Sexual harm disclosure

Sexual harm is misuse of power and violates personal boundaries. It is not your fault.

It doesn’t matter if the harm happened recently or a long time ago; whether you’re a student or staff member; the harm occurred on campus, at a University event, during a placement, or in your personal life away from the University - support is always available.

Make a report

At Deakin we are committed to providing a safe and respectful learning and working environment for our students and staff.

If you, or someone you know you know needs to report a concern, we are here to help.

Disclose sexual harm

Need support?

Deakin has trained staff in responding and supporting students and staff who have experienced sexual harm.

It is up to you to decide if, where and when you seek help.

Immediate danger?

Call 000

Deakin Security: 1800 062 579

What is sexual harm?

Sexual harm is any unwanted sexual behaviour that you have not agreed to. It can take many forms, ranging from touching, exposure to sexual acts, sexual images taken without consent to any form of sexual penetration.

  • Sexual harm is a crime that can happen to anyone, of any age, sexual orientation, gender, cultural background or religious belief.
  • Sexual harm is never the responsibility of the person who has been assaulted, and is often perpetrated by someone known to the person.

Sexual harm statistics

Unfortunately sexual harm is a common experience with nearly 1 in 5 (19 per cent) women and 1 in 20 (4.5 per cent) men in Australia affected (ABS Personal Safety Survey 2012).


Supporting the victim

Every person's experience is different; you might be clear about your experience or struggling to name what happened to you. After an incident of sexual harm, it is important to have options and make decisions within your own choice and capacity.

After disclosing an incident of sexual harm the victim needs to:

  • be believed
  • feel safe
  • get medical attention (if the harm has occurred recently)
  • be assured that it wasn’t their fault
  • take control of their life and make decisions that are in their best interest at the time (remember that these choices and decisions may and can change).

Things you can do to help:

  • listen, don't judge
  • believe, be there and give comfort
  • inform and encourage them to seek support
  • be patient and supportive of their choices
  • acknowledge your feelings and get support for yourself.
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