Respect. Now. Always.

Respect. Now. Always. is a national initiative launched by all 39 Australian universities as a long-term, shared commitment to address sexual harassment and sexual assault in university communities.

At Deakin, our aim is to prevent sexual assaults, provide victim survivor centred support to students and staff who have been assaulted, regardless of where the assault happened and ensure alleged perpetrators are treated fairly.

We work together to build a strong culture of safety, mutual respect and inclusion to ensure all members of our community can study and work in a safe and supportive environment.

As a university community we set strong standards of behaviour, and all have a responsibility to address attitudes and behaviours that are not acceptable in today’s world.

We want to emphasise that the safety and welfare of the victim is always the priority. We take all disclosures of harassment and assault in a compassionate and victim-centred way.

Australian Human Rights Commission survey

At the beginning of 2016, all Australian universities launched a major initiative to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment. As part of this initiative, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) conducted Australia’s first ever national survey to investigate the nature and scale of university student experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Access the results of the AHRC report on sexual assault and sexual harassment

AHRC recommendations

There are nine recommendations we are responding to from the AHRC 'Change the Course' report on sexual assault.

Find out more

Diversity and inclusion

We value inclusion and diversity, embrace difference and seek to nurture a connected, safe and respectful community.

Find out more

Training and education

We all share a responsibility for strengthening Deakin's behavioural standards and overall community culture.

Find out more


We have worked for many years with staff and students to build a strong culture of safety, mutual respect and inclusion – but there is always more to do.

Deakin’s focus on the prevention of violence and sexual harm recognises the need to address the drivers and precursors of sexual harm and offense caused by intrusive questions and behaviour.

These drivers include violence, gender inequality and inequity, transphobia, biphobia, homophobia, discrimination, inequality, inequity and disrespectful behaviour.

Our aim is to prevent sexual assaults and to provide victim/survivor-centred support to students and staff who have been assaulted, regardless of where the assault has happened.

We have strengthened our policy and procedures specifically on the prevention and response to sexual assault. These are now available for staff on the Deakin Policy Library (log in required).

Deakin students and staff are receiving training to increase understanding of the issue and handle disclosures of sexual assault in a compassionate, supportive and empathetic manner.

By working together we can bring significant change to not only the Deakin community but the communities in which we serve.

Priority actions to date have included:

  • Strengthening our existing policies and procedures to ensure that when incidents happen, victim-centred support is provided to staff and students, regardless of where it occurred
  • An extensive education and training program to improve knowledge and equip members of the Deakin community to respond to disclosures of sexual assault in a compassionate, supportive and empathetic manner
  • Improved access to our discourse and support information, alongside our code of conduct and values, ensuring information is clearer and easier to locate.

Respect. Prevent. Respond. Conference

As part of the Respect. Now. Always. initiative, the Respect. Prevent. Respond. Conference aims to gather those that have been involved with similar activities within their respective institutions to share ideas, broaden understanding and to create opportunities for sector wide collaboration in the elimination of sexual harm in the Higher Education, VET and TAFE sectors.

Our values

Our values are the standards we hold ourselves up against, they are enduring and they inform who we are and what we believe in. They're about what's important to us, and sharing these with you helps keep our values at the heart of our community.

Find out more about our values

Information for current Deakin students and staff

Sexual harassment or assault is never the fault or responsibility of the victim/survivor.

If any member of the University community has experienced sexual harassment or assault, there are a number of ways to report an incident and/or access support. This applies to recent and historical incidents that have occurred either on or off campus.

Comprehensive information on how to report, what to expect when reporting, and how to support someone else is available on our Safer Community website.

  • If anyone is in immediate or imminent danger on campus, contact Deakin Security on 1800 062 579  or Victoria Police on 000.
  • We ask all staff and students to download the free Safe Zone App and use it whenever feeling unsafe or threatened.
  • To report sexual harassment or assault and/or access support, contact Safer Community Service (Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm) on +61 3 9244 3734 or at

Alternatively you can contact off-campus specialist services at any time, any day:

  • Victorian sexual assault crisis line (24 hours) 1800 806 292
  • 1800RESPECT

.Find out more about Universities Australia Respect. Now. Always. initiative