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By Afiqah Sulaiman
Several sexual harassment and assault incidents on campus have sparked calls from Murdoch University’s Guild Council and Women’s Collective for more lighting and CCTV cameras.
Yakira Venagiam, Women’s Representative at The Guild, says many students, particularly women, are backing this campaign as they know it’s an ongoing and serious issue.
“I’ve had people telling me about certain (incidents) that’s happened to them in the carparks at night,” she says.
“Some have even been attacked and have had their belongings stolen from their cars.
“My friends and I have also had to move our cars together simply because of how dark it is outside,” says Venagiam.
She says the team has completed a full survey of lighting in carparks and around the campus. It’s also come up with a mapped guide of the changes it believes are needed.
So far, 411 people have signed the online petition to show their support for the campaign.
Venagiam also had a say into the making of MurdochSafe a mobile app that allows users to get immediate security support on campus during emergencies.
Murdoch Security Manager, Kay Rockley, says the app has been successful as it’s made reporting security issues easier and faster.
He’s also aware of the campaign and is in the process of implementing change.
“I think it’s great that Yakira has taken a proactive stance towards increasing awareness about campus security.
“A lot of people can be complacent about security issues, so it’s important that it’s taken seriously,” says Rockley.
He says that Murdoch’s security services are focusing on more lights and cameras in the carparks at the South Street campus, and upgrades are planned in coming months.
If you or anyone you know has been impacted by sexual assault help and support is available by calling 1800 572 224. This hotline is operated by trauma counsellors at Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. There are also a number of services available at ReachOut.Com for more information.