Former Monash University student alleges she was sexually abused by a staff member

A former Monash University student who alleges she was “sexually abused and harassed” by her controlling male mentor has launched legal action against the university.

The woman – who was a PhD student between 2021 and 2022 – alleges the staff member, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sexually assaulted her repeatedly.

The writ – filed in the County Court this month – states the woman, now aged in her 30s, is seeking damages from Monash University because it owed her a duty of care to keep her safe.

Arnold Thomas & Becker lawyer Aki Alabella, nee Munir who is representing the woman, said she had to continue to interact with the staff member in order to complete her PhD studies because he remained employed at the university.

“The psychological impact was so profound that our client suffered significant psychological distress which has affected her life, her studies and her future employment prospects,” she said.

“We are alleging that the university owed our client a duty of care to keep her safe and that the duty of care was breached due to the man’s gross misconduct and failing to have appropriate measures in place to prevent such incidents from occurring,” Ms Munir said.

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