1. I believe everyone should be safe from interpersonal violence, sexual harassment and assault
2. I believe harassment and assault are the fault of the person using violence, not the person subjected to violence
3. I pledge to help my campus be a safe place for everyone
We attend university first and foremost to gain an education; it is unacceptable that anyone would have their education compromised by concerns about safety on campus. Unfortunately, we know that interpersonal violence occurs on our campus to students from all walks of life and that this violence often goes unreported.
The Pledge is a campaign being run by the ANU Women’s Department and ANUSA this week, based on the simple idea that if we all pledge not to use violence, campus will be a safer place for everyone. It is a reminder that if we do not support the use of interpersonal and sexual violence, we need to stand up and affirm our opposition to it. It is saying that we are all capable of controlling our own actions, and that the use of violence is a choice.
There is a common misconception that an individual’s circumstance or behaviour correlates to their likelihood of experiencing violence. What a person wears, how they act, or where they are has no bearing on the use of violence against them. Instead, the responsibility lies with those who choose to use violence, and the community which allows this to occur.
The Pledge is also about expanding our understanding about what violence is. Violence is not limited to assault – it also includes verbal harassment, comments or noises, groping and other unwanted contact. We must stand together to say that these violent behaviours will not be accepted on our campus.
We can achieve a safe campus together, by promising not to use violence, by promising to stand up to violence and victim – blaming behaviour, by treating others with respect. It is a shared responsibility. Imagine if everyone who used the ANU campus pledged not to use violence.
Will you take the Pledge?
If you would like to sign the Pledge, the Women’s Department will be at a stall in Union Court from 9am – 12pm on Wednesday 13th August. You arealso invited to attend a celebration of the Pledge campaign from 6pm, Thursday 14th August in the Student Space: https://www.facebook.com/events/269879879880437/