Safer Community

See something? Say something. Do something!

What is Safer Community?

The Safer Community service:

  • is a service that acts as the central point of enquiry for information, advice and support in managing problem behaviours that have, or could, cause offence, fear or trauma (physical and or psychological). These behaviours can compromise the safety of members of the Deakin Community and are therefore a priority for the University to address.
  • coordinates proactive and reactive approaches to address problem behaviours that occur within Deakin University campuses, including in the online space.
  • coordinates relevant services and develops plans to minimise escalation and prevent further problem behaviour wherever possible.
  • accepts referrals from staff, students and campus visitors.
  • evaluates all referrals seriously, behaviours do not have to be criminal to be worrisome. All behaviours that have the potential to elicit offence, fear and/or trauma can be evaluated by Safer Community. As an example, students threatening staff who refuse to change grades. All referrals are taken seriously and all referrals will result in a management plan, be that advice during the call to complex multidisciplinary interventions.
  • encourages you to notice and refer problem behaviours or situations that seem to have the potential to cause harm.   Persons that receive help sooner rather than later typically experience less distress, cause less harm and are given the opportunity to learn new ways to manage themselves. Safer Community has been developed with this truth in mind and at all times seek to educate and support, rather than punish and marginalise.

When should students and staff ask for assistance?

They should ask for assistance if they:

  • have been targeted by a member of the Deakin Community behaving aggressively
  • feel unsafe because of the behaviour of a member of the Deakin community
  • believe they have been sexually or non-sexually harassed, bullied, stalked or threatened
  • have witnessed problem behaviour
  • have concerns about the well-being of a member of the Deakin community
  • believe that misconduct has occurred
  • believe a member of the Deakin community could be a missing person
  • would like advice and/or training on recognising and managing problem behaviour
  • wish to clarify issues of responsibility, confidentiality or duty of care.

Reporting concerns

Business hours

Immediate response and after hours 

  • Emergency Services (Off campus)
  • SafeZone
    A free app, connecting you to the Deakin Security team when you need help on campus.

What Safer Community can provide

Depending on the case, Safer Community can provide:

  • internal/external referrals to appropriate services 
  • mental health and forensic risk assessments 
  • feedback
  • consultation
  • case management plans 
  • recommendations for misconduct sanctions 
  • coordinate multidisciplinary involvement to support student and staff safety 
  • staff training in mental health first aid and strategies in dealing with problem behaviours.
  • Safer Community emphasises a restorative, voluntary and non-punitive approach where possible.

I am concerned about a staff member, where do I report these concerns?

Safer Community provides advice and support to students and staff who feel threatened, fearful or are concerned about a student's behaviour (for imminent risk contact security). If the concern is related to a staff members behaviour please report these concerns to Deakin Human Resources 

What happens after I contact Safer Community?

It depends on the situation. Depending on the situation, Safer Community may contact the individual that you have concern for. Collateral information will be gathered throughout the process to assist in the assessment. Safer Community will review the behaviours of concern, formulate an action plan and assist the individual, as needed. Some cases require no additional action and others may need additional follow up and referral to services.

How do I know that Safer Community is addressing the situation?

If you provide your contact information, someone will contact you to let you know that Safer Community has received your concern and that we are reviewing it. If Safer Community is in need of additional information from you, having your contact information is helpful to ask any additional follow up questions.

Will I receive an update?

If you share your contact information, Safer Community may contact you to request additional information or clarification. Due to confidentiality limitations, specific case information would not be able to be shared. After sharing your concern, if you have continued worry about the situation or notice no change or escalating behaviour, please contact the Safer Community Coordinator at 9244 3734 or

What if I am wrong about someone?

Safer Community reviews all concerns that are shared. If your concerns turn out to be nothing, then nothing will happen to that individual and nothing will happen to you. If you maliciously create a false report, you may be subject to University policies.

Can I make an anonymous report?

You could, however, we would not be able to follow up with you if you do not provide your contact information. You may be able to assist Safer Community if any additional information or clarification is needed from your report. If you file an anonymous report and the information is incomplete it may lead to the individual not receiving the services or help that is needed.

What if something is occurring off campus that I am concerned about?

If it is behaviour that may affect the Deakin community, please share your concerns with University Security and Safer Community.

What do I do if I have an intervention order against someone regarding an off campus incident or they are not affiliated with the university?

Make sure that you provide a copy of the order to University security. They may talk to you in more detail to understand the circumstances, ensure that you have a safety plan in place, and share with you resources. This information would then be shared with Safer Community who may provide additional follow up with you.

If someone, who has been reported to Safer Community leaves the area, or is no longer a student do you continue to monitor him/her?

If the situation warrants the need to continue to review the case after the individual leaves the area or is no longer a student, the University may continue to monitor. It is important to note that just because someone is no longer a member of the community does not mean that there is a lesser chance for concern.

Example Behaviours That Cause Disruption

  • Verbal Aggression (yelling, swearing, issuing demands, threatening to harm self and/or others)
  • Physical Aggression (pushing, hitting, kicking, slapping)
  • Having weapons on campus Illicit drug use/possession on campus
  • Sexual misconduct (any sexual act performed without the consent of all parties, including misuse of University IT resources such as viewing pornography)
  • Property Damage
  • Harassing/Bullying Behaviours (repeatedly contacting or communicating, unreasonable complaining)
  • Disrespectful/hate statement (sexist, racist, homophobic)

Level of Disruption and Concern

Significant disruption or highly concerned

Weapons (brought on campus)
Attempts/threatens to cause harm to self or others
Sexual assault and harassment
Violence and assault
Injury and trauma
Property damage
Victim appears to be in immediate danger (e.g., being followed, stalked)

Safety First Remove yourself and others from physical danger

Call Security immediately on Ext 222 or 1800 062 576 or press emergency duress button

Moderately disruptive or moderately concerned

Reports harassment
Statements suggestive of homicidal thinking that is not overtly indicative of imminent danger
Vague statement or communication referencing violence to self/others
Disclosure of family/partner violence Last resort statement ("you're my only hope", "I don't know what else to do…"
Physical aggression/intimidation (e.g., door slamming)
Threats of reputational damage
Identity theft/fraud

Contact Safer Community on or 9244 6851 to discuss your concerns and appropriate recommendations or referrals will be provided.

Limited disruption or unsure about level of concern

Rude and clumsy interactions
Inattentive, disrupting classroom teaching
Argumentative with no threats
Discrimination/disrespectful/hateful without threats
Unreasonable complaints/resource intensive

As much as you're comfortable and student willing to engage, state which behaviour is unacceptable and needs to stop, utilise classroom management strategies and provide support with appropriate student services referral (maintain professional boundaries).

Contact Safer Community via email on to flag concerns and to discuss an appropriate management plan, or if you're unsure what services to refer the student to.

Note: if at any point you believe the situation or risk has escalated to requiring immediate response, please contact Security on ext: 222 or 1800 062 576. Follow usual processes in informing line manager of incident.

If you require staff debrief, case consultations, clarifications on policies and procedures, recommendations for how best to manage future incidents, or more information about managing disruptive students, please contact Safer Community via email: or see further information about Safer Community at:‐community

Support for staff after working with a distressed student can accessed via the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on

Disruptive Student Protocol Flowchart


How to respond to someone who discloses sexual assault

It can be pretty full on when someone tells you they have been sexually assaulted. You'll probably have feelings of your own to deal with. The good news is that the survivor trusts you, and there are lots of things you can do to support them.

Here are the most important ones: 

Listen Hear what they say and try not to interrupt. Let them talk at their own pace. Show them you are listening by making eye contact and nodding. Don't worry if they stop talking for a while – silences are okay.
Believe Try not to over-do the questions. They can make it seem like you are doubting the story. It's important that the survivor sees that you're on their side and that you support them.
Validate Tell them what they are feeling is right. Let them know you think their feelings are real by repeating the feeling words (like "its okay to feel scared"). Acknowledge that you have feelings about it too, but try to keep a focus on them.
No blame In our society it's pretty common for victim/survivors to be blamed for the assault. Try to avoid questions like 'why did you go there' and 'why did you go out with him' because they might make the survivor think they are responsible for what happened.
Ask If you feel a bit helpless, ask them what sort of help they would like from you. They're not expecting you to solve the problem, and you've already done a lot by just listening. Asking will help the survivor think about what they do next.
Confidentiality It's important that they keep trusting you and feel like they're in control of the story. If you think someone else needs to know, tell the survivor first. You can think together about who can be trusted, but don't tell until the survivor is okay with it (except with mandatory reporting).
Get Help Explore with the survivor how they might keep safe if the assaults are still happening (safety planning)
Referral Assist with information. Discuss options for referral with the survivor. Some referral options within Deakin are:
CASA: A Centre Against Sexual Assault Counsellor/Advocate is available at Deakin campuses one day per week.
Deakin Student Life Counsellors offer free confidential psychological support to students.
To make an appointment with one of the above, see contact details on the Deakin Health, Wellbeing and Safety website:

Get support Get support/supervision for yourself

Sexual Assault Disclosure

Page custodian: Division of Student Life
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