Sexual assault and sexual harassment

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're considering disclosing or reporting but you are worried about doing so, remember:

  • You are not alone, Monash University wants to help you.
  • Monash's Safer Community Unit will provide you with specialist care and guidance that will help you assess your options regarding reporting and support services.
  • It is never too late to disclose and report an incident.
  • You are always in control.

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're still unsure, you can report sexual assault anonymously to SECASA through the Sexual Assault Report Anonymously (SARA) website.

Help and support others

If someone 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.

Listen

Actively listen to them. Try not to interrupt. Let them 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.

Do not blame

Do not judge or blame them for anything that happened. Sexual assault and sexual 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.

Support them

The victim or survivor has to decide what they want to do. 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.

Support for you

You may have your own feelings to deal with including feeling upset, anger, disbelief, confusion or emotional stress from hearing a disclosure. 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.