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Sexual offences cover a wide range of sexual activity prohibited by criminal law including rape and sexual assault. Other behaviours such as voyeurism, exhibitionism, distribution of intimate images and forced involvement in pornographic media may also come within the definition of sexual offences. A sexual offence can occur in the context of family violence.

Terms such as ‘sexual assault’ are sometimes broadly used to refer to a range of behaviours that do not meet the legal definition. We have provided definitions below, which are used in criminal law in Victoria for rape and sexual assault, including what constitutes consent, penetration and sexual touching.

Definitions under Victorian legislation

The definitions below are taken from Victorian legislation, under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) (pdf 2.4mb) (The Act). You can find the full definitions (including all subsections) in The Act, which also defines the words used in these sections.


Support, advice and training

See below for:

Assistance at Monash University
Safer Community Unit contact

The Safer Community Unit understands there are difficult decisions to be made and provides a safe place where options can be explored.

The Safer Community Unit will provide an efficient and coordinated response to ensure the best available service to victims and other involved persons, to mitigate any ongoing risk.

Information and support provided by the Safer Community Unit includes:

  • advice and referrals for your ongoing safety and wellbeing needs
  • access to medical care, with your agreement
  • preservation of evidence, with your agreement
  • facilitation of access and transport to a Centre Against Sexual Assault, with your agreement
  • transport to the Victorian Police Sex Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team, with your agreement.
South East Centre Against Sexual Assault counsellor at University Counselling Service Provide staff and students who are victims of sexual assault with comprehensive support and intervention to address their needs.
Counselling Service Counselling Service will provide counselling and assistance to persons impacted by the behaviour.
Telephone counselling Available to students and staff after-hours for those who can't access face-to-face counselling.
Security Service Immediate attendance to a location on campus to provide assistance, advice, support and referral.
Medical and Health Service Medical and Health Service will provide medical consultations and specialist referrals. Individual doctors specialise in women's or men's health.
Community Legal Services (Monash) Free legal advice for the community.
External help
Provide women, children and men who are victims of sexual assault with comprehensive and timely support and intervention to address their needs.
SARA app This site allows you to report a sexual assault anonymously to the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault. Information can include when and where the incident took place and a description of the offender.
Sexual Assault Crisis line The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) 1800 806 292 is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past and recent sexual assault. SACL operates between 5pm weeknights through to 9am the next day and throughout weekends and public holidays.
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service Telephone counselling, advice and support.
Switchboard A free telephone and web counselling, referral and information service for the Victorian and Tasmanian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities and their supporters.
Emergency Services (police, ambulance, fire) Immediate attendance to serious and imminent risk.
Victoria Police Sex Offence and Child Abuse Investigation Team Victoria Police units providing a specialised response to adult victims of sexual assault and child victims of sexual and/or physical abuse.
Victoria Police Family Violence Officers Provides a contact point for referral to police involvement.
Reporting sexual assault to Victoria Police (pdf 855kb) This document explains the investigation process and the options available to help you consider your decision.

Victoria Legal Aid

Legal advice.
Community Legal Service Free confidential legal advice to all members of the community.
Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre (formerly Women's Domestic Violence Crisis Service) Service for women experiencing violence and abuse from a partner or ex-partner, another family member or someone else the person is close to.
Mensline Australia Professional telephone and online support, information and referral service helping men to deal with relationship problems.
Crisis Accommodation Victoria Emergency or crisis accommodation information.
'Ask Someone' app Download free app designed to help perpetrators and victims of intimate partner violence. 24/7 professional support and information.
University workshops