'plagiarism can attract greater sanctions than rape'
June 5, 2016

'EROC offers peer level support that students can relate to, people are the same age and they can really understand exactly what they're going through,' she said.  

The Sydney Morning Herald: Unis at risk of legal action over handling of sexual assault complaints
June 5, 2016

Sharna Bremner is establishing an Australian branch of the US "End Rape on Campus" advocacy group.  The group has launched dozens of legal actions against universities in America, alleging they have broken the law by the way they handled sexual assault complaints. There are now more than 190 American colleges and universities under investigation.

ABC News: Wesley College students speak out about sexism, drinking at University of Sydney's institution
May 16, 2016
Sharna Bremner, who works with the advocacy group End Rape on Campus, said Rackweb is just part of a much bigger problem. "I wish that the Rackweb, as appalling as it was, was actually the worst I'd seen," she told 7.30. "I wish it was the worst I'd heard of. It's absolutely just the tip of the iceberg.

Daily Life: If Young Men Are Only Learning About Consent at University, It's Too Late
April 18, 2016

Sharna Bremner, who is coordinating the Australian arm of End Rape On Campus and works with international students at Australian universities, says spiking drinks is actually far less common than the deliberate supply of stronger and stronger drinks, with the intent of incapacitating their victim. She also said that orientation week for the first year students is a hot spot.

The Daily Telegraph: "No Means Yes, Yes Means Anal" 
April 14, 2016
According to Sharna Bremner, an advocate against sexual assault and a member of “End Rape on Campus Australia”, the chant at Baxter college was “mild” and “timid compared to some of the other [chants]” that have been reported by students across Australia.