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Report reveals extent of sexual harassment at Australian universities

A damning report from the Australian Human Rights Commission has found one-in-five university students has been sexually harassed.

Tom Elliott spoke with Dr Lauren Rosewarne about the issue, asking her whether it was a surprise.

“It depends on how we define it,” Dr Rosewarne said.

“We’ve seen similar surveys across the course of a woman’s life – any woman, not connected to a university – that it’s likely to be a one-in-three chance that she’s had some form of harassment.

“So is one-in-five on campus any surprise? Probably not.”

But questions have been raised about what exactly constitutes harassment.

Tom Elliott said it was human nature to look at somebody you found attractive.

“Looking at each other is social engagement – staring in a prolonged fashion is harassment,” Dr Rosewarne explained.

“It’s not an easy topic to discuss because there is so much nuance.”

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