Camille Schloeffel: The STOP Campaign Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Brave survivor leads cultural change on uni campus
Passionate. Dedicated. Activist
Camille Schloeffel could have been put off by the cynics who said she was too young and inexperienced to start a student movement against sexual violence.
But driven by her own experience of sexual violence and a desire to help others, the Australian National University student persevered and successfully launched the STOP Campaign, which is bringing about cultural change on campus.
With her team of twenty-five volunteers, Camille is educating students about consent, becoming an effective bystander and students’ responsibilities to each other.
“Many students are fresh out of high school and have received limited education on healthy relationships and sexual health, which is where we come in.”
Camille says that as a sexual violence survivor it feels validating to be voted a Westfield Local Hero. “I am grateful that people are listening and noticing and making a big effort to be a part of the change by voting.”
She says sexual violence is a sensitive topic and working with survivors can be traumatising, so it has been “amazing to see” the movement grow. “It definitely shows the power of youth in being able to make a big change in their own community.
Since Camille launched her campaign, the university has updated several policies to tackle sexual misconduct.
“I am responsible for advocating that all residential colleges advertise that they have a sexual violence disclosure policy,” says Camille, a final-year Human Rights and Development Studies student and winner of the 2018 Fenner Hall Collegiate Award for outstanding service to the community.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.
The STOP Campaign will use its grant for marketing and to produce educational material to share stories of survivors, reduce stigma and raise awareness about the prevalence and impact of sexual violence.
“The grant means we can reach more people on campus and get out to other universities as well as reach more people in the Canberra community. It will also take a lot of fundraising stress off the students,” says Camille.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.