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Ending sexual violence through empowerment, education and activism

24 November 2023 at 9:00 am
Ed Krutsch
Camille Schloeffel is the Founder of The STOP Campaign, a grassroots intersectional feminist organisation addressing sexual violence in tertiary learning communities.

Ed Krutsch | 24 November 2023 at 9:00 am


Ending sexual violence through empowerment, education and activism
24 November 2023 at 9:00 am


Camille Schloeffel was awarded the 2020 Peter Mitchell Churchill Fellowship to explore ways activists and universities can work together to prevent sexual violence on campus, and traveled to the US, Canada and the UK in late 2022 to undertake this research. As a survivor herself, she is passionate about ending sexual violence in all its forms and has dedicated her time to leading various prevention initiatives and supporting others to share their truths. Camille is this weeks Pro Bono Australia change maker.

Describe your career trajectory and how you got to your current position.

In 2018, I founded The STOP Campaign. My work with STOP is fully volunteer and informed by my own lived experience and expertise as a survivor of sexual violence, student leader in a residential college, and passionate activist for preventing sexual violence. Up until recently, my day job was developing federal government policy related to criminal justice responses to sexual violence, online harms and child sexual abuse. Now, I work in the community sector developing resources that aid in preventing sexual violence for people with disability. I am also excited to complete my Master of Social Work at the end of 2023 and look forward to moving into a more person-centred role in the sexual violence advocacy and crisis response sector in the years to come. 

What does this role mean to you?

All of my work in the sexual violence sector is extremely important to me, especially my work with The STOP Campaign. I am really proud of the supportive movement that STOP has become and our evidence-informed and trauma-informed peer initiatives that are making a difference in people’s lives, specifically the College Program and Safe Response Toolkit projects. On a more personal level, the work we have done on STOP is so unique within Australia and I know that if I had access to something like the Safe Response Toolkit when I was growing up that it would have changed my life for the better. 

Take us through a typical day of work for you.

A day in my life at the moment looks like developing resources on consent and responding to disclosures of sexual violence for supporters of people with disability from 9-5, then working on STOP’s projects, such as delivering College Program sessions with university students or distributing Safe Response Toolkits to organisations. I love working with a wide range of people with diverse lived experiences and contributing to sexual violence prevention on the ground by creating resources or delivering workshops. I also have recently started engaging in more national advocacy on this issue through our recent #IDeserveSafety campaign that saw 52 people share their experiences of harm in university student accommodation settings and subsequently bring forward 25 recommendations to the federal government for consideration.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered in your career, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge I have encountered in my career is how university staff and executives have done everything in their power to silence me and other sexual violence advocates. The way they have targeted me and others on STOP is disgusting and is by far the most significant barrier to creating positive change on campus. They have actively blocked prevention programs from going ahead, bullied staff and students who engage with us, and sought to destroy my reputation in any way possible. However, the barriers put up by institutions to silence victims, survivors, activists and advocates has only fueled my fire to keep fighting against the status quo. Even with a target on my back, I refuse to be silent in the face of adversity as I know that our work to prevent and respond to sexual violence is more important.

If you could go back in time, what piece of advice would you give yourself as you first embarked on your career?

I would tell myself that I am worthy and deserving to have my voice heard and to sometimes put myself first. I struggle to put into practice any boundaries when it comes to supporting others, whether it be emotional support or picking up their work so they can have a break. It’s okay to take a break and disconnect from doing the work. 

How do you unwind after work?

Unwinding at the end of the day can be difficult when I’m jumping from paid work to STOP most days. Between these commitments, I always try to walk home to unwind, while on the phone to a friend or tuning into an audiobook/podcast. On the days I can have the night to myself, I always try to do some mindful cooking, hit the gym, and spend quality time with my partner.

What was the last thing you watched, read or listened to?

The last thing I watched was Season 4 of Sex Education (love!!), and the last thing I listened to was the audiobook of Chanel Miller’s Know My Name. 

Ed Krutsch  |  @ProBonoNews

Ed Krutsch works part-time for Pro Bono Australia and is also an experienced youth organiser and advocate, he is currently the national director of the youth democracy organisation, Run For It.

Tags : sexual abuse,


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