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Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Policy

1. Purpose

CIT seeks to create a safe and supportive environment for students, staff and visitors and to reduce and eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault, and to support those who experienced it. This policy also identifies relevant legislation and guidelines that may apply.

If you wish to report an incident you can email to citsafercommunity@cit.edu.au, call CIT Counselling on (02) 6207 3290 or in person at a CIT Student Support Office.  If it involves criminal behaviour, the matter may be referred to the ACT Police as well as CIT.


2. Scope

This policy applies to all sexual harassment and sexual assault reported by CIT Students, CIT staff or occurred at CIT Campuses.


3. Principles

3.1 All CIT students, staff and visitors have the right to be safe on campus.

3.2 All CIT students and staff should respect others and must not sexually harass or assault people in person or harass online. CIT does not tolerate sexual harassment or sexual violence.

3.3 CIT will support students, staff and visitors who report sexual harassment or sexual assault including facilitating access to counselling, or other services.

3.4 Incidences involving students can be reported in person at CIT Counselling or by email to citsafercommunity@cit.edu.au. Incidents involving staff can be reported to CIT's HR team and/or referred to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If any incident involves criminal behaviour, the matter may be referred to ACT Policing as well as CIT.

3.5 All reports of sexual harassment or sexual assault received by CIT will be managed in accordance with the CIT Privacy Policy. This means that all personal information collected by CIT is used only for the purpose it is collected and will only be shared on a need to know basis. However, in case of sexual assault CIT must report to Child and Youth Protection Services where the victim is under 18 years of age.

3.6 The complainant and respondent are entitled to fair, respectful and timely resolution of the reported matters in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. The student's enrolment or academic progress will not be jeopardised by a student choosing to report the incident.

3.7 CIT cannot investigate sexual assault as it is a criminal offence which therefore requires investigations to be undertaken by the Police. While CIT would encourage every matter involving allegations of sexual assault to be referred to the Police, the decision for referral rests with the victim. Timeframes for resolution of matters referred to the Police are dependent on the Australian Federal Police investigation.

3.8 For allegations of sexual assault CIT will encourage the victim to access either the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre or CIT Counselling, who can explain options available, provide the victim with support and referral to appropriate services.

3.9 CIT will seek to provide interim academic arrangements where possible, if these are needed to support the victim's right to continue study and to provide fairness to the alleged perpetrator until proceedings have been resolved.

3.10 If the reported incident falls under the misconduct of a sexual harassment nature by a CIT student, the matter will be dealt with under Unsatisfactory Student Behaviour Policy. If the reported incident falls under the misconduct by a staff member, the matter will be dealt with under the Public Sector Management ACT 1994 and Public Sector Management Standards 2016.

3.11 For the reported incident does not fall within the above, the matter will be assessed and dealt with case by case and CIT will advise the complainant and respondent of the process as soon as possible. Unless there is a real or perceived conflict of interest, the lead on supporting students will be CIT Student Support and CIT Counselling.

3.12 If a person making a report is not satisfied with the process, or considers that the outcome is not justified, an internal review can be requested through the CIT Chief Executive Officer.

3.13 The person making a report can request the issue not to be pursued at any time during the process. However, depending on the nature of the case, CIT may be required to continue with its inquiries in a discreet manner to fulfil CIT's duty of care to students, staff and visitors.


4. Documentation

Legislation

Children and Young People Act 2008

Crimes Act 1900

Discrimination Act 1991

Higher Education Support Act 2003 (Commonwealth)

Human Rights Act 2004

Public Sector Management Act 1994 (in particular sections 6 and 9)

Public Sector Management Standards 2016

Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth)

Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011

Policies and Guidelines

ACT Integrity Policy

ACT Public Service Code of Conduct

ACT Public Service Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Framework

ACT Public Service Preventing Work Bullying Guidelines

Resolving Staff Workplace Issues Policy

Resolving Staff Workplace Issues Procedures

Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy

Bullying and Harassment Prevention Procedures

CIT Staff Protocol: Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Harassment at CIT (internal access only)

Equity Policy

Complaints Students and Community Members Policy

Complaints Students and Community Members Procedures

Unsatisfactory Student Behaviour Policy

Unsatisfactory Student Behaviour Procedures


5. Definitions

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an unwelcome and uninvited sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes:

  • Unwelcome hugging, touching, kissing or other inappropriate physical contact;
  • Inappropriate staring or leering;
  • Sexual gestures, indecent exposure, or pictures;
  • Sexually suggestive comments that make you feel offended;
  • Repeated or inappropriate invitations to go out on dates;
  • Intrusive questions about your personal life or physical appearance which make you feel offended; and/or
  • Requests or pressure to have sex.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is unacceptable physical behaviours where a person is forced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, which are criminal offences. It may be known as rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse or indecent assault.

All other terminologies used in this policy are consistent with definitions in the CIT Policy Glossary.


6. Policy Contact Officer

For more information regarding this policy contact the CIT Manager of Student Support or the CIT Executive Director,  Corporate Services.

Contact CIT Student Services on (02) 6207 3188 or email infoline@cit.edu.au.


7. Procedures

This policy is implemented through CIT Staff Protocol: Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Harassment at CIT. Authority to make changes to the procedures rests with the policy owner.


POLICY INFORMATION
Policy No: 2019/1837
Approved: May 2019
Next Review: September 2023
Category: Student Policies, Staff Policies, Corporate Policies
Policy Owner: Executive Director, Corporate Services
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