Open Letter to Australia Awards Scholarships, DFAT and the University of Melbourne

Responding to the allegations of sexual assault perpetrated by UII Alumni, AAS scholarship recipients, and University of Melbourne Australia post-graduate students against 30 female students and alumni of UII Yogyakarta, We, New Men’s Alliance, a national pro-feminist men and women network, fully support survivors to speak up and take legal actions against the alleged perpetrators.

For us, sexual harassment is a crime and a violation against human rights. This kind of violence occurs due to an imbalance of power relations between the perpetrator and the survivors. The survivors often experience distress, fear, anxiety, and trauma. Due to the situation, they were reluctant to speak up. They are also worried about being stigmatized and blamed for the violence. The survivors are also scared for being distrusted, especially when the perpetrator is publicly respected for his academic reputation and his religious authority. So, it is crucial for survivors to get support from various parties to make them brave and strong to defend their rights and dignity as human beings.

We call the Australia Awards Scholarships director, DFAT officials and the University of Melbourne as sponsor and service provider, to :

  1. Conduct investigation by considering the safety and security of the survivors.
  2. Support the survivors to report their cases by providing the necessary assistance along with an existing advocacy network that is assisting the survivors.
  3. Temporarily suspend the scholarships and VISA of the suspect during the investigation process
  4. Make a fair and just decision based on the results of the investigation.
  5. Create a gender-responsive mechanism for AAS scholarship recruitment to prevent perpetrators of gender-based violence from getting access to scholarships.

New Men Alliance
May 11, 2020

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