What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is sexual activity that a person has not consented to.

It doesn't matter when it happened, whether it occurred on campus, at a University event, during a placement, or in your personal life away from the University - support is always available.

Get help and information

We can talk to you about your rights and options - including where and how you can report what has happened. You are entitled to choose the path that is best for you. Sometimes we will need to take steps to protect the safety of our community - we will always discuss this with you first.

If you’ve experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment or have a friend that has, you can contact Safer Community.  

We can provide specialist support, help you with safety planning, connect you with practical support services (e.g  housing, financial, legal).  You may require special consideration, or support around timetabling or other academic assistance.

We can connect you with Victoria’ specialist sexual assault counselling and advocacy service - the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA).  RMIT Counsellors are also available.

You can make a complaint.  We can help.

Do I have to make a complaint? No.  

What can the University do if I don’t make a complaint?

We can provide you with support and talk about your other options.

Can I change my mind and make a complaint later?  Yes

If I make a complaint what happens?

The matter will be investigated.  If it involves another student the investigation will be conducted by Student Governance Unit of the Academic Registrar’s Group.  If it involves a staff member, the investigation will be conducted by Human Resources.  The person investigating may need to speak with you about what has happened. You may want the support of a student rights officer, a family member or a friend. A member from Safer Community can also provide this support.

What happens next?

The university can’t make decisions about whether a crime has been committed. Instead, the complaint investigator will consider what happened and whether the university’s rules about behaviour have been broken. The University Student Conduct Board (for students) or HR (for staff) will make a decision about the outcome or penalty.

Will I have to attend?  No you don’t have to - your statement and the investigation findings can be used.  

Can I attend if I want to?  You can ask to attend and your request will be considered.

Victoria Police

Can the University make the report to the police?  

Usually the police will need to speak to the people directly involved - so we can't make a report for you. Victoria police have specialist teams to help with sexual offences, called Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCITs). We can support you to make a report to the police.

If you are under 18 years old, the law says we have to tell the police.

What will the police do?

The police will want to hear from you about what happened before they decide on the next step. If they think you are in immediate danger, they may apply to a magistrate for for an intervention order.

Do I have to report to the police?

No

Can I report to the police later?

Yes

Do I need a lawyer to report to the police?

No

What if I want to report anonymously?

SARA sara.org.au is the Sexual Assault Report Anonymously service.  It is run by South Eastern CASA and it provides de-identified details to assist policy identify crime hotspots and trends.

Where can I get support?

Sexual Assault and harassment

  • Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA House): provides 24 hour crisis care support following a sexual assault in the last two weeks and 24 hour telephone counselling and support.  RMIT has a CASA House counsellor on site 2 days a week for student support.
  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line: (1800 806 292): provides an after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for victim/survivors of both past and recent sexual assault.
  • 1800RESPECT: National telephone counselling service if you have experienced sexual assault or domestic family violence or domestic family violence.
  • QLife: a national telephone (1800 184 527) and web counselling service for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, families and friends.
  • Victorian Aboriginal Health Service provides health and support services to the Victorian Aboriginal community including crisis counselling via CASA.
  • Sexual Assault Report Anonymously (SARA): report a sexual assault anonymously.
  • Victorian Police Safety Advice: provides advice to victims of family violence, sexual assault or child abuse.
  • Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE): provides information, support and referrals to women with a phone support service and a walk-in centre.

What is sexual consent?

Giving your consent means that you freely agree and are entirely comfortable having sex or participating in a sexual act. Consent has to be continuous and on your terms - you can change your mind at any time.

There are situations where free agreement to sex (consent) isn't possible, including when you are unconscious, threatened, unable to understand consent or if you are under the legal age of consent.

Still confused about consent?