Monash University's Respect. Now. Always. Support App
You are in control.
Monash University can provide expert help, advice and support to assist you with your decisions.
You are in control.
Monash University can provide expert help, advice and support to assist you with your decisions.
Your safety is paramount.
For immediate response on any campus, contact Monash Security on 03 9905 3333, in the first instance, as they know the campus layout and building details so will be able to contact Victoria Police and guide them to your location.
For immediate response on or off campus, call 000 for police or ambulance.
For any general security enquiries on any campus, such as getting a security escort on any campus, Monash Security can be contacted on 03 9902 7777.
Remember to let others help you. Talk to friends, family and anyone you think can help you. There is no right or wrong way to deal with sexual assault or sexual harassment, you need to do what feels right for you.
If you are the victim/survivor of sexual assault or sexual harassment, we encourage you to talk to the university's Safer Community Unit.
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 provides a coordinated response to ensure the best available service to victims/survivors, and other persons involved, to mitigate any ongoing risks. Information and support provided by the Safer Community Unit includes:
The Safer Community Unit has four full-time Safer Community Advisers who are trained to help. They have specialist knowledge, training and experience in responding to reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Safer Community Unit can help with referring you to SECASA and contacting the police if you wish, and can clarify any concerns you may have about doing this. You will be advised of other support services available to you.
The Safer Community Unit is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 03 9905 1599 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. After hours call the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA) on 03 9594 2289 (24 hours).
If you wish to talk to a counsellor they are available at the University Health Service or the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA).
SECASA counsellors offer a range of services for victims/survivors of sexual assault and family violence, and also work with non-offending family members, partners, caregivers and support workers. University Health Service counsellors are available Monday to Friday and all have received trauma-specialised training from SECASA in July 2017. SECASA counsellors are located within the University Health Service at Clayton (Monday, Tuesday) and Caulfield (Monday).
To organise an appointment with University Health Service counsellors at any campus call 03 9905 3020.
To organise an appointment with a SECASA counsellor, an appointment can be made through a referral from the Safer Community Unit or University Health Services, or contact SECASA directly on 03 9928 8741 to see them on or off campus.
Out of office hours, you should contact any of the following services:
Living on-campus should be a safe and respectful experience for everyone. Monash Residential Services (MRS), with its large and diverse residential community, has no tolerance of any form of sexual violence, harassment or misconduct.
All reports of unacceptable interpersonal behaviour reported at MRS are directed to the Safer Community Unit for support and investigation. As a resident of MRS, you may wish to speak with a member of your Residential Support Team or the Director MRS for support. If you do not know what to do, you can reach out directly to Safer Community Unit on 03 9905 1599 or SECASA on 03 9594 2289 (24 hours).
It is important that you seek medical attention as soon as you can after a sexual assault to take care of any injuries you may have. A doctor can help you if you are worried about sexually transmitted infections or getting pregnant.
If you wish to make a report to the police, you may have a forensic medical examination. This will treat your medical needs as outlined above, while also collecting vital forensic evidence for use in a police investigation. You can have a support person of your choice present during a forensic medical examination, unless the police consider the person to be a witness to the assault. This could be a friend, relative, a counsellor or someone from the Safer Community Unit. You can make a Statement of No Further Police Action at any stage during the process of a forensic medical examination or reporting sexual assault.
If you are unsure about reporting to police, you can have a "Just In Case" medical examination. This is the same as a forensic medical examination but without police involvement. The forensic samples taken are kept for six months while you decide if you want to involve the police.
If you decide that you want police involvement they will preserve evidence from where the sexual assault happened, or what they call the crime scene. It is important that you do not destroy evidence. If you change your clothes, put the ones you were wearing into a bag (preferably a brown paper bag). Be mindful that showering may result in destruction of evidence. Forensic evidence can be lost and it deteriorates quickly if not stored correctly. For CCTV footage to be available to be viewed at a later date it needs to be copied and stored.
For more information on forensic examinations and evidence preservation, please refer to the Reporting Sexual Assault to Police pamphlet or the SECASA website. To speak to some about this call the Safer Community Unit on 03 9905 1599 or SECASA on 03 9594 2289 (24 hours).
If you would like to talk about your reporting options, call Safer Community Unit on 03 9905 1599, SECASA on 03 9594 2289 (24 hours), or the local Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team (SOCIT). It is never too late to report a sexual assault or sexual harassment. It is common for victims/survivors to delay reporting an incident.
You can report to Victoria Police or to Monash University.
If you make a report to Victoria Police they will involve a SOCIT who handle sexual assault complaints. They will also involve a CASA and arrange for a forensic medical examination if you would like one.
You can make a "Statement of No Further Police Action" at any stage during the process of reporting sexual assault. This usually means the police will take the case no further. If the police believe it is in the public interest for them to continue with the case, they may do so despite your statement. If this happens, it may be because of a serial perpetrator.
If you are unsure about reporting to police, you can have a "Just In Case" medical examination. This is the same as a forensic medical examination but without police involvement. The forensic samples taken are kept for six months while you decide if you want to involve the police. The Safer Community Unit on 03 9905 1599 or SECASA on 03 9594 2289 (24 hours) can organise such a medical examination for you.
For more information on what will happen when you report to Victoria Police, please see the SECASA website and the Reporting Sexual Assault to Police pamphlet. This pamphlet is also available in languages other than English.
If you report a sexual assault or sexual harassment to the Safer Community Unit, they will provide you with a coordinated response to get you all the support and advice you need. They can assist you in connecting with the police, SECASA and also talk through what Monash University can do.
Options vary on a case by case basis. Another organisation may be involved, for example if the incident occurred on placement. The Safer Community Unit can assist in reporting to the other organisation for consideration under their policies and procedures.
Restorative justice helps people who have been sexually or physically assaulted to communicate with the other people involved, about the harm that has been caused. The police and courts will not usually be involved.
If you have been affected by sexual or physical assault, and would like to talk to the offender, family members or anyone else involved, restorative justice may be able to help. You can have a face-to-face meeting, or a different type of communication.
In the days following the sexual assault or sexual harassment take care of your physical and emotional wellbeing. Remember it was not your fault and you are not alone. Some common reactions to trauma are difficulty in thinking and making decisions, seeing the event over and over, sleep disturbance, anxiety, fear, guilt, or feeling isolated. You may also experience a physical response like an upset stomach, sweating, rapid heartbeat and laboured breathing.
Let others help you through this. There is support available. Your healing and recovery will take time but you do not have to deal with this alone.
It might be difficult to talk about the sexual assault or sexual harassment; you may never want to talk about it, but at Monash University we encourage you to seek help. You are not alone and we can help you through this incredibly difficult time.
There are many different services you can talk to at Monash University for support and advice:
Outside of Monash University there are services available to you, here are just a few:
You are entitled to privacy when you disclose an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
The Safer Community Unit will discuss your privacy requirements with you. If you have concerns about privacy ask the counsellor or service about their obligations to keep your information private.
There are some exceptional circumstances in which the Safer Community Unit may be obligated to report the incident to Victoria Police. This may occur if a minor is involved or where there may be a serial perpetrator.
If you are legally considered a minor (under 18 years of age), the Safer Community Unit and Monash University may have mandatory reporting obligations under Victorian and national laws. For more information about Monash's Child Safety Standards, click here.
If a friend tells you they have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed, they have taken the hardest and first step towards recovery. They have chosen you because they trust you and need someone to confide in. Different people will respond to such incidents in different ways.
Actively listen to them. Try not to interrupt. Let your friend talk at their own pace. Silence is okay. Respect their privacy and do not disclose anything they have said to anyone else unless you have their permission.
If you are the first person your friend has told and the assault has been reported to Victoria Police, the police may contact you to take a "statement of first complaint" from you.
Do not judge your friend or blame them for anything that happened. Sexual assault and harassment can happen to anyone and can be committed by anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Your friend may blame themselves for what has happened so be mindful what you say and how you make them feel. Do not say things like:
Your friend has a right to decide what they want to do if they have been sexually assaulted or harassed. Do not tell them what they should or should not do. You can help best by suggesting where they can go to get information, advice and assistance.
Let your friend know of the on-campus support that is available to them - see Support Options.
It is important that your friend seeks medical attention as soon as possible after a sexual assault to take care of any injuries they may have. A doctor can help your friend if they are worried about sexually transmitted infections or getting pregnant.
Your friend can also choose to have a forensic medical examination. This will treat their medical needs as outlined above, while also collecting vital forensic evidence for use in a police investigation. Your friend may wish to have you present throughout a forensic medical examination as a support person. You can do this as long as the police do not consider you to be a witness to the assault.
If your friend is unsure about reporting to the police, they can have a "Just In Case" medical examination. This is the same as a forensic medical examination but without police involvement. The forensic samples taken are kept for six months, this will give your friend time to decide if they want to involve the police.
As well as helping your friend, you need to look after yourself. You may have your own feelings to deal with including feeling upset, anger, disbelief, confusion or emotional stress from hearing what you have been told. You may be concerned that you cannot deal with the information that your friend is sharing and that you will not be able to support yourself. Expert services are also available to you.
It is okay to step back and let experienced services continue the support. You only need to be a friend, not an expert. The decisions are theirs to make.
'Sexual offences' is a description used to 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 also 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.
Part 1 Division 1 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) ('the Act') sets out sexual offences that can be prosecuted in Victoria. You can find the full definitions (including all subsections) in the Act, which also defines the words used in these sections. Please note: the law in this area is complex. Whilst the Act defines various sexual offences, just what is and is not found to be a sexual offence will be determined by a variety of factors, ultimately to be determined by a court.
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if -
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 2 imprisonment (25 years maximum).
Note Exceptions apply to this offence - see section 48A.
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if -
1 An exception applies to this offence - see section 48A.
2 A mistaken but honest and reasonable belief that the touching was not sexual is not a defence to this offence - see section 48B.
(1) For the purposes of Subdivisions (8A) to (8E), consent means free agreement.
(2) Circumstances in which a person does not consent to an act include, but are not limited to, the following -
This circumstance may apply where a person gave consent when not so affected by alcohol or another drug as to be incapable of consenting.
(1) A person (A) sexually penetrates another person (B) if -
(1) Touching may be done -
(2) Touching may be sexual due to -
Sexual harassment is unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the other person would feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. It may include:
Not everyone will want to disclose a sexual assault or sexual harassment, or make a report to the police. Monash University understands that not every victim/survivor will want to disclose or report.
If you are considering disclosing or reporting but you are worried about doing so, remember:
You are the best person to determine what is right for you in terms of disclosing and reporting a sexual assault or sexual harassment, but remember Monash University is always there to support you
If you are still unsure, you can report sexual assault anonymously to SECASA via the Sexual Assault Report Anonymously (SARA) mobile-friendly website.
As an international student you may be frightened or more reluctant to come forward and report a sexual assault or sexual harassment to the University. Your visa will not be affected if you choose to report the sexual assault or sexual harassment to the Safer Community Unit, Victoria Police or another support service. You are entitled to the same advice and support as domestic students.
The Safer Community Unit will discuss your privacy requirements with you. There are some exceptional circumstances in which the Safer Community Unit may be obligated to report the incident to Victoria Police. This may occur if a minor is involved or where there may be a serial perpetrator. If you have concerns about privacy ask the person or service about their obligations to disclose the information you share.
The South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA) has service brochures in languages other than English, these can be accessed at their website. Victoria Police also has information on reporting a sexual assault in languages other than English accessible on their website.
Monash University is partnering with other Australian universities in a new national initiative lead by Universities Australia. The Respect. Now. Always. campaign highlights the determination of Australia's universities to ensure students and staff are safe from sexual assault and sexual harassment. As part of this initiative, the university sector asked the Australian Human Rights Commission to conduct a national prevalence survey of university students.
On 1 August 2017 the Australian Human Rights Commission released Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities. To view the national report and Monash results, please click here. Monash University is committed to implementing all nine recommendations from the national report, and also the 10-point action plan from Universities Australia.
Note on terminology: Monash University has chosen to use the term 'victim/survivor' within this app as we understand that each individual affected by sexual assault and/or sexual harassment may identify differently with each term.
Note on accessibility: this app is for all members of the Monash community, however please note if you wish to access any of the services discussed in this app from outside Australia you will need to include the Australian country code (+61) when dialling.
Special thanks to the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (SECASA) for their invaluable assistance and feedback in content development for this app.