Understanding Consent and Sexual Assault

What is Consent?
Consent is a voluntary agreement between two people before participating in any physical contact or sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time by any person. Consent is NOT obtained when a person:
  • is forced or coerced
  • is threatened
  • is manipulated by authority
  • is intoxicated or drunk
  • is sleeping
  • is unconscious
  • is silent
  • is not fighting back
  • says ‘no’
Without consent, it is sexual assault! Watch this video about consent, made by students for students.


What is Sexual Assault? 
Sexual assault, which includes rape, is an unlawful act that covers a range of forced and/or coerced sexual behaviours that are unwanted and have not been consented to. Sexual assault is considered a critical incident requiring a specific policy response from the University.

What is Sexual Harassment? 
Sexual harassment is defined under the South Australian Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984. These Acts are administered by the South Australian Equal Opportunity Commissioner. Sexual harassment can include:

  • Intentional and unwelcome acts of physical intimacy
  • Requests or demands (directly or by implication) for sexual favours
  • Remarks with sexual overtones made on more than one occasion where, in the circumstances, it is reasonable for the person to feel offended, humiliated and intimidated.

Resources for UniSA students and staff:


Urgent Assistance

24/7 Phone Support

1800 572 224

UniSA Support

Student Counselling Service
Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.00pm
Metropolitan campuses: 1300 301 703
Mt Gambier campus: (08) 8723 1999
Whyalla campus: (08) 8645 8233

UniSA Out-of-Hours Crisis Line
1300 107 441 or text 0488 826 346 
5:00pm to 9:00am weekdays 
24hrs weekends and public holidays

Staff Counselling Service
1300 277 924

External Support

Yarrow Place
Rape & Sexual Assault Service
1800 817 421

SHine SA
Sexual Health Education Agency
1300 794 584