In 2020, I was awarded the 2020 Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to explore ways activists and universities can work together to prevent sexual violence on campus.
Now in 2022, I am finally embarking on an 11-week research journey to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, as well as attending an international conference in Mexico.
My project aims to identify new, practical ways for universities and activists to work together to prevent sexual violence and make Australian universities safer for all. In doing so, I am exploring the role of activists and the prevention methods they develop in comparison to formal institutional responses to sexual violence.
All in all, I am visiting 5 countries, interviewing more than 40 people and organisations and attending 3 conferences. This blog will serve to inform the community of my findings and the people I meet along the way.
I will be seeking to find:
New mechanisms of preventing sexual violence on campus through collaboration between university institutions, community organisations and activists, and
Models where these collaborative relationships have been productive and influenced positive change on campus.
In learning about the impact overseas, I will be producing recommendations for change in Australia - targeting all those who have a role to play in preventing sexual violence on campus.
Most importantly, my goal is to ensure that this project benefits the Australian community by:
Providing best practice examples of positive collaboration between activists and institutions,
Leveraging grassroots advocacy and activism, including my own experience, to inspire institutions to listen to students and enact substantial policy reform in their efforts to prevent sexual violence, and
Preventing sexual violence from occurring and keep everyone safe on university campuses.
The STOP Campaign
The STOP Campaign is a grassroots organisation and registered not-for-profit dedicated to empowering young people to create and sustain positive sociocultural change regarding sex and sexual violence by starting conversations and breaking down stigmas. We are focused on tackling sexual violence in Australian tertiary learning communities, through empowerment, education, activism and awareness. We are a volunteer-run intersectional feminist organisation that values intersectionality, integrity, respect and passion.
I founded The STOP Campaign when I was a living at Fenner Hall, a residential college at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. In just over six months we expanded to a committee of students across the university, all working together to curate a Campaign in a way that fosters growth, change and legitimacy. Now 5 years on, we have had more than 100 volunteers contribute to the Campaign and its growth, with a current membership of 68 individuals across the country and overseas.
To date, we have successfully launched the following impact initiatives:
Safe Response Toolkit (SRT): A Toolkit for Sexual Violence Victim-Survivors and Their Supporters - A physical and online resource that provides information to victim-survivors and their supporters about how to safely respond to sexual violence disclosures and access support services in the ACT.
The Empowerment Program - A program that provides a safe space for victim-survivors of sexual violence that cultivates growth, fosters empowerment, and builds a supportive community.
The College Program - A series of peer-led education and advocacy workshops with tertiary students in residential halls to prevent sexual violence and promote sexual wellbeing.
Sharing Stories - We provide a platform for community members, particularly victim-survivors, to share their stories through our zines, video series, blogs and social media.
Education and awareness - We create physical and online resources to educate the community on issues pertaining to sex and sexual violence, aiming to spark conversations, combat stigma surrounding sexual wellbeing and foster positive sociocultural change.
Following my Churchill Fellowship, I will seek to utilise my learnings, connections and experiences to foster change in the Australian tertiary education sector, through my work with The STOP Campaign and beyond.