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LGBTIQ+ Health Australia urges universities to prioritise safety

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia is calling on Australian universities to prioritise the safety of LGBTIQ+ students after findings from the National Student Safety Survey showed LGBTQ+ students were more likely to experience sexual harassment and sexual assault in university contexts.

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LGBTIQ+ Health Australia (LHA) is the national peak health organisation in Australia for organisations and individuals that provide health-related programs, services and research focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTIQ+) people and communities.

The findings of the survey showed a disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ students have faced harassment and sexual assault on campus, and in other contexts such as events and residences.

The survey found that in these university contexts, 39.7% of pansexual students, 33.1% bisexual students, 23.3% of students who were unsure or questioning their sexuality, and 22.9% gay or lesbian students had been sexually harassed, compared with 13.0% of heterosexual students. Trans and gender diverse students also reported high rates of sexual assault in a university context.

“The current systems are failing LGBTIQ+ students. Universities should be safe places for our communities and the research continues to tell us this isn’t this case,” said Nicky Bath, Chief Executive Officer of LGBTIQ+ Health Australia

“Although these numbers are shocking, they are not surprising given what we know about the experiences of LGBTIQ+ people and communities. Data from the Set the Standard Report into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces, released late last year, as well as data from Private Lives 3 all tell similar stories, and that’s that our experiences and our needs must be prioritised in prevention and response,” Bath said.

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia is calling on candidates for the federal election to commit to policies that support the health and wellbeing of LGBTIQ+ people, including a plan to prevent all forms of family, domestic and sexual violence.

“That requires the next National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children to include LGBTIQ+ people, and funded, targeted actions that specifically address violence against our communities. The next parliament needs to ensure that community-controlled organisations are properly engaged to deliver the recommendations of the Set The Standard report.”

LGBTIQ+ Health Australia stands with all victims and survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment.


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.org.au / discharged.org.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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