The University's response to harmful sexual behaviour

The University is seeking to eliminate sexual violence on Campus, in line with its commitment to being a safe, inclusive, and equitable environment.

Harmful sexual behaviour including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and bullying of any kind, undermines safety and respect, and may be a breach of the University’s bullying, harassment, and discrimination policy.   

The University has an ongoing Harmful Sexual Behaviour Action Plan that outlines what will be done, as well as when and by whom, to prevent harmful sexual behaviour within the university community. The student wellbeing team works closely within this ongoing project.

The University uses a survivor-led and do no harm approach, meaning it is guided by the wishes of the person making a disclosure of sexual harm (e.g whether or not they want to report the incident to police, report it to the university, seek medical help or access other support services), and that its processes and support ensure that no further harm is caused to the person making the disclosure. 

The University has a range of people working to support students who have experienced sexual harm, or who exhibit harmful sexual behaviour. The Proctors and student support services respond and resolve issues in a supportive way. They assess risks, identify support needs, and work with students and others to create a safer university community. University Student Health and Counselling is a free, on-campus service available to support students who have experienced sexual harm and for students who are worried about having harmful sexual thoughts/behaviours. 

Students in leadership positions (e.g residential advisors and students club executives) are encouraged to attend a Creating Cultures of Consent and Respect training which provides education about the prevalence of sexual violence in New Zealand, its dynamics and effects, and teaches participants how to deal with disclosures of sexual harm. 

Academic and professional staff across the University are also encouraged to attend the Creating Cultures of Consent and Respect training, to learn how to respond to disclosures of sexual harm safely and appropriately. The first priority of university staff is to check the immediate safety of the student, and then to provide the options for support, information and reporting.  

The University works closely with a number of external organisations, such as Rape Prevention Education and The Light Project. Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) also has a free advocacy service (independent from the University), which supports students dealing with any issues, including sexual harm.