National Student Safety Survey

Content warning: Information on this page may distress and traumatise some people. If you would like to speak to somebody for support, a range of confidential resources are available to you.

Your contribution helps us make change, recognise where well-intentioned measures may have fallen short and see where there are meaningful signs of progress and change.

Survey results

We acknowledge what survivors have endured and how those incidents may have affected relationships, mental health, studies, and lives. Any instance of sexual harassment or sexual assault is one too many.

It is part of our role to educate our students to conduct themselves in respectful and inclusive ways. If we can do this better we will not only improve the safety of our students but help tackle this problem in our communities and across Australia.

Summary of Charles Sturt's survey results

Frequently asked questions

The University has in place a wide range of measures aimed at preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment, including Subject Zero which is our university’s central point of inquiry and counselling support available to all students for disclosures of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

We have dedicated teams to provide specialised counselling and reporting options to student disclosures of sexual assault and sexual harassment, promote student safety, security personnel in place, and providing education and training programs for staff and students on all our campuses

The University also has reporting and support systems in place for survivors, including around-the-clock hotlines. Besides the National hotlines, we have a Charles Sturt University Student Wellbeing Support Line which is available for students 24/7 to provide immediate support to any disclosures of sexual assault, and sexual harassment incidents. This is an extension of our student counselling services.

In 2022 we have delivered a series of workshops to residential student leaders and specific cohorts of students. There are 5 conversation cards contained in Subject Zero which provide information and advice about the services we offer to students and what we do as a University to create a place of safety and respect.

Each of these conversation cards have large QR codes built into the pictures which are displayed in student shared areas such as the library, our student accommodation services, behind student bathroom doors – we wanted to provide students opportunity to seek support or make a report discretely.

These conversation cards are dedicated to educating our university community and are being rolled out to all students

They are

  1. learn how to have a confidential conversation
  2. learn how to report sexual misconduct
  3. learn how to be safe on campus
  4. learn how to get consent
  5. Learn how to call out harassment

The goal of eliminating sexual assault and sexual harassment will be best served through a sector-wide approach, using the resources and knowledge of Australian universities as a whole. Charles Sturt University is eager to be part of any collective effort aimed of gathering information and activating ideas to help address this issue.

We recognise that not all these traumatic experiences take place in physical environments. The survey demonstrates that for many students, a move to hybrid or online learning meant that sexual harassment also moved online.

We want to provide more education to staff and students about online facilitated abuse and being aware of when you have experienced instances of online sexual harassment and having greater awareness of where support is offered and options for reporting

Charles Sturt University is committed to responding to disclosures of sexual assault and sexual harassment. We have a Prevention and Support Specialist counsellor who provides emotional and practical support to students who have been sexually assaulted, or sexually harassed, recently or in the past. This service is available to all students of all study modes, and it does not matter if the incident occurred at University. Our specialist counselling team can assist students face to face, over the phone and via Zoom to access other external support services and support them to explore options for reporting what has happened if this is their choice to do so.

We understand it can be exceedingly difficult and feel daunting to access this service, however, our counselling team is able to provide a safe and sensitive space for students to discuss their feelings and thoughts. This includes when students are unsure about something that has happened and think it might be sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Our Student Wellbeing Support Line is also available for students 24/7 to provide immediate support to any disclosures of sexual assault, sexual harassment incidents. This is an extension of our student counselling services. To get in contact call 1300 572 516 or text 0480 087 002.

Yes, this survey was different for the following reasons:

  • To align with international best practice, the Social Research Centre (SRC) developed behavioural questions regarding sexual assault. As this is different to the approach taken by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2016, comparability between the prevalence rate of the 2016 survey and the 2021 survey is limited.
  • To enable comparisons between students’ experiences with national and international data (such as the ABS Personal Safety Survey), the SRC has provided prevalence rates for sexual assault and sexual harassment over a 12-month period. As the 2016 survey did not use a 12-month period but used ‘in 2015 or 2016’ or ‘in 2016’, the prevalence rate for this survey is not directly comparable with the results from the 2016 survey.
  • Changing student populations.

Students at Charles Sturt at the time the survey was conducted were randomly selected to participate, with representation across gender, level of study, as well as domestic and international students.

All students who were enrolled at Charles Sturt in the past five years had the opportunity to share their stories anonymously, regardless of whether they were selected to participate in the survey.

International students who would normally be on campus in Australia but were located offshore due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time the survey was conducted could participate in the survey if they were selected in the sample.

The national quantitative and qualitative reports, as well as links to each university’s page hosting their individual report, are accessible at the National Student Safety Survey website.

Charles Sturt University and all universities have agreed to publish their reports online.

The survey was developed with extensive input from students and survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment. It was designed primarily to collect data on the scale and nature of university student experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment to provide accurate and up-to-date information to universities about what is happening in their student communities.

We would love feedback from students and staff. Use the feedback link at the bottom of this page to help us understand what we can do better.

Survivor and advocate groups have strongly recommended against making any sort of comparisons because it could have the impact of minimising the upset, distress and trauma experienced by survivors. Additionally, given the diversity within the university sector, comparisons are misleading and unhelpful.

We want your feedback