Sexual assault

Sexual assault is any contact of a sexual nature made without the other person’s consent. It includes threatening, intending, or compelling another person to have such contact, and can involve anything from sexual touching through to rape.

Sexual touching

Sexual touching is touching another person with any part of the body, or with anything else considered sexual. This includes touching through another person’s clothing.


Rape is forced sexual penetration (by a body part or object) of the vagina, anus or mouth without consent. Rape is a form of sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape.

What is consent?

Consent is when the person engaging in conduct of a sexual nature reasonably believes that the other person has freely agreed to it.

A person does not freely agree to an act when they:

  • submit because of force, or the fear of force, to themselves or someone else
  • submit because they fear harm of any type to themselves or someone else
  • submit because they are unlawfully detained
  • are asleep, unconscious, or so affected by alcohol or another drug that they are incapable of freely agreeing
  • are incapable of understanding the sexual nature of the act
  • are mistaken about the sexual nature of the act or the identity of the person
  • mistakenly believe that the act is for medical or hygienic purposes.

What to do

If you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, call:

  • Monash Security on 03 9905 3333 (for immediate help on campus)
  • 000 (for immediate help on or off campus).

If you experience, see or hear about a sexual assault, we encourage you to make a report online to the Safer Community Unit.

Getting support

The victim is never at fault and is in no way responsible for the actions of the perpetrator.

We take allegations of sexual assault seriously, and will provide a swift and coordinated response to limit any further risk to the victim.

You can discuss your options with the Safer Community Unit – they offer expert help, advice and support while you consider what you’d like to do. The final decision is an important personal choice, and yours alone to make.

For more information, see getting help and support.

More help and advice

More information