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Sexual assault

Reporting an incident to the University

If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, it is your choice whether to report the incident. You can make a report to local police and you also have the option to report it to the University. Whatever you decide, we can help connect you with appropriate support, provide information on reporting options, and assistance with the reporting process.

If you would like to speak to someone, you can call our confidential helpline service on 1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457) (option 2, then option 1) from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you call outside of these hours you can be connected to NSW Rape Crisis Centre or you can call them directly on 1800 424 017.

How we will support you

Your personal safety and recovery from the trauma of sexual assault or sexual harassment is our first priority.

Our student liaison officers are specialist staff members with expertise in providing support to those that have experienced sexual assault or harassment. They can assist you to access appropriate internal and external support services, including security, counselling and health services, and on-campus emergency accommodation.

You can organise an appointment with a student liaison officer to discuss what support you may need. They will also help you navigate the support services and reporting options available to you.

Our student liaison officers are available 8.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact them to organise an appointment:

Options to report an incident

If you choose to report an incident to the University, you have the option to either make a disclosure or a complaint.

If you would like advice about your options or support, you can contact our student liaison officers.

If you report an incident, it will not affect your academic record in any way. If you are an international student, your visa will not be affected.

Making a disclosure

You can make a disclosure (rather than a complaint) of sexual assault or sexual harassment to the University, if you do not want us to investigate or take any specific action in response to the incident. We understand that this can be a difficult time, so this is a way to report something that’s happened and find out your options for support without needing to provide your personal details.

In some circumstances, we may need to investigate, to ensure your safety or the safety of other members of the University community, or to meet our legal obligations. Find out more about how your disclosure will be managed.

If you make a disclosure, you can still choose to make a complaint to the University about the same incident at a later time.

Making a complaint

You can make a complaint of sexual assault or sexual harassment if you would like the University to investigate or to take specific action and the complaint relates to something that happened on University lands or is about University related conduct. University related conduct means any conduct that is connected to the University, including conduct that occurs at or in connection with a Residential College or University owned or affiliated student accommodation, or a University related function or event (whether sanctioned or organised by the University or not). See the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2018 for more information.

We can only take disciplinary action against another student or a staff member when you make a complaint through this process. However, we may take interim measures if we need to, such as moving a student into another class, to ensure your safety or the safety of others.

When you make a complaint, the process is managed under the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2018, Student Sexual Misconduct Response Procedures 2018 and may progress to misconduct actions under The University of Sydney (Student Discipline) Rule 2016.

When you make a complaint to the University, we will ask you for information including details of the person involved in the incident. If you have difficulty disclosing this information, you can call us to discuss your options and support services available. A complaint is likely to result in an investigation and the University is required to apply principles of procedural fairness to everyone involved.

Ways to make a disclosure or complaint

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Phone

You can contact us on 1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457) (option 2, then option 1) from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. University Staff members with expertise in providing support to those that have experienced sexual assault or harassment can assist you.

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In person

To arrange an appointment with a student liaison officer, you can contact us on 1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457) (option 2, then option 1) from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday or email safer-communities.officer@sydney.edu.au

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Staff member or caseworker

Case workers from the Student Representative Council (SRC) and the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) can make a disclosure or complaint of sexual assault or sexual harassment on your behalf.

University staff members can also make a disclosure on your behalf.

Whether you’re a current or former student, you can make a report at any time after an incident.

An active UniKey is required to make a report online, so if you’re a former student we recommend you call us on 1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457) (option 2, then option 1). Specialist staff can support you in making a disclosure or complaint. You can also organise an appointment with a caseworker from SRC/SUPRA to assist you with this process.

Report an incident for someone else

You can also make a disclosure about an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment that has happened to someone else, for example when you have witnessed an incident, or if you are reporting on behalf of another student.

If the person who has experienced the incident wants to proceed with making a formal complaint, they will need to make the complaint themselves. You can contact the student liaison officers or Student Affairs staff to if you would like to discuss this in more detail.

Remaining anonymous

You will need your UniKey to log in to make an online disclosure or complaint.

If you make a disclosure, your UniKey will be kept in a secure log separate from the details of your disclosure. Your UniKey will not be visible to the specialist staff that will receive your disclosure. If you are concerned about your UniKey being attached to your report, we encourage you to ask another current student or staff member to assist you with completing this form. You are also able to request assistance from a caseworker at Student’s Representative Council (SRC) or Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA).

You can also call 1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457) (option 2, then option 1) with your phone status set to ‘private’ or email us at safer-communities.officer@sydney.edu.au using a private email account. You may choose to create a new email address for the purpose of making a disclosure in order to protect your identity.

In some limited circumstances we may need to retrieve your UniKey to ensure your safety, or that of other members of the University community, or to meet our legal obligations.

If you make a complaint, you will need to provide your details so that the matter can be properly investigated and fairly tested. Staff can guide you through this process and provide the necessary support before you make this decision.

Find out more about your privacy and how we will manage your disclosure or complaint.

What happens next

A unique reference number is automatically generated when you submit your disclosure or complaint. You should make a note of your reference number in case you would like to follow up on your report, or add any further details later on. You can do this by emailing safer-communities.officer@sydney.edu.au and provide your reference number in the subject line.

If you decided not to provide contact details in your report, the reference number is the only communication you will receive.

If you provided your contact details in your report, a student liaison officer will usually contact you within 24 hours. This may not be possible in some situations, or during the University close-down period in December/January.

If you have not received an email acknowledgement within 72 hours, please email us at safer-communities.officer@sydney.edu.au and provide the reference number you received when you reported the incident.

If you need urgent medical or other help, don’t wait for a response to your disclosure or complaint. It’s important to contact the relevant support service, for example the police or an ambulance immediately after a serious incident has occurred.

How your report will be managed

Your disclosure or complaint will be recorded in the University’s record keeping system. Only a few specialist staff have access to this system, and they will be notified once your report is received. These reports are not linked in any way to your academic record or immigration status (if you are an international student).

If you provide your contact details in your disclosure or complaint, a student liaison officer will contact you, usually within 24 hours. These officers have expertise in providing support to those that have experienced sexual assault or harassment. They can discuss support options with you and any questions or concerns you may have. They can also assist you to liaise with other departments within the University to make adjustments to assist you.

If you do decide to proceed with a complaint, it will be forwarded to the Student Affairs Unit, and may be forwarded to another unit in the University for resolution. The student liaison officers can then provide support and work with you and Student Affairs to ensure you understand the complaint process.

In some circumstances, the University may need to report an incident of sexual assault to the police.

Privacy

Making a disclosure or a complaint online to the University is voluntary, however some fields in the form are required for us to best assist you. The information provided will assist specialist staff at the University to understand your needs and provide support if this is something that you would like us to do. If you do not provide the information requested, the University may not be able to provide this support.

Why is the information collected

The information is requested by the University of Sydney (“the University”) in the online form in accordance with the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2018 (“the Policy”). The form enables you to make a disclosure or a complaint to the University about sexual assault or sexual harassment you have experienced, or witnessed, or to make a disclosure on behalf of a student. If you are making a disclosure on behalf of a student you should have their consent before doing so.

How will the University use the information you provide

The information you provide making a disclosure or complaint will be used as follows:

  • to keep a record of your report
  • to enable us to contact you to acknowledge your report and to provide information and possible referrals to support services
  • where appropriate, to enable us to commence a misconduct assessment and investigation under University policy in relation to a current University staff member or student
  • where appropriate and necessary, to report to the Police or to a NSW Government agency such as the Department of Family & Community Services
  • to enable us to understand and respond to the risk of sexual misconduct at the University
  • de-identified information will be used to identify trends and develop targeted responses to sexual assault and sexual harassment in the University community, in accordance with the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2018.

The following University of Sydney staff will have access to the information provided in your report:

  • Student liaison officers (specialist staff with expertise in the area of sexual assault/harassment)
  • system administration staff of the Student Affairs Unit and Archives and Records Management Services team.

Depending on the nature of the incident the report may be directed to a responsible department contact for follow up. Information about other individuals you provide without their consent can only be used by the University in accordance with University policies or procedures.

When the University would disclose the information you provide

Disclosure of information is the action of providing a person or organisation outside the University with access to, or a copy of, information. The University will not disclose the information you provide outside the University except:

  • with your express consent
  • where required or authorised by law
  • if the University reasonably believes that disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the life or health of any person.

In some limited circumstances, the University may need to report an incident of sexual assault to the NSW Police, to ensure your safety or the safety of other members of the University community, or to meet its legal obligations. The University will inform you before it reports an incident of sexual assault to the police. The form allows you to express your wishes regarding reporting to the police.

Your right to access or correct your information

You have the right to access and correct information about you held by the University. Contact the student liaison officers if you have questions regarding access or correction.

Guide to making a report through the online portal

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Student liaison officers

Phone
Email
Address
  • Jane Foss Russell Building G02
Last updated: 23 August 2019

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