Reporting sexual assault or sexual harassment
If you have been subjected to sexual assault or sexual harassment, you may be faced with a number of decisions. The University provides a range of support, disclosure and reporting options for students and staff who have experienced or witnessed sexual assault or harassment. This page provides some of the options you may wish to consider, so that you can make your own decisions about how you wish to proceed or deal with the incident.
You have control of what action you take (including no action) and you can change your mind. You do not have to make a decision quickly and it is important that you make the decision that is right for you. Whatever you decide to do, you do not have to go through this alone. There are many support services available to you through UniSA and other external organisations.
You may decide that you do not want to make a formal report to the University or Police. If so, you can still access support, both from the University and externally, to talk confidentially with someone who can help you make the decisions that feel right for you. No matter when the incident occurred, support is always available. The support is free and will not pressure you to report the sexual assault.
Click here to access the range of support services available to you.
UniSA takes all allegations of sexual assault or harassment seriously and has specific responsibilities when dealing with allegations made against our students and staff . We can and do investigate these reports. This can mean taking the appropriate action in conjunction with the Police, professional bodies or other government agencies.
If you wish to disclose or report an incident to the University, we encourage you to make contact with one of our designated First Responders who are specially trained to respond to disclosures of sexual assault or harassment and can advise you of your options.
Once you have considered your options you may choose whether or not you wish to proceed with a formal report and investigation. The process will differ slightly for students and staff, and depending on whether the perpetrator is a student or a staff member.
You may also choose to report the incident online.
For more information on the process for disclosing or reporting sexual assault and harassment, please click here.
Unless you are under the age of 18, only you can make a decision about reporting sexual assault to the Police. You can report an incident to the police at any time by calling 000 in an emergency or 131 444 (non-emergency). Police are well trained to provide assistance and advice to people who have been sexually assaulted and there are a range of reporting options available to you, including:
- Ask for more information: you may wish to talk to the police informally and/or anonymously over the telephone or in person before making a final decision. Details of the incident can still be recorded by the police without you having to identify yourself.
- Make a report and request no further action: you can choose to talk to the Police, make a police incident report and then sign a form saying that you wish there to be no further investigation.
- Make a formal report: if you choose to make a police incident report and provide a formal statement, Police may use your statement to try to apprehend, and where possible, charge the person who sexually assaulted you. Your statement then becomes the basis of the police investigation and is a key part of any court proceedings.
- Provide information anonymously without contacting the police personally: you can provide information anonymously to Police by completing a questionnaire that in no ways identifies you as the complainant. If you are apprehensive about involving police, you are encouraged to make contact with Yarrow Place, Rape and Sexual Assault Service where you will be provided with information and choices about accessing medical and counselling services (call 08 8226 8787 or 1800 817 421).
- Delaying your report to the Police: If you are apprehensive about involving police, you are encouraged to make contact with Yarrow Place, Rape and Sexual Assault Service where you will be provided with information and choices about accessing medical and counselling services (call 08 8226 8787 or 1800 817 421). Forensic evidence can also be collected by specialist doctors from Yarrow Place and stored away for a period of time which allows you to make important decisions.
- Not reporting to the Police: If you are sure you do not want to report the incident to the Police at any time, then you can still access the support of the Yarrow Place, Rape and Sexual Assault Service.
When reporting the incident to the police, they will discuss with you the need for a medical examination for evidentiary purposes. This examination will only take place with your consent. This is where a doctor conducts a thorough physical examination and collects evidence that may help the police in building a case against the person who sexually assaulted you. The medical examination should take place as soon as possible. It is less likely as time passes that there will be any physical evidence for the doctor to collect.
Further information is available at the following website: http://voc.sa.gov.au/
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Staff Counselling Service
1300 277 924
Rape & Sexual Assault Service
1800 817 421
Sexual Health Education Agency
1300 794 584