Support provided at UQ

The Sexual Misconduct Support Unit (SMSU) was established in August 2017.  In 2019 and 2020, the University provided support and assistance to 52 staff and students who brought to our attention concerns about sexual misconduct related in some way to the University. We also provided support and assistance to 75 staff and students whose study or work was affected by experiences not related to UQ. We continue to encourage anyone seeking support to contact the Sexual Misconduct Support Unit (SMSU).

We began recording requests for support in relation to sexual misconduct in August 2017. The individual contributions made through the Respect Now Always Survey in 2017 and the subsequent requests for support within our UQ Community have informed our progress in providing enhanced support and prevention campaigns within the UQ Community.

Prior to the release of the 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission report, two per cent of disclosures at UQ progressed to a formal report. Since then, the rate of formal reporting where the incident had a connection with UQ increased to more than 28 per cent.  Our focus continues to be supporting survivors, making them feel safe and empowered in their choices, which may include formal reporting.

Since 2017, we have worked across and with all areas of the UQ Community on initiatives relating to prevention and response.

We recognise the importance of being open with our community so that we understand how this societal issue impacts on the lives of our people.  While more than half the number of people who request support have experienced sexual misconduct outside the UQ community, the impact on their study or work is significant and we offer specialist counselling support and work or study adjustments as part of our support response.

The breakdown of requests for support and formal complaints are as follows:

Year Requests for support* Formal reports or complaints Counselling appointments
Total Not connected with another UQ member Connected with another UQ member
2017 42 15 27 11 66
2018 73 42 31 5 303
2019 61 33 28 8 371
2020 66 42 24 7 382

* Includes incidents that occured more than one year prior.

The University of Queensland is committed to working with students and other partners to implement the recommendations put forward in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect. Now. Always. report. There is no place for sexual assault or misconduct at university or in the wider society.

We sincerely thank all students who were involved in the Respect. Now. Always. survey. The survey conducted in late 2016 received responses from more than 30,000 students across all 39 Australian universities.

Download 18 Month Recommendation Audit   Download the UQ-specific report Download National Report

The Listen, Support, Refer campaign promotes compassionate and trauma-informed responses to disclosures of sexual misconduct by peers. The campaign was developed in response to a need identified by the UQ student community to better understand what to say when someone discloses and how best to help them.

Campaign collateral includes:

  • A digital flyer (App Space) for promotional screens and at the beginning of lecture slides
  • A5 Flyer
  • A4 poster (useful for the back of toilet doors)
  • A3 poster
  • A1 poster

Please Download and print/share/distribute the Listen, Support, Refer collateral among your student and staff networks and feel free to email uqrespect@uq.edu.au if you would like print versions of any collateral.

The Random Acts of Respect campaign was developed collaboratively between UQU and UQ Student Services. Drawing on student contributions to a column in the UQ student magazine, Semper Floreat, the campaign aims to normalise ethical bystander intervention and increase awareness about how to intervene when witnessing an act of potential violence or disrespect.

 

The Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response sets out UQ’s commitment to providing students and staff with safe and respectful environments free from any forms of physical or emotional harm and discrimination including sexual misconduct.

Download the Strategic Framework and Action Plan