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23 Mar 2022 • 3 minute read

ECU’s ongoing work to make university safer

The University has released its institution-level data from the 2021 National Student Safety Survey (NSSS).

The Ngoolark Building at ECU's Joondalup Campus.
ECU's Joondalup Campus.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) has released its institution-level data from the 2021 National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) and commits to ongoing work to address sexual harassment and sexual assault in partnership with students.

ECU’s data is available at our NSSS webpages.

The national survey was conducted from September to October 2021 and collected data on the scale and nature of university student experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment. It provides accurate and up-to-date information to universities about what is happening in their student communities.

ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman CBE thanked ECU students for their courage in sharing their experiences via the survey.

“ECU acknowledges the lived experience of students who are victim-survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment and we know that more can always be done to help keep all students safe.

“The national data highlighted that female students experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment at a far greater rate than male students. In addition, sexuality and gender diverse students, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and students with disabilities, were more likely to have experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment than other students.

“The results of the survey will be used to continue to improve services, planning, policies, and University culture, to make universities, including ECU, safer for all students.”

“I have asked Professor Angela Hill and Professor Braden Hill to continue to lead our response across the University. We commit to seeking ways to address the experiences of our students, working in partnership with student representatives and the Student Guild.”

ECU Guild President Faizan Akram said:

“Student safety on campus should be front of mind for everyone. Our campus is a place you can thrive, personally and professionally, and the ECU Guild will continue to work with the University to ensure our campus culture is one of respect.”

Recent ECU initiatives to make campuses safer include:

  • Introduced a new, comprehensive Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy.
  • Setup an online reporting tool, where students and staff can report sexual assault and sexual harassment. Students and staff can also report anonymously.
  • Expanded and enhanced our University Contact Officer program.
  • Made it easier to report by streamlining our website, including reporting sections for both staff and students.
  • Created resources to support those students who receive disclosures from their peers.
  • Rolled out the online training program, Consent Matters, for ECU students.
  • Included the Sexual Harassment/Assault: Reducing & Responding module in our staff training schedule.

Getting help

For any ECU students requiring support, the University provides a range of free resources to assist.

This includes the free ECU Out of Hours Crisis Line via 1300 583 032 or text 0488 884 232 (available 4:30pm to 8:30am on weekdays, and 24 hours on weekends).

For those seeking to report sexual harassment or sexual assault, this can be done via ECU, the WA Police or the Sexual Assault Resource Centre.

ECU will always respond to all reports of inappropriate or threatening behaviour and offer support.

Joint statement

The vice-chancellors of Western Australia's five universities have also issued a collective statement on the National Student Safety Survey results.