"Unfortunately what happened to my child is just one example of a much bigger problem. There needs to be an open conversation about this - we need to keep it on the table until real solutions are found."
Right now we are in the midst of a shocking national revelation of just how rife sexual assault is on our university campuses.
Last Sunday, Channel 7's 'Sunday Night' program revealed there have been a staggering 575 cases of sexual violence on Australian campuses in the last five years alone. Now, survivors of sexual assault are coming forward, telling their own stories and giving Australians a picture of just how deep the problem goes.
Jenny* is a mother of three, whose youngest daughter was sexually assaulted while living on campus:
"My daughter was assaulted last year by a fellow student at her college, while on a student social outing. It was absolutely devastating for her, and for me as a mother to see my child impacted in this way. The start of University should be an exciting time, and parents should be able to be confident that residences are doing everything they can to make sure our kids are safe. Unfortunately what happened to my child is just one example of a much bigger problem. There needs to be an open conversation about this -- we need to keep it on the table until real solutions are found. As a parent, I think we all need to come together and demand more from universities and residences. We should be asking universities and colleges to step up and implement preventative measures for staff and students, such as training about things like consent and how to respond appropriately to disclosures of sexual assault and harassment. We need to make sure that residences are providing the training our kids need to be safe, so that no other young woman has to go through what my daughter did."
This week, Fair Agenda has contacted over 220 Australian university residences with a survey asking what, if any, training they'll be providing to students and relevant staff in 2017, and we need a groundswell of community voices calling on them to take action.
Together - as parents, students, alumni and the community - we can ensure all university residences commit to preventing sexual assault as a number one priority, and will train all our young people attending university on-campus on 2017.