A survey into the sexual assault of university students has revealed more than half of the women who attend Australian campuses have been harassed in the last year.
The 'Change the course' Australian Human Rights Commission survey, released on Tuesday, details how 'women are almost twice as likely as men to be harassed, and more than three times as likely to be assaulted.'
Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt issued an apology to students across Australia after the results were released, stating 'one incident is more than we should accept.
The Australian Human Right's Commission survey, released Tuesday, into the sexual assault of university students has revealed 51 per cent of women who attend Australian campuses have been harassed in the last year
He called the report 'difficult reading' and said that students would have the full support of university when reporting sexual assault or harassment.
'We must – and we will – do better. Every member of our community has a right to expect they will be safe,' he said
'This level of sexual harassment and sexual assault is not acceptable in our universities, in our workplaces, in our city, or anywhere in our society.
'The shock must be met with action. Perpetrators will not be welcome in our community.'
The survey was commissioned by Universities Australia after claims institutions were covering up claims from victims.
Results came from more than 30,000 students across 39 universities and showed that 94 per cent of those harassed and 87 per cent of those assaulted did not make a formal complaint or report.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt apologised in his statement to students, claiming 'one incident is more than we should accept.
The Vice-Chancellor called the report 'difficult reading' and said that students would have the full support of university, who were implementing all the Human Rights Commission's proposed recommendations
The survey was commissioned by Universities Australia after claims institutions were covering up claims from victims, with results from 30,000 students across 39 universities
Of those who reported assaults or harassment, 51 per cent knew the perpetrator, who were most likely to be fellow students and men.
Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins said the Australian Human Rights Commission heard numerous accounts of women being sexually assaulted by people they described as close friends who they trusted.
The impacts of being assaulted by a friend from university were often severe, Ms Jenkins said.
'In submissions people described feeling anxious about being on campus because they were afraid of seeing the perpetrator.
'In some cases the fear was so great that the students dropped out of university altogether.'
One woman revealed she was raped by a senior student leader running an Orientation Week or "O-Week" camp, organised by student clubs and societies to introduce first-year students to university life.
'She later heard that he had previously raped other female students at these camps and no action had been taken,' Ms Jenkins said.
The results also showed that 94 per cent of those harassed and 87 per cent of those assaulted did not make a formal complaint and that 51 per cent of people knew the perpetrator
ANU led the way in revealing their results,with close to 1,500 of their students taking part and that 841 of those claiming they had experienced sexual harassment last year
ANU led the way in revealing their results, stating that close to 1,500 of their students took part in the survey and that 841 of those claimed they had experienced sexual harassment in 2016.
Among those, 116 people stated they had been the victim of a sexual assault, of which 52 cases occurred on campus.
They also disclosed that 74 per cent of the incidents involved fellow students as the perpetrator, while five per cent came from a lecturer or tutor.
Results from the wider survey saw postgraduate students being nearly twice as likely as undergraduate students to have been sexually harassed by a lecturer or tutor.
Students from the Canberra university