Crisis line launches for uni-student sex assault victims
COAST university student Raymart Walker says a new crisis line for sexual assault and harassment victims will help support them through a difficult time.
The national support number will launch on July 31 in preparation for the release of a landmark report into sexual assault and sexual harassment in university student communities.
Universities around Australia commissioned a survey into the issue, with the results due to be made public on August 1.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Belinda Robinson said her organisation expected the report would be challenging, particularly for survivors of sexual assault.
"We are also acutely aware that heightened media discussion may also trigger past trauma," Ms Robinson said.
"We wanted to ensure that all students know that specialist support is only a phone call away."
The support line will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It will be run by specialist trauma counselling service Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia until November 30.
Mr Walker, who is co-chair of University of the Sunshine Coast's Student Representative Council, said it was encouraging to see the proactive steps being taken.
"I thought it was a really good initiative,' Mr Walker said.
He said the university's student wellbeing and support team had regularly provided information and ran workshops in appropriate behaviour.
"I think USC in particular is taking a very proactive approach and a preventative approach."
He said he had attended a workshop at the university about consent.
"It does beg sort of beg the question because a lot of people may not know."
The new crisis line number will be released closer to the end of the month.