In February 2016, Universities Australia began the Respect. Now. Always. initiative.
This world-first, sector-wide program aims to prevent sexual violence in university communities and improve how universities respond to and support those who have been affected.
It builds on work done by individual universities in Australia over many years to develop policies, reporting procedures and support services.
As part of the initiative, Universities Australia has:
- commissioned two national surveys of university students on their experiences of violence, with the first survey running in 2016 and the second survey running in 2021;
- developed tailored training resources for university staff;
- released guidelines for universities to respond to reports of sexual harm (revised: 2023);
- published principles to guide supervisor-postgraduate interactions;
- provided awareness raising materials to residential colleges; and
- partnered with Our Watch and the Victorian Government on a comprehensive whole-of-university model to prevent gender-based violence.