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The “Respect.Now.Always.” campaign program is a significant step toward improving security in Australian universities. The campaign's goals include the creation of respectful education programs for Australian students, the establishment of a violence-free atmosphere at universities, and the implementation of zero tolerance for sexual abuse at universities. Cases of sexual harassment in colleges have been on the rise in the past, but the initial program is intended to alleviate this issue. The Australian Human Rights Commission collaborates with the initiative to ensure that the legislation is followed by all universities in the world. The government has also been on the frontline in ensuring that “Respect.Now.Always” achieves its set goals focused at bolstering safety and security in the institutions of higher learning. Other support groups include non-governmental organizations and the university administrations. The introduction of 24/7 telephone lines, electric media and counseling has improved the relationship that the social movement has with the universities and the public. Creation of a violence free university is the immediate goal for the Respect.Now.Always. Implementation of the plan will be done upon the launching of immediate goals. Feedback from students will be used in the assessment of the efficiency of the program.
3. Background to the Issues
“Respect.Now.Always.” is a campaign launched in late 2016 which features the assurance of universities in Australia to guarantee that they are trusted with security and regard. This campaign led to a survey conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) with the participation of thousands of university students from number of universities across Australia. According to the statics and reports of AHRC, 30,930 students from 39 Australian universities have participated in this survey. Much importantly, this survey was the first ever national prevalence survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault involved universities students. Nevertheless, this survey was critical to the administrates of the Australian universities to have a clear proof to begin an effective way to address the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault in their universities.
3.1. Identifying the problems/issues the campaign aims to address
The survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault conducted by the AHRC revealed an unacceptable result as the “zero tolerance” practice is accepted towards sexual harassment and sexual assault in Australia as a nation. The survey reports revealed that,
One out of five students in an university is sexually harassed in 2016.
Women experienced sexual assault as “three time” as likely as men in universities in 2015-2016.
94% of sexually harassed and 87% of sexually assaulted university students have not made any formal complaint.
These facts revealed by “Respect.Now.Always.” survey highlights the need of an initiative which addresses sexual harassment and sexual assault by considering it as a serious issue faced not only by Australian universities, but also the society as a whole. To address these serious issues as a creditable activist in the sector, “Respect.Now.Always.” is aimed at three major sights.
“Raise awareness of sexual assault and sexual harassment and lift the visibility of support services for students”
“Obtain data to guide further improvement in university policies and services”
“Assist universities in sharing best practice resources across the sector”
3.2. Defining the campaign goals/objectives
Create a respectful education system for Australia University students
The overall objective of the campaign “Respect.Now.Always” is to create a safe and respectful environment within all the universities of Australia. This raise up the standards of the Australian university students’ education system and a respectful education system helps them to achieve their individual goals. This greatly influences society as a whole to become respectful and free of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Creating a violence free environment in universities.
The immediate goal of the campaign is to create a violence free environment in Australian universities as an approach to immediate crisis which is the issue of sexual harassment and sexual assault experienced by university students across Australia.
Influence individual university policies and services regards to sexual harassment and sexual assaults and work collectively to create the best practices for “zero tolerance”
Influencing university policies regards sexual harassment and sexual assault can be considered as a critical objective strategy which need to be followed in order obtain a violence free environment in universities and a respectful education system in Australia by creating initiative practices for “zero tolerance” towards sexual harassment and sexual assault.
3.3. How did the campaign establish credibility as an activist?
“Respect.Now.Always” has been playing a critical role as a credible activist in the sector. In general, to become a credible activist in the related sector, the campaign has to become trusted by the community and the campaign has to become success at achieving goals and objectives. “Respect.Now.Always” has conducted the first ever national prevalence survey on sexual harassment and sexual assault involved universities students which gave a clear picture about the subjected issue. The campaign was successful at raising awareness about the above mentioned matter in most of the major universities and led them find initiatives for the issues based on their own results of the survey. Many solutions including electronic media, counseling and the support telephone lines were introduced to address the issue. The establishment of 24 hours/7days available national support line immediately after releasing the survey results and the mobileApps and websites introduced by universities are good examples of the solutions introduced by the impact of “Respect.Now.Always” campaign. Considering these initiatives taken towards making a “zero tolerance” practice towards sexual harassment and sexual assault, “Respect.Now.Always” can be identified as a credible activist in the sector.
4. Analyzing the Policy Environment
According to the voice of Australia's Universities (2017), the environmental policy aspects concern the desire to create a sustainable response plan for the victims and survivors of sexual assault and harassment. Respect. Now. Always campaign is a social movement that aims to protect the rights of the University students. As such, the government is a major stakeholder in terms of being a regulator regarding human rights protection. the government is responsible for enacting laws that govern the operations of non-governmental bodies that seek to address human rights concerns (Gerber & Castan, 2012). As such the government has the power to enact policies that either strengths or limits the powers of the Respect. Now. Always campaign. Correspondingly, the campaign has its policies made in the alignment to the Australian Human Rights Commission Regulations acts. For example, the government states that discrimination and harassment of any nature, as well as the anti-discrimination legislation of any form, is contrary to the law. The government through its provisions and regulations empowers Respect. Now. Always as a movement to put in place policy on discrimination and sexual harassment, that clearly and concisely communicates the campaign's attitude towards the discrimination and harassment, a lucid definition of what is considered discrimination and sexual harassment, description of circumstances where discrimination and sexual harassment is likely to occur, create awareness that everyone within the university has an obligation to prevent and fight against any form of discrimination and harassment, duty to offer information on how as well as where the victims and survivors of discrimination and sexual harassment can get help and other related services, and the probable consequences of discrimination and sexual harassment.
a. Power Holder Map
In an application of the power holder map, the campaign is highly influenced by the government, the Australian Human Rights Commission (2012), it is the responsibility of an organization, business or legal organization to ensure that the stakeholders' goals and expectations are addressed and meat. in this view, the government influences the Respect. Now. Always campaign through laying out regulations and provisions within which it is expected to operate. The movement is, thus, expected to adhere to the provisions abide by the regulations in order to find the environment favorable for the realization of its objectives that include.
The Australian Human Rights Commission works in collaboration with Respect. Now. Always campaigns to ensure that all the universities are protected by the policy. In collaboration, the forces are able to create awareness regarding information to what sexual assault is and any form of discrimination they are likely to face within the universities environs (In Zajda, 2015). the students are then informed of how and where to access the campaign services whenever necessary as well as other relevant services that concerns human right protection. Nevertheless, the students are the campaign's target hence their expectations have to be met.
On the other hand, Respect, Now. Always campaign has strong support stemming from various pressure groups including concerned non-governmental organization besides the Australian Human Rights Commission. University employees including the lectures, instructors, and the subordinate staff strongly support the campaign. In their view, they need to work in an environment that is safe and free from violations of any human rights. Finally, the university senates are in strong support of campaigns since they need students to conduct their learning in an education-friendly environment for employees but also effective learning environment where equality, respect for, and accommodation of students' varying culture take precedence (Australia, 2008).
5. Developing a Strategy
The University of Australia’s current strategic plan for Respect.Now.Always campaign is based on several facts. The campaign is mainly focuses on the survey results conducted with the collaboration of Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). The initial approach to this campaign is to gather the universities across Australia under one roof. As a result, 39 universities were taken part in this campaign and students among those universities asked to participate in the survey, apart from that AHRC had an open submission page on their website for anyone to share their experience. Based on the results and recommendations provided by AHRC they have identified the approach and required resources to prevent and address sexual assault and sexual harassment in universities
5.1. Integrated Strategy Map
The broad objective of this campaign is to create a respectful education system for Australia university students. This cannot be achieved immediately since we have to achieve the immediate goals first. The immediate goal is representing the immediate crisis. In this campaign immediate goal is to create violence free environment in universities which is also the immediate crisis of sexual harassments and assaults in universities in Australia. The importance of immediate goal is highlighted with the facts and numbers gathered through the survey. Once the overall objective and immediate goals are we can decide the diverse strategies to get there. The component strategy for this campaign is pretty much open to all aspects. But they have quite a few strategies that they have given the focus through-out this campaign. Collectively the grand strategy is what is needed to be done for the success of this campaign. In this particular campaign, it is to influence universities individually and work collectively in order to create the best practice and zero tolerance against sexual harassments and assaults.
For any campaign, the component strategy should be a tailor made to march forward. The Respect.Now.Always campaign has chosen universities, Media and student or the general public and independent body as the component strategies. Surprisingly the campaign doesn’t make any significant effort in the legal aspect although it is repeatedly mentioned that the sexual harassment is a crime through-out the campaign promotions.
6.Implementing the plan
After launching all immediate goals and overall objective of Respect.Now.Always with the help of strategy map, it requires to be established via effective plan. Pointing out objectives and initiative are of no use until they come to execution and give us with intended outcome. As we know, the pre national surveys as an initiative step of the plan which will prove to be an effective method to collect information which can be then utilized to make the foundation of next steps. To reach our strategy we need all universities to promote the survey to their student and staff in a reflective manner. The participant can take part in the survey by using different means of technology it can be online survey or offline or just filling a form at university. The question should be efficacious rather than fragile. Always ask a security question before other question and give short introduction (survey systems). The question should be practiced before so we get analyses feedback. Further it is required to implement all the recommendation and approaches provided by AHRC. One Common is to provide awareness among student’s and utilizing their skills, knowledge and participation to defend sexual harassment. This part can be accomplished by Incorporating proficient lectures, aggregate talk and self-preservation training with specialists, officers concerned and proficient educators as visitors. This step involves student physically and mentally in the campaign .This is somehow time consuming but it is more effective toward the campaign grand strategy.
Feedback is a standout among the most intense effects on learning and accomplishment (John and Helen 2007).So it has been revealed that feedback play a vital role in training and educating students and staff to approach strategies .Feedback is also helpful for authorized government authorities which can be further utilize to make up new rules and regulation making specific university alert with a higher rate of sexual harassment and assaults and providing platform for zero tolerance to these activity. La Trobe Vice Chancellor John Dewar said that” his university would learn from the findings”. Feedback should not short term it should be long as it is loop to all solutions this is last step but not least.
The plan above is just initiative to zero tolerance to sexual harassment and assaults in universities among the students and staff members and motivate them to maintain respect now always in their universities premises as well as in society as they represent university.
6.1. Campaign Calendars
In the following calendar I have list all the important steps for the initiatives with their details description it is according to semester cycle
Pre-national survey within universities
Will take in between month or two month.
Should conduct online or at university campus by filling up forms.
Aim: to get the results which university has highest rate of sexual harassment and why what awareness is required which new rules should be implemented .If they are victims how to take actions against. To influence student and staff in an effective manner toward survey.
Focus of this step is broader
Proficient lectures, aggregate talk to create awareness
Will take one week
Should be Social gathering at campuses of universities
Illuminate all the harms of sexual assaults and where to get if you are victim.
Continues (long term)
Aim to bring amendments in the rules and regulation of authorities and universities will learn from more and more finding which will help to reach the strategy zero tolerance to sexual harassment (motive of Respect.Now.Always).
It is mostly focus on the results
7. Critical discussion of campaign outcomes
The Respect.now.always has implemented its campaign with the aim of reducing sexual harassment and sexual assault in universities all over Australia. According to the above paragraphs it has already analyzed the activities and strategies of “Respect.now.always” campaign, the power-holder map and integrated map have been used to illustrate how it has developed and implemented. The strengths and weakness of this campaign will be analyzed in the following content.
One of the significant strength of their initial strategy is launching their campaign through a press conference. Chair of Universities Australia and Monash University Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner took the stage to address the media and she managed to deliver the exact points regarding the campaign to viewers through her speech. (Alberici, 2017). Another major key for success of this campaign is the participation and support given by the universities across Australia. Like it was mentioned in above paragraphs 39 universities across Australia participated in the survey. Though survey was successful majority of the universities didn’t show their support for post survey plans. Out of 39 universities took part in this survey only 7 universities agreed to release internal data regarding sexual assault and sexual harassment annually on their campuses. And A Further 7 universities did not respond to the request made by Australian human resource commission (AHRC). Surprisingly 10 universities rejected the request. (Grapeshot Online, 2017)
The “Respect.now.always” campaign not only present on the media but also have through social media around Australia, the strength of campaign is that it can attract student’s attention on this sensitive issue directly. For instance many universities have created groups on social Medias to support this campaign and gather students in universities to participate. Notwithstanding these national activities, universities crosswise over Australia will react to the proposals by making particular nearby move to expand on activities as of now set up. “We have a shared commitment with our students and staff to do more, and better, to ensure every student is safe and can study in a society and a university community where respect is paramount,” (Professor Gardner)
Based on the above information, it is clear that the “Respect.Now.Always” campaign program is a major step in the Australian education system. As a social movement its credibility and public trust has improved significantly since it was launched. The credibility of the campaign program is derived from its accuracy and consistency in the information that it provides on issues of violence and sexual harassment. Survey on sexual harassment in the country’s universities reveal that situation requires urgent intervention, and that women are more likely to fall as victims of sexual assault as compared to men. The report by the AHRC, further states that majority of those victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault have hardly made any formal complaint. Some of the main goals for the campaign program include creating a practice of “zero tolerance” to sexual harassment at the university setups and ensuring that the policy is integrated in all the universities across the country, creation of a violence free environment at the universities and creating an educational system that is respectful and peaceful. The support that the program receives from its main stakeholder, the government, has been vital in boosting its success rate towards ensuring that the rights of all the university students are protected. The Australian Human Rights Commission has also been on the frontline in ensuring that “Respect.Now.Always” protects the rights of all the university students and that cases of discrimination and sexual violence are thwarted. It should, however be noted that the goals pushed by the social movement may hardly be attainable in the short-run. It calls for the collective effort from the stakeholders such as the school’s administrations, the government and Human right bodies to ensure that the social movement completely eradicates issues of sexual harassment and violence in the Australian universities.
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