Safer Community

Safer Community is the central point of contact for reports of problem behaviour, disclosures of sexual harm, family violence and missing persons. Safer Community is a free, confidential support service for staff and students who experience concerning, threatening, inappropriate or uncomfortable behaviour. It is not an emergency response service. In the event of an emergency please contact Triple Zero 000.

Contact us online

To request support via our online form or notify us of a concern, please select from the options below.

Need to talk?

Call the Safer Community team on 9244 3734. We're available  Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm. You can also email us at

For staff seeking debriefing support, please visit the Employee Wellbeing Support (EWS) page.

What to do if you have experienced sexual harm

If you or any other member of the University community has experienced sexual harm, Safer Community is here to support you.

There are several ways to access support and/or make a report.

Immediate response

On campus – call Deakin Security on 1800 062 579 for 24/7 support. Download our Safe Zone app for use on campus.

Off campus – call emergency services (police and ambulance) on Triple Zero 000.

Behaviours of concern

Sexual harm

Sexual harm includes all non-consensual and unwelcomed behaviour of a sexual nature, which can make a person feel uncomfortable, frightened, offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harm includes sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment and any other unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature, whether online or face-to-face. More information.

Family violence

Family violence is any behaviour that coerces, controls, threatens, causes physical, sexual or emotional damage or causes someone to be fearful. Family violence happens when one person in a relationship hurts another or makes them feel unsafe. More information.

Other behaviours of concern

Any behaviour that makes you feel threatened or unsafe, offends you or just doesn't feel right. It includes discrimination, bullying, threats, violence, stalking, vexatious complaints, and victimisation.

More information.

Technology-facilitated abuse

Technology-facilitated abuse is any behaviour that uses technology to harass, monitor, stalk, impersonate or make threats in order to control, frighten or humiliate someone. This includes cyberstalking and image-based abuse, and can take many forms. Contact Safer Community for advice and support. More information.

Child safety

Deakin is committed to child safety, protecting children from harm and to being a child-safe organisation. Safer Community staff are Child Safety Advisors, please speak to us if you have concerns. If someone under the age of 18 reports a sexual assault, Deakin is legally obliged to make a report to the police. More information.

Missing persons

On occasion, students may have unexpected absences and/or may be thought to be missing. If you are concerned about a student we encourage you to talk to Safer Community.

If the person you are concerned about fits the Victoria Police definition of a missing person, you can report the matter to police.

Why and when to report concerning behaviour

All members of the Deakin community are encouraged to report concerning behaviour, even if they seem minor. Contacting us about your concerns provides us with the opportunity to address concerning behaviour at its earliest point. Even if you’re unsure, or think 'Maybe I’m overreacting. It’s not such a big deal', it’s worth giving us a call. We’ll listen and provide advice.

Contacting Safer Community about disclosures and reports is essential to ensure a victim survivor-centred approach is always provided, and the victim survivor is given all the appropriate supports available to them. It also ensures risk mitigation steps are taken to protect the Deakin community.

When staff receive disclosures of sexual harm and family violence, they should support the student to contact Safer Community for support and advice. In the event the disclosing person does not wish to contact Safer Community, the staff member must refer the matter to Safer Community as soon as practicable but may withhold the identify of the person making the disclosure if that person does not wish their identify to be shared.

How we support you

You will talk to caring and highly trained professionals with experience in responding to and providing support for behaviours of concern, family violence and sexual harm matters.

Using a best practice approach, Safer Community can receive, review, discuss, evaluate the behaviours; to adopt and implement strategies to reduce the risk of harm to you and the broader community, and to monitor and re-evaluate behaviours of concern and mitigation strategies.

We will offer you options and referrals to help resolve your concerns and keep yourself and others safe. We will talk with you throughout this process, and you will be centre to the decision making. We are also available to run training, workshops and assist in developing resources for your area.

Anonymous reporting

You can report anonymously. However, this may restrict our ability to assess and follow up on the incident, as well as report back to you on the outcome.

What informs our practice

Safer Community work from a victim survivor model, empowerment model, social justice frameworks, case management practice, and trauma-informed practice. Safer Community emphasise a restorative, voluntary and non-punitive approach where possible.

Mental health and wellbeing concerns

For concerns about self-harm, suicide ideation and mental health support you can contact our Counselling and Psychological Support team for information on internal and external services.

You can make a difference

A safe university environment relies on members of the Deakin community to alert Safer Community to behaviours of concern before they result in harm.  Recognising and reporting early signs of a behaviour of concern is crucial to preventing behaviours from escalating and serves to enhance the University’s ability to provide assistance to community members who may be in distress.  A person that receives help sooner, rather than later, may be less likely to experience more severe symptoms or cause harm to self or others. Thus, the Safer Community process is a supportive, not a disciplinary or punitive one.

Be an active bystander

See something? Say something. Do something!

Campus safety is everyone’s business, and we all have a role to play in creating a safe, inclusive and respectful study and work environment. Calling out disrespectful behaviour can make people nervous, however it is an important action to show support for someone who may be experiencing this type of behaviour.

For more information and training, email Information for staff.


Safer Community can provide training on how to identify and respond to behaviours of concern, including family violence. Please contact us for more information.

For training on Responding to disclosures of sexual harm and Active Bystander please contact the Diverity and Inclusion team.

Campaigns we support

We are proud to support a number of campaigns and initiatives aimed at improving awareness, prevention and response to threatening or inappropriate behaviour.

  • Respect. Now. Always. campaign aims is to prevent sexual harm and to provide victim/survivor-centred support to students and staff.
  • Racism. It Stops with me The Australian Human Rights Commissions Racisim. It stops with me campaign improves awareness, prevention and response to racism in Australia.
  • Respect. Belong. Thrive. initiative aims to create an environment of inclusion where we value our diversity, embrace difference and nurture a connected, safe and respectful community.
  • Communities of respect provides information about supporting LGBTIQ+ family.

2021 National Student Safety Survey

If you have participated in the 2021 National Student Safety Survey or shared your experiences and want to talk, you are in the right place. We are here to listen.

Access the National Student Safety Survey information

We welcome people of all cultures, languages, ethnicities, capacities, ages, religions or faiths, sexual orientations and gender identities. We recognise the diverse needs of our community and are inclusive of all, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, those culturally and/or linguistically diverse, those who identify as LGBTIQ+, and persons living with disability.

Access to translators and culturally appropriate supports is available, if needed. More information on additional supports and resources.

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