Creating a safe and respectful community

Creating a safe and respectful community at RMIT.

Content warning: This page discusses experiences relating to sexual harassment and assault.

We’re proud of RMIT’s diverse and inclusive community. We believe that everyone deserves to feel safe, respected and valued in their place of study and work. 

Sexual harm is all too common across the Australian university sector. The extent of the problem was highlighted in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2017 report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities, Change The Course

At RMIT, we define sexual harm as any sexual behaviour that you don’t agree to, or makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It can happen to anyone, and it is illegal.

We know that not everyone experiences universities, including RMIT, as safe places. We are working hard to change that for our university community. 

To create a safer environment, it is our responsibility is to understand the gendered drivers of violence that are consistently associated with higher levels of violence. We know that the experience of violence is disproportionately experienced by women and girls and is often driven by expressions or forms of gender inequality. 

We also know that members of our LGBTIQA+ community are identified as being at risk of experiencing domestic, family and sexual violence.  This is not acceptable to us. 

We’re making progress

Since 2016, we’ve worked hard to build a culture of respect and make RMIT a safer place for everyone. Our three-year Be the Change campaign challenged the entire RMIT community to step up and help change the harmful culture of everyday sexism that leads to sexual harm.  

We’ve come a long way – but there is still more to do. And we all have a role to play.

Safer Community

A message from Alec Cameron, Vice Chancellor at RMIT University.

Embedding a culture of respect at RMIT

Since 2016, we’ve worked hard to build a culture of respect and make RMIT a safer place for everyone. We’ve put in place dozens of initiatives to reduce and prevent sexual harm, and to support those affected by it because one incident of sexual harm is one too many.

To build widespread social and structural change, at RMIT we are committed to three levels of intervention:

  • Primary – work to prevent violence before it occurs
  • Secondary – detecting the issue early and working in targeted ways to stop the violence
  • Tertiary – getting ahead of reoccurrence

We've implemented a range of initiatives, many co-created with students, to help create a safer community at RMIT. These include:

  • Developing the Vice-Chancellor’s Prevention of Gender-based Violence Workplan, detailing actions to prevent and respond to violence across the entire University community
  • Conducting an independent review of policies and procedures that relate to safety and respect with agreed action to develop new policies and procedures, for example Family and Domestic Violence and Child Safety
  • Running our annual ‘Be the Change’ campaign to build understanding of the gendered nature of violence, awareness of support services and key prevention actions
  • Providing opportunities to grow practical knowledge and skills through workshops, events and learning modules, including Gender-Based Violence Prevention, Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Harm and Bystander Intervention training
  • Appointment of a Child Safe Advisor position and expansion of our Safer Community team resources
  • Providing remote support to students experiencing gender-based violence during COVID-19 
  • Establishing a campus shuttle bus (Bundoora campus) and improved lighting and access across all RMIT campuses

We’ve come a long way – but there is still more to do. And we all have a role to play.

Our commitment

Sexual harm and other forms of gender-based violence have no place in the RMIT community. We are committed to providing a safe and respectful place to study and work.

We’ve put in place dozens of initiatives to reduce and prevent sexual harm, and to support those affected by it because one incident of sexual harm is one too many.

To build widespread social and structural change, at RMIT we are committed to three levels of intervention:

Mental Wellbeing Survey Infographic

1. Primary - working to prevent violence before it occurs

Mental Wellbeing Survey Infographic

2. Secondary - detecting the issue early and working in targeted ways to stop the violence

Mental Wellbeing Survey Infographic

3. Tertiary - getting ahead of reoccurance 

The National Student Safety Survey

As part of our commitment to reducing sexual harm, RMIT took part in the 2021 National Student Safety Survey.

The survey gathered information about students’ experience of sexual assault and harassment, on and off-campus. The results will give universities insights that will help them drive positive cultural change around reducing sexual harm and, ultimately, create a safer environment for all.  

A random selection of RMIT higher education students were among those invited to take part in the survey. 

You can see RMIT's results and learn more about the survey here.

Support for student safety

Learn more about the breadth of support services available at RMIT and within the community.

If you would like to develop your skills in being able to respond to violence and sexual harm, please consider completing the following RMIT training.

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If you experience sexual harm

Support is available to any member of the RMIT community who has experienced sexual harm or has been impacted by sexual harm, no matter where or when this happened.

Our Safer Community team are ready to help. They will believe you, listen to you, and make sure you get the support you need.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.