Support for sexual assault and sexual harassment | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Support for sexual assault and sexual harassment

Sexual assault and harassment is never your fault
How Australian Universities are Responding to Campus Sexual Violence

In response to the Australian Human Rights Commission nine recommendations in the Change the Course report, Australian universities and residential colleges committed to a range of initiatives to better respond to sexual violence within their institutions.

Sexual assault is any kind of sexual activity that occurs without your consent.

Sexual harassment is any form of unwelcome sexual behaviour that's offensive, humiliating or intimidating.

Sexual assault and harassment are against the law.

If you have been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed reach out for support. It may take courage but you will find care and support to help you through this.

Confidential 24-hour help is available.

If you are in immediate danger, call police on 000 (triple zero) or security (SafeUniSC) immediately.

Where can I go for support?
Queensland Police

Local police can help and provide advice on what to do if you have just been sexually assaulted.

Confidential support on campus

UniSC has dedicated officers who are trained to listen and provide confidential support if you feel you may have been impacted by sexual assault or harassment.

Contact Safer Communities:
Monday-Friday: 8:30am-4:30pm
Tel: +61 7 5430 1226

Community support

There are many organisations in our community who are ready to help.

Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline - 1800 010 120
7.30am to 11.30pm 7 days a week

1800RESPECT - 1800 737 732
24-hour sexual assault and domestic violence support

Laurel place - local support services
Maroochydore - +61 7 5443 4711
Moreton Bay - +61 7 5499 2096
Gympie and Murgon - +61 7 5482 7911

Wide Bay Sexual Assault Service
Pialba - +61 7 4194 5230

Living Well 1300 114 397
MensLine Australia - 1300 789 978
Men’s sexual assault and counselling services

What happens if I tell someone at UniSC about my experience?

It is important to know that you can seek support and tell us about an incident without making a formal complaint.

Learn more about what you can expect if you make a report at UniSC.

What happens if I make a report to Police?

If you choose to report concerns to the Police, UniSC can support you through the process.

This may include making arrangements to meet police on campus or requesting a female officer or an interpreter.

You can make a report about a recent incident, or something that happened some time ago – there are no time limitations on reporting your concerns.

When you first talk to Police about your concerns it does not mean that you are making a complaint that will be investigated.

It is your choice if you would like this to happen or not.

What is consent?
Consent is when you say “yes” 

It is an enthusiastic, voluntary and intentional “YES”.

Consent is all about communication. It is when you and your partner both freely agree to engage in any sexual activity.

The best way to know if you have the consent of the other person is to ASK them and check in with them throughout the activity to make sure they are okay and still providing you consent.

You can change your mind or withdraw consent at any time.

Lack of informed consent

You cannot provide consent if you are not considered to have capacity to provide consent.

Someone is unable to provide consent if:

  • They are influenced by drugs or alcohol
  • They are too fearful to say no
  • They are being threatened or coerced
  • They are being tricked or deceived
  • They are being forced physically
  • There is a power imbalance and
  • They are impacted by a health or medical condition which does not allow them to understand the sexual behaviour exhibited towards them
  • They are asleep or unconscious
Consent resources

This short video helps to examine the topic of consent in an easily understandable way.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault occurs if you have been tricked, coerced, or forced into any kind of sexual activity that you did not want or without your consent.

Sexual assault includes:

  • Inappropriate touching without consent
  • Forcing someone to perform a sexual act
  • Forcing someone to see a sexual act including the use of electronic media
  • Sexual behaviour to which a person has not agreed

Sexual assault can be carried out by anyone. It does not matter if you are in a relationship with the person, whether they are a friend, family member, previous sexual partner or a stranger.

If you believe you have experienced sexual assault you may feel confused or overwhelmed – this is really normal, and we are here to support you.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any unsolicited, unwelcome and unreciprocated behaviour, act or conduct of a sexual nature that embarrasses, humiliates or offends other persons. It can be a single incident or a persistent pattern and can range from subtle behaviour to explicit demands for sexual activity or even criminal assault.

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • inappropriate jokes or comments with sexual connotations,
  • the display of offensive material,
  • stares and leers or offensive hand or body gestures,
  • comments and questions about another person's sexual conduct and/or private relationships,
  • persistent unwelcome invitations,
  • requests for sexual favours,
  • offensive written, telephone or electronic mail or other computer system communications,
  • unnecessary close physical proximity including persistently following a person,
  • unwelcome physical contact such as brushing against or touching a person,
  • denigrating comments regarding a person's gender or sexual preference, or
  • negative behaviours, for example, intimidation or exclusions related to the sex of the recipient.

If you have experienced any kind of harassment, you may have a lot of questions. Trusted help is available to help you decide what to do next.

More information

Contact Safer Communities
Tel: +61 7 5430 1226
Email or