These students want to put a face to the statistics about sexual assault at universities.
These students want to put a face to the statistics about sexual assault at universities. Supplied

RAPE AFTERMATH: Students’ shock uni sex attacks exposed

RAPE survivors and other university students have launched a powerful social media campaign to expose how Australian universities have mishandled rape and sexual assault complaints.

Holding messages condemning university inaction and cover-up, the survivors and other students are photographed holding signs calling out their institutions.

"My university punishes plagiarism more harshly than rape" wrote one student from the University of Sydney.

"I was sued for defamation for speaking out against a college covering up rape" wrote another. News.com.au has confirmed the woman's claims.

News.com.au

End Rape On Campus Australia, along with myself, designed the campaign to ensure that the voices and views of students are not sidelined next week, when a national report into rape at universities is released by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

After all, it's often all too easy to forget that behind every statistic there lies a real person.

News.com.au

All too often, the temptation is to reduce sexual assault survivors to mere numbers without recognising the horror and complexity of each survivor's story.

Students' powerful plea to #EndRapeOnCampus

News.com.au

By putting a face on the issue, we not only humanise students' stories, but importantly, it makes it much more difficult for universities to dismiss concerns via damage control strategies aimed at whitewashing the issue and protecting their own reputations.

And some of the stories we have heard at End Rape On Campus are absolutely harrowing.

One rape survivor called out her head of college for disbelieving her when she reported her rape to him.

"This does not sound like a boy who just raped a girl" the head of college allegedly remarked.

News.com.au

As for me, having spent a solid year reporting on sexual assault and rape at Australian universities - including revealing cases where staff members have raped students - the message I most want to send to all survivors next week is a very simple one:

I believe you. It's not your fault. You're not alone.

We've got your backs.

Nina Funnell is a survivor of sexual assault and was the mastermind behind this campaign.
Nina Funnell is a survivor of sexual assault and was the mastermind behind this campaign. Supplied

Nina Funnell is a freelance writer and sexual assault advocate who has previously been awarded the Australian Human Rights Commission Community (Individual) award. She is an ambassador of End Rape On Campus Australia who designed the photo campaign.

 

News Corp Australia

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