Reporting or disclosing

If you have been subjected to sexual assault or sexual harassment, you may be faced with a number of decisions.

It's important you know that you have control of what action you take (including no action) and you can change your mind at any time. 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.

Regardless of whether you choose to make a formal report to the University or Police, you can always access support, both from the University and externally. Chatting to a confidential support person 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. 

This online form can be used by UniSA students and staff, including First Responders, to report an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment. 

It is important to note that, if you are reporting on behalf of another person, you must have their consent before you do so.

Disclosing means sharing an experience of sexual assault or sexual harassment, but not seeking further action from the University in relation to the incident(s).

If you wish to disclose 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 or reports of sexual assault and sexual 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. The process will differ slightly for students and staff, and depending on whether the perpetrator is a student or a staff member. 

To disclose or report an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment to UniSA, click here.

UniSA takes all allegations of sexual assault and sexual 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 or reports of sexual assault and sexual 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.  The process will differ slightly for students and staff, and depending on whether the perpetrator is a student or a staff member. 

To report an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment to UniSA, click here.

Investigation

  • If the respondent (the person whose actions you are making a report about) is a student, your report will be referred to the Pro Vice Chancellor: Student Engagement and Equity to initiate an investigation.
  • If the respondent is a staff member or is engaged by UniSA under any other contractual arrangement, your report will be referred to the Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture to initiate an investigation.
  • The respondent will be provided with details of the complaint made against them and will be given 10 working days (or such other time specified by the Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture or Pro Vice Chancellor: Student Engagement and Equity) to consider and provide a response.
  • If needed, witnesses may also be interviewed as part of the investigation.  Information will not be unnecessarily disclosed to witnesses and the importance of confidentiality will be reinforced.

All investigations will be undertaken, following the principles of natural justice, and in a way that is respectful to both the complainant and the respondent.  We will reinforce the importance of confidentiality with the complainant, respondent and any support people for both parties.    

If the incident has been reported to the Police or to the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), we will not take any action that may compromise the police investigation.  We will continue to make support resources available during this period.  We may also take other interim measures to ensure your safety and that of other members of the UniSA community, following consultation with the Police or the EOC. 

On completion of the police or EOC investigation, the university may undertake appropriate actions in alignment with its policies, code of conduct and bylaws.

Decision

Information gathered during the UniSA investigation will be documented by the investigator and a report will be prepared.  The decision about any action required, arising from the investigation, will be made by:

  • the Pro Vice Chancellor: Student Engagement and Equity if the respondent is a student; or
  • the Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture if the respondent is a staff member; or
  • the Managers or Supervisors of the relevant area(s), for any other contractual arrangements.

Outcome

Where it is determined that a complaint is substantiated, UniSA will decide upon the appropriate disciplinary actions aligned with:

  • appropriate bylaws and statues, if the respondent is a student;
  • the relevant enterprise agreement if the respondent is a staff member, or the relevant contract if the respondent has been engaged by the university under any other contractual arrangement.

Click here for more information about the potential outcomes of an investigation into a complaint of sexual assault or sexual harassment at UniSA.

If for any reason you are dissatisfied with the process or outcome of your complaint, the following review mechanisms are available to you.

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 way 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/

Reports of sexual harassment can be made to the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) of South Australia on (08) 8207 1977.

You can visit the EOC website for details of the definitions of sexual harassment and the process for making complaints.

As a complainant, you have the right to withdraw your complaint at any stage of the process.  However, we may continue to act on the complaint to ensure your safety and that of other members of the UniSA community.


Urgent Assistance

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
Call 1300 107 441 or text 0488 884 163
5:00pm to 9:00am weekdays 
24hrs weekends and public holidays

Staff Counselling Service
EAP Program: 1300 277 924

External Support

Yarrow Place
Rape & Sexual Assault Service
1800 817 421

Shine SA
Sexual Health Education Agency
1300 794 584

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