Restorative engagement program at RMIT University
The CIJ is supporting RMIT to implement a Restorative Engagement Program in response to historical cases of sexual assault and harassment at the university.
The program is part of RMIT’s multi-faceted response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2017 Change the Course report, which uncovered widespread experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities.
The Restorative Engagement Program will provide a pathway for students and former students who have in the past experienced sexual abuse, assault or harassment and feel aggrieved about the university’s failure to protect them and/or to respond appropriately or adequately once the harm they had experienced had been disclosed. The program will provide them with an opportunity to meet with senior university representatives to explain the impact of the university’s actions (or inaction) on their recovery, sense of identity, studies and careers. The role of the university representatives will be to listen to and acknowledge the student’s experience, to apologise on behalf of the university, to affirm their resolve to implement cultural change across the university, and to commit to ongoing measures to prevent future harm.
The program is modelled on that delivered by the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) in response to historical cases of sexual assault in the Australian Defence Force, and is believed to be the first ever application of such a process in a university setting.
If you would like more information about the Restorative Engagement program, please contact RMIT Safer Community:
Call: 03 9925 2396