aBIGdeal project

ə bɪg diːl prəˈʤɛkt


1 : An awareness raising strategy centred around survivors of sexual harassment and assault sharing their stories to contest the culture that downplays sexual violence as ‘not a big deal'.

2 : creating awareness for the detrimental and often hidden effects on survivors.

3 : Aimed at addressing the cultural issue (normalisation) of sexual harassment and assault in the university setting, which in part leads to the issue of the underreporting of incidents and insufficient support for survivors. 

    In a submission to the UNHCR report, a respondent wrote,

     “Because my experiences have been downplayed by the people I have told, I never reported     them because I thought I must have been overreacting and it wasn’t sexual harassment, even     though...I have been distressed by what has happened”

scroll down for the video

TW: Sexual harassment and assault




‘[sexual assault and sexual harassment at universities] is just a trendy topic right now to excite a hysterical media’

Submissions to the UNHCR report, 'Changing the Course'

"A number of students stated that they believed there is no issue or problem with sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities.

These comments ranged from those who had never experienced or witnessed sexual assault or sexual harassment, to people who were openly sceptical that these behaviours happened at university at all."




"The Commission received submissions that highlighted some individuals’ belief that sexual assault and sexual harassment are not serious, and that people who experience them are just overreacting or are too easily offended. This is contrary to our findings and other existing research, which demonstrate the serious impact that sexual assault and sexual harassment can have on the mental health, education and social lives of those who experience them. Previous studies have found that when people believe that certain behaviours, such as sexual assault and sexual harassment, are not serious they are more likely to nd instances of violence against women acceptable, and less likely to intervene when they see these behaviours taking place.49"

"Out of all the people I know in uni nobody has been sexually harassed with the exceptions of feminists who think that catcalls and men looking at them for more than two seconds is rape. It’s an absolute non-issue.54"


"Who cares if you get offended? Nothing happens when you get offended. Frankly it’s stupid.55 "


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common reasons students cited for not reporting their experience

16% did not know to whom to report
12% did not know how to report
11% thought that the incident would be too hard to prove 


94% of students who were sexually harassed and 87% of students who were sexually assaulted did not make a report or complaint to their university.


Regarding sexual harassment, 68% of students who did not report said that they did not think their experience was serious enough to report and 53% did not think they needed help.


Women (72%) and those who were trans and gender diverse (73%) were more likely than men (57%) to indicate that they did not think the sexual harassment was serious enough for them to seek any support from the university.






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