Need emergency assistance?

If you or someone you know is hurt or in immediate danger: 

  • call the emergency services on 000
  • call Swinburne Security on +61 3 9214 3333 for 24-hour assistance including non-life-threatening incidences.

If you’ve been affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment, you may also wish to report the incident to Victoria Police.

Report it to Safer Community (non-emergency support)

If you, or someone you know, is being affected by inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, Safer Community wants to know. Report an incident online or email

The important thing is to talk to someone. We are here for you. No matter what happened, or when. We can talk to you about your options and connect you with help. You decide if you want support, to report the incident, or both.

What is sexual assault?

The term can refer to a broad range of sexual behaviours that make an individual feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened. Sexual assault is a crime and includes rape, sexual touching and child sexual abuse.

Consent must be given and it should be informed and free from intimidation. A person who is asleep or under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot give informed consent. You can refer to the Consent Factsheet [PDF 454KB] for more information.

Examples of sexual assault:

  • Unwanted touching, hugging, fondling or kissing
  • Being made to look at, or pose for, pornographic photos
  • Public exposure
  • Voyeurism (e.g. being watched doing intimate things without permission)
  • Incest
  • Rape

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is when a person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours to another person, and/or engages in any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to another person, including through digital or online means, that is offensive, humiliating or intimidating.

Examples of sexual harassment:

  • Intrusive questions or statements about a person’s private life
  • Repeatedly asking a person for sex or dates
  • Offensive sexual comments or jokes
  • Sexually suggestive behaviour such as leering or staring

How to seek support or report an incident

If you’ve experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, there are steps you can take. You decide if you want support, to report the incident, or both. Our factsheet can be a good place to start if you're seeking information.

Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment student factsheet – PDF [500KB]

Download a factsheet about sexual assault and harassment, including support service information and resources.

Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment student factsheet – Word document [3MB]

Download a factsheet about sexual assault and harassment, including support service information and resources, in Microsoft Word.

Need support?

Use this help guide to help navigate and understand the options available to you. We are here to help you – no matter what happened, or when it happened. Email Safer Community via or call the after-hours support line on 1300 854 144.

Download the flyer

Seek advice and support

You can choose to receive support or report an incident at any time. There are services and resources available to help you handle a traumatic experience if you, or someone you know, have been sexually assaulted or harassed.

Contact Safer Community by email to for a confidential discussion about your options.

Student counselling

If you’ve been affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment, counselling may help. Register and make an appointment with Swinburne’s counselling services or call +61 3 9214 8483.

Drop-in crisis help is also available for students. Learn more about our psychology and counselling services.

Psychology clinic 

The Swinburne psychology clinic offers one-on-one and group counselling services to help address and overcome the trauma of sexual assault in a safe and supporting environment.

Victoria Police, Sexual Offence And Child Abuse Investigations Team (SOCIT)

National emergency response and reporting.
In emergencies call 000 (search for SOCIT)

Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line

For confidential crisis counselling outside business hours.
1800 806 292

National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Service

24/7 phone and online counselling service for victims of family violence.
1800 737 732

Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (ECASA)

Free counselling and support service for people who have experienced sexual assault either recently or in the past.
+61 3 9870 7330 and search “ECASA”

Men’s Referral Service (No To Violence)

Advice and support for men concerned about their anger or violence towards their family.
1300 766 491


Free, 24-hour telephone crisis support in addition to face-to-face and online consultations.
13 11 14


Specialist family violence service based in Melbourne’s eastern region.
+ 61 3 0259 4200


Advice, strategies and support for cyberbullying, as well as online reporting.
1800 880 176

The Swinburne after-hours support line is available to help you 24 hours a day on weekends and public holidays, and outside business hours on weekdays (before 9am and after 5pm). Call 1300 854 144 or text +61 4 8888 4145.

Report the incident

You can report an incident to Victoria Police or to Swinburne’s Safer Community team at any time. You don’t have to make a formal report if you don’t want to.

When reporting an incident, you will receive confidential advice on next steps to take and be referred on to relevant support services.

It’s helpful to have a trusted friend or family member act as your support person when making contact with the police or the university about the incident.

When making a report to Swinburne, you always have control over what actions are taken. We will respect your privacy and how you want to deal with the matter.

You can choose to report an incident to the university anonymously if you prefer. This will enable Swinburne to provide general advice and support services information.

Victoria Police

Sexual Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Teams (SOCIT)

Swinburne Safer Community

Report the incident to Safer Community or email

Independent advocacy service

Swinburne Student Life provides policy advice, support and guidance on academic issues, and advocates for best outcomes in complaints, grievances, appeals and misconduct hearings. If you’ve been affected by assault or harassment, contact the team today for advice surrounding your studies.

Learn more

Supporting a victim of sexual assault

If someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed, there are certain things you can do to help:

  • Make sure they feel safe and believed and do your best to make the person feel safe and supported.
  • Listen, don’t judge. If someone shares their difficult story with you, listen and respond sensitively. It’s important not to ask too many questions or make them feel judged. Sexual assault is not the fault of the victim/survivor.
  • Inform them and encourage them to seek support. Encourage them to seek support if they choose and help them to find the support services available to them and how they can make a formal report.
  • Acknowledge your own feelings and seek support if you need. If you’re worried or unsure what to do, speak to a trained professional.

Respect. Now. Always. 

At Swinburne, we’re committed to the Respect. Now. Always. National initiative

Respect. Now. Always. is a world-first, long-term commitment made by all 39 universities in Australia that aims to prevent sexual violence and improve how universities respond to and support those who’ve been affected by sexual assault and harassment.

See it. Report it.

If you, or someone you know have been affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment, or feel uncomfortable due to inappropriate behaviour, report it to Safer Community. Reports to Safer Community can be made anonymously online.

Report it