Student Safety Audit – NZUSA

NZUSA’s Tertiary Women’s Focus Group produced a Safety Audit of campuses in 2011, which is attached here for download.

Violence against women is a huge problem throughout New Zealand, with many incidents going unreported. Often victims are blamed, the focus is on the behaviour of the victim, and rape myths are perpetuated (“She was asking for it by wearing a short skirt”). The victim is never at fault in cases of harassment and assault, but many people refuse to accept this and continue marginalising victims.

This report is targeted at both Universities and Polytechnics. Tertiary study shapes the lives of many people and it is the responsibility of the campus community to ensure that everyone has good experiences while studying.

Tertiary study is often young people’s first foray into the ‘real world’, therefore it is important to try and create a culture of respect and safety. Institutions must have an appropriate attitude when it comes to issues such as harassment and assault, and should be willing to fix gaps in their procedures when needed. This report attempts to begin this process.

The report consists of three parts –

  1. A review of the sexual harassment policies of every public tertiary education provider in Aotearoa New Zealand,

  2. The results of the NZUSA Student Relationship survey focussed around students’ perceptions of relationship abuse, and

  3. Physical safety audits from select campuses

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