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Your voice can help create a safer place

23 August 2021

Help make uni safer: join DUSA President Emily and Res student Jasmine in doing this national survey

Do you feel safe at uni? What kinds of things make you feel uncomfortable or worried about your personal safety? Have you ever had a bad experience as a student – either in a physical space on campus or in an online environment? This could be an incidence of sexual harm, bullying, harassment, trolling, stalking or something else. Has the COVID situation made you feel less safe while studying?

Or have you had a positive experience where you really noticed feeling safe, supported or respected while studying? What about this situation was helpful or empowering for you?  

These vitally important questions form the basis of the upcoming National Student Safety Survey (NSSS), commissioned by Universities Australia and administered by the Social Research Centre (SRC). The NSSS is being delivered to all Australian universities this September, and builds on the first survey on sexual harassment and assault conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2016.

At Deakin, we want you to feel connected, safe, included and respected, and so we encourage you to participate in this independent survey. Read on to find out how it works, and why DUSA President Emily and Res student Jasmine think it’s so important.

What it’s about

The NSSS is designed to help universities understand what’s happening in their student communities in 2021. It will collect data on the scale and nature of university student perceptions of safety and experiences of sexual harm.

The findings will help universities to understand the context in which these behaviours occur, and how students seek help and report incidents. It will also help to improve how universities assist students who are affected or need safety and wellbeing services.

How it works

A broad cross-section of students will be randomly selected, so if you’re chosen to participate you’ll receive an email or SMS from the SRC with instructions on how to complete the survey between Monday 6 September and Sunday 3 October. Participation is voluntary and involves completing a short online survey that should only take you about 10–12 minutes.

If you’re not randomly selected, you can still have your say by visiting the NSSS website during the survey period. 

No matter your circumstances, views or experiences, your participation in the survey will help ensure the results accurately represent the views of all students at Deakin. All responses will be kept confidential and you won’t be able to be identified.

Why it’s so important

Collective voices are powerful and impossible to ignore. You can help to make a difference for your peers across the Deakin community and the wider university landscape in Australia. Here’s what two current Deakin students think:

DUSA President Emily Sagolj:

It’s super important to take part in the NSSS because it plays a critical role in shaping the improvement of Deakin in the realm of student safety.
The survey will aim to measure students’ perceptions and experiences of safety, views towards campus life and experiences of sexual harm.
Although discussing sexual harm or any other prior experiences of not feeling safe can be really uncomfortable, the survey results are confidential and each page of the survey has Deakin support listed just in case you need someone to talk to.
Regardless of whether you participate or not, I recommend promoting the survey as much as possible. The more participants, the more that Deakin and universities in general can see how they can improve every student’s university journey in the future!

Res student Jasmine De Lai :

As a student living on Res, I think it’s important to be able to have a say about the environment we live in and share with many others.
We should all feel safe on campus, and the NSSS is one of the many ways to ensure our safety is prioritised.

Content warning and support options

The NSSS includes sensitive topics. Please make your own assessment on the suitability of this content for you. We also acknowledge that completing the survey during a time of COVID-19 restrictions, when you may already feel isolated or vulnerable, may be especially difficult.

If you require support before, during or after completing this survey, or at any other time, please contact Safer Community – Deakin’s central point of contact for behaviour that makes you or others feel unsafe. This includes reports and disclosures of sexual harm, and domestic and family violence. Contact us during business hours for confidential assistance.

If you or someone else needs immediate emergency help, please contact Victoria Police by calling Triple Zero (000) or Deakin Security on 1800 062 579. If you need to leave a violent situation, you can – regardless of any restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

You can also contact off-campus specialist services:

You can find out more about the survey at


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