Reporting sexual harm

Report to Deakin

At Deakin, we provide a safe and respectful learning and working environment. Student and staff safety and wellbeing is our highest priority. If you, or someone you know has a concern, we’re here to support you.

Safer Community is the central point of contact for Deakin-based sexual harm reporting and support. To access support or report sexual harm (recent or historical, and either on or off campus) you can contact us in the following ways:

Emails to this address are only read by the staff trained responsible for responding to your report. All assistance is confidential.

For immediate assistance on campus outside of these hours please call Deakin Security (24/7) on 1800 062 579.

Who will I talk to?

Safer Community is a Deakin service for sexual harm reporting and support. You will talk to caring and highly trained professionals, with experience in responding and providing support for sexual harm. People making a disclosure of sexual harm will:

  • treated fairly, with dignity and respect
  • be believed
  • be helped to understand reporting and support options
  • be helped to be in control of processes and decisions
  • be supported in the way they want
  • have their privacy respected.

What happens next?

Once a report is made to Safer Community via email or telephone, a trained staff member will be in contact with you usually within one business day.

A Safer Community staff member will explain what options are available to you, how they can help and what each option might look like. It’s up to you to decide which path is most appropriate for you. Sometimes we will need to take steps to ensure the safety of our community, but we will always discuss this with you first.

When you talk with Safer Community, your privacy will be respected and you will be:

  • listened to, and we will respond in an empathetic, supportive and compassionate manner
  • helped to understand available reporting and support options. This includes services internal and external to the University.
  • in control of the processes and decisions where possible
  • supported in the way you want

Safer Community can:

  • be your ongoing contact point if you wish
  • assist you with a safety plan
  • facilitate, coordinate and refer you to the appropriate internal and external services
  • assist you (if you wish) with making a report to the police or Misconduct
  • implement protective measures.

Your information and further disclosures

The University manages personal information and health information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic.).

Your information and disclosure are confidential and are stored safely and securely. You may ask to remain anonymous and can choose to not disclose the names of others relative to the report.

There may be circumstances where we need to disclose information to other members of the University or external agencies. However, we will aim to discuss this with you first and determine what and how much information should be provided to others.

When we may need to make further disclosures

  • Where we believe you or a member of the University community is in danger.
  • When a minor (under 18 years of age) is involved.
  • To assist you in making safety plans.
  • To arrange support for you, for example, special consideration or extension for an assessment. In most cases, only very limited details are required for this.
  • When the state or federal law requires us to do so.

Can I report anonymously?

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.

If you are unsure about, or do not wish to make a formal report to the police or Deakin, the Safer Community team can still provide you with support, information and guidance about next steps, and where practicable, provide safety and security measures for you.

Under 18 years of age?

If you are under the age of 18 and report a sexual assault, Deakin is legally obliged to make a report to the police. Please refer to our Child Safety Standards for further information.

Alleged person of concern

If you have had an allegation made against you regarding a behaviour of concern, please speak with us. You will be:

  • treated fairly, with dignity and respect
  • heard with compassion, not judgement or blame
  • be informed of support options, relevant processes and assistance available to you
  • offered support by a Safer Community Advisor different to the Advisor supporting other parties involved.

Deakin support and resources

Our primary concern is your immediate and ongoing wellbeing. Regardless of whether you choose to make a formal report or not, Deakin offers the following free and confidential services to students and staff:

  • Safer Community team
  • Security
  • Counselling via Deakin’s Counselling and Psychological Support service, or CASA counsellor (Burwood based).
  • Health care and wellbeing support
  • Accommodation and financial support
  • Academic support
  • Workplace support
  • Access to community-based services and support.

External resources and reporting

The kind of support you need can change over time. You may find that talking to family or friends is all you want, or you might be looking outside your usual networks. It is up to you to decide if, where and when you seek help.

Unless you are under the age of 18, only you can make a decision about reporting a sexual harm to police. The below services can help you with safety concerns and talk to you about options such as counselling and accessing other services outside of Deakin.

Additional support and resources

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