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Inflating campus sexual assault statistics
- 275 campus sexual assaults a week is feminist disinformation.
In recent weeks our proud Teal Independents have been busy showing their feminist credentials by supporting student activists seeking to force universities “to do more” about sexual assault on campus. "All of us women who have attended tertiary facilities in Australia know someone who has been raped while at university," pronounced Dr Monique Ryan. Well, perhaps in your circles, Monique.
Wentworth’s Allegra Spender was on ABC radio jumping on board the ABC's latest propaganda claim - that 275 people are sexually assaulted on our campuses each week.
Is that disinformation, or simply misinformation? This wild 275 headline figure has provided useful propaganda for media stories supporting Education Minister Jason Clare’s recent attack on the universities.
The ABC attributes the statistic to the 2021 National Student Safety Survey. Yet Universities Australia, who ran the survey, said the 275-a-week claim was not in their survey results. It appears to have been cooked up by End Rape on Campus (EROC) activists who extrapolated from the tiny 2.7% of the student population who bothered to answer the survey to the whole student population and included it in a submission to the Federal Government.
(Funnily enough, they got it wrong by using 1.3 million for the student population, when government statistics show 1.6 M is nearer the mark. Haha, those pesky activists could have claimed 339 rapes a week if they’d got their sums right!)
The manufactured statistic was derived from an extremely dubious statistical manoeuvre, specifically warned against by the Australian Human Rights Commission which ran the previous survey. The Commission stressed the respondents were “self-selected students who were motivated to respond” which means these responses “cannot be regarded as representative of the Australian university student population as a whole.”
It's rather like counting up the number of different models of car in a smash repair shop and using this to warn drivers about comparative safety of vehicles.
Note that this calculation was based on the tiny 1.1% of students answering the survey who claimed to have been sexually assaulted in the previous year – using the broadest possible definition which included any sexual contact such as being kissed as well as any sexual activity involving drugs or alcohol. (About half of these assaults weren’t actually on campus but took place in private homes, clubs and other outside locations. So, they weren’t campus sexual assaults at all.
Clearly, that measly result was very disappointing for the feminist activists who’d worked so hard to try to get these numbers up. Look at this social media post from EROC zealots announcing a social media event to keep people company while they complete their surveys. Hmm, surely that’s rather like helping someone fill in their slip at the ballot box.
So EROC corrupted the survey by manipulating responses but were so disappointed with the minimal 1.1% result that they were inspired to come up with the 275-a-week concoction.
This manufactured statistic was endlessly quoted by not only the ABC but also Greens Senator Larissa Waters, and all manner of feminist groups who have jumped on the bandwagon to attack the universities.
Jason Clare has responded by giving EROC just what they always wanted - namely an “expert” independent taskforce to make sure the universities toe their line. And who’s got the gig to run this show? Patty Kinnersly, the CEO of Our Watch – Australia’s main organisation for promoting male-hating domestic violence misinformation. Kinnersly is to be given oversight of our kangaroo courts and the massive Sexual Assault and Harassment (SASH) bureaucracy running rampant in our universities.
Such an oversight body had long been a goal for the activists. They worked on Malcolm Turnbull’s woke education Minister, Simon Birmingham, who had the taskforce on the drawing board before Turnbull was turfed out and Birmingham lost his job. When that happened, as mentioned recently in The Saturday Paper, the Minister’s adviser sent an email to one of the activists saying, “We were so close!”
With this Labor government so keen to act as a feminist lapdog, times are good for the campus activists. In the name of keeping women safe on campus, the taskforce will require universities to be transparent about their responses to sexual violence incidents, promote more training of students and staff in “respectful behaviour”, more information about where to report incidents, more consistent and accessible complaint processes. Sanctions will be applied to recalcitrant universities.
It’s enough to drive Vice Chancellors to drink. They’ve already had years of bending over backwards trying to appease the zealots driving this whole circus. In the year following the release of the previous (2016) survey – which, as I explained at the time, showed universities were very safe places for young women - the sector introduced 800 new initiatives against sexual violence, rolling out respectful relationships and sexual consent programs, specialist counselling, first responder training, safety apps, college-based initiatives. The list goes on.
Most worrying of all was the truly Kafkaesque kangaroo court system set in place across the university sector, with accused students instantly suspended from university, publicly shamed, and facing secretive committees intent on believing all complainants and denying accused men normal legal protections. Thousands of male students have had their education destroyed and lives ruined. See my website for videos and blogs telling some of their stories.
Universities did all this but still it was never enough. Just look at the efforts made by woke ANU Nobel Prize winning Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt, who, ever since he was appointed, has been kowtowing to feminist bullies determined to paint his esteemed institution as a hot bed of sexual violence.
In his first year he featured in local newspapers grovelling to tearful girls claiming to be victims of a “rape crisis” and announced he would put “unlimited resources” into “this wicked problem.” After four years of constant effort, protesters interrupted a university speech claiming he still wasn’t doing enough. “Your Nobel Prize isn’t helping you now,” screamed one protester.
Earlier this month ANU students held their sixth annual rally against the “ongoing crisis of sexual violence at the university.” Phoebe Denham, a former student, was quoted in a local newspaper reporting that when she left school planning to go to the ANU, her friends were horrified: “Had I not seen the statistics? How could I possibly be safe if I move to ANU?”
Universities quake in fear that they will find themselves in this cruel spotlight, under attack from the feminist rabble for some claimed failure in their efforts to keep women safe. Such is the state of terror that one university recently banned the use of their normal email system for discussion of SASH matters. All such communication must now be printed off and put in the little yellow envelopes to be delivered by internal couriers!
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Is it any wonder that many of the bosses of our university are ready to throw in the towel? They’ve realised that no matter what they do the activists will cook up more manufactured statistics to claim there’s still a problem. “Many believe the pendulum has swung too far already,” says a senior administrator who wanted to remain anonymous, pointing to recent prominent campus rape cases which ended up being thrown out of court, with the universities admonished for damaging young men’s lives by automatically believing dubious complainants.
Witness Alex Matters. I first wrote about this former ANU law student’s extraordinary story some months ago but last month he was interviewed on Sky News by Sharri Markson. How embarrassing for the ANU that the girl at the centre of the Matters court case had an official role on their SASH student staff when she found out that someone else had accused her regular fuck-buddy, Alex Matters, of rape. She threw Matters under the bus with her own absurd allegations which later fell apart in court. Matters has been found not guilty of all charges and little Ms Advocate exposed as a lying, manipulative vixen.
And then there was the harrowing tale published last month in the Weekend Australian about a Sydney University student, Jacob, who also had his life destroyed by false rape allegations. Jacob’s lawyer, Sydney SC Tom Molomby was scathing about the woman who fabricated the accusations against him, describing her as “Ruthless. Remorseless. Shameless. Calculating. Cruel.” I urge you to read this revealing case – see here. After a 14-day trial, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, the jury took two hours to find Jacob not guilty. The judge required the prosecution to pay defence costs – showing this case should not have ended up in court. Jacob had been thrown out of the university right after the accusations were made.
With the media finally exposing the tragic impact of such cases on the lives of these young men, is it any wonder universities are wondering how they ended up caught up in this mess?
I’m told many Vice Chancellors breathed a sigh of relief back in 2019 when the brave former Education Minister Dan Tehan told a conference of the university regulator TEQSA that universities should get out of the whole territory. That was just after a Queensland Supreme Court case ruled universities have no business adjudicating sexual assault – which unfortunately was overruled in an appeal the following year.
A few months ago, there were signs that some universities were prepared to stand up against the feminist onslaught when Universities Australia shelved a proposed new student consent program following objection from some vice-chancellors. The Saturday Paper sneered that this was due to concerns about its explicit nature. But why would universities sign up for another attempt to indoctrinate students with the feminist spin on conducting sexual relationships when they know that even students get the message, activists will still claim an ongoing crisis?
A university library officer mentioned that when they introduced 24/7 opening hours for their university library kids started showing up dressed as if they were going on a date night for pre-booked private study rooms. Let’s face it, there’s no way to control the behaviour of 1.6 million young adults, many of whom are having their first taste of life free from parental supervision.
Given that the sexual consent courses teach female students that they’ve been raped if they drink and have sex, and that “staring” is sexual harassment, it’s clear that the feminist view of sexual relationships provides constant fuel for the accusations destined to end up in the campus kangaroo courts. One well-meaning Vice Chancellor who decided to personally monitor a SASH hotline found herself confronted with late night emails from girls complaining boys were staring at them.
Naturally the universities are told they would be victim blaming if they were to promote initiatives that could make a difference – such as finding ways of controlling drinking of male and female students. And encouraging women to know their own minds and clearly express decisions around consent, rather than loading the whole responsibility on the shoulders of young men.
The whole business has long been a mug’s game for the universities and the easily-led Albanese government is about to make matters a lot worse – for universities and the young men in their care who deserve fair treatment. The campus kangaroo courts are just disgraceful - I’ll post an update on some of our campus cases next week.