Get help. Take action

We are committed to equal opportunity and firmly against any forms of discrimination, violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, harassment or bullying in any University activities and have policies in place to address any complaints. The University also encourages reporting to the police.

You are strongly encouraged to report any forms of violence, sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, bullying, or any other behaviour that creates a reasonable apprehension of harm. There are a number of reporting options.

In an emergency

Call the emergency number at your campus:

  • Ballarat and Wimmera - 6911 (internal phones) or 5327 6911 (other phones)
  • Gippsland - 333 (internal phones) or 5122 6999 (other phones)
  • Berwick - 9905 3333
  • and/or dial 000
  • Students studying at a partner teaching location please contact the emergency number provided to you at your orientation.

This allows us to enact critical incident procedures that can assist with instructing emergency services on how to access the campus, and initiates other safety protocols that may reduce risk to the University community.

You experienced sexual assault

In most situations, what happens after an incident of sexual assault is your choice.

You have a sense of the level of danger/distress that you feel and this often determines whether and how you seek support or take action. You can choose to report it to the University (if the incident is connected to the University in any way), take action yourself, or to do nothing for the moment.

Your safety and well-being are of critical importance. The following recommendations are in place if you wish to seek support or take action:

Get support

The most important thing is to talk with someone and be supported in whatever your next steps are to be.

Here are some options available to you if you have been sexually assaulted:

  • The FedUni Counselling service offers free and confidential counselling to both on- and off-campus students. Counsellors can support you with the immediate impact of the sexual assault.
  • 1800Respect offers free, 24-hour, 7-day per week, counselling to those experiencing sexual assault or domestic and family violence, or those supporting someone who is.
  • Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) offers free and confidential specialist counselling, advocacy and support for victim/survivors of sexual assault and non-offending family members and friends.
  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria (SACL) (1800 806 292) is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for people who have experienced both past and recent sexual assault.

See a doctor

In cases involving sexual assault, it is highly recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible to make sure any medical issues, such as sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancy or injuries are addressed.

Pregnancy – emergency contraception can be extremely effective if it is given within 48 hours of unprotected sex. It may be given up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.

You can request a forensic medical examination - which  may be conducted up to 5 days after a sexual assault.

The doctor will be able to provide better care if they know about the assault, but you can choose how much detail you want to tell.

The FedUni Health Centre can facilitate access to medical and counselling care. Students studying at a partner location please see your doctor or a doctor suggested by Support Staff at your teaching location.

Report an incident

You may decide that you want to report the sexual assault to the police and/or the University. This is an individual decision which only YOU can make.

Report to the police

It can be difficult to report your experience to the police. Making the decision to report sexual assault is an important personal choice. In reaching that decision, you may wish to seek advice and guidance from others. You can withdraw from the process at any time.

If the sexual assault is in any way connected to the University, we can provide support in dealing with the police.

View information about reporting sexual assault to police on Police Victoria website. Students studying interstate will need to refer to the Police Sexual Assault page on the police website for your state.

Report to the University

We have no tolerance for sexual violence or sexual assault. If the incident that you have experienced is in any way connected to the University, you are encouraged to make a report. Examples of how an incident can be connected to the University include, but not limited to a sexual assault:

  • perpetrated by a FedUni student (on or off campus)
  • perpetrated by a FedUni staff member (on or off campus)
  • occurring on a FedUni campus or property
  • occurring at a FedUni excursion, event or activity (on or off campus)

You are strongly encouraged to report any incidents of sexual assault connected to the University to Equity and Equal Opportunity (students and staff). Students studying at a partner at location can report to Support Staff at their teching location. The staff can assist you by providing:

  • A confidential point of contact to facilitate access to support services
  • Assist with police reporting
  • Understand University incident reporting and complaint processes
  • Make a record of incidents (formal and informal)
  • Explain what happens next, and
  • Facilitate personal safety plans and contact with University security.

What happens next

This depends on the unique circumstances of the incident and the actions that you have taken and want to take. We are committed to ensuring that you are supported and communicated with appropriately, that action is taken (in line with your wishes), and that your safety is critical.

You experienced a non-sexual incident

In most situations, what happens after an incident of concerning, threatening, or inappropriate behaviour is your choice. You have a sense of the level of danger/distress that you feel and this often determines whether and how you seek support or take action.

Your safety, and the safety of other members of the University is of critical importance. The following recommendations are in place if you wish to seek support or take action:

Get support

The most important thing is to talk with someone and be supported in whatever your next steps are to be.

Find out about available support

Reporting to the University

If the incident is in any way connected to the University, you are strongly encouraged to report the incident to an appropriate University service.

These services can assist you by providing a confidential point of contact to facilitate access to support services, assist with police reporting, understand University incident reporting and complaint processes, make a record of incidents (formal and informal), explain what happens next, and facilitate personal safety plans.

What happens next

This depends on the circumstances of the incident and the actions that you have taken and want to take. We will ensure you are supported and communicated with appropriately, that action is taken (in line with your wishes), and that you are kept safe.

You experienced sexual harassment

In most situations, what happens after an incident of sexual harassment is your choice. You have a sense of the level of danger/distress that you feel and this often determines whether and how you seek support or take action. You can choose to report it to the University (if the incident is connected to the University in any way), take action yourself, or to do nothing for the moment.

Your safety and well-being is of critical importance. The following recommendations are in place if you wish to seek support or take action:

Get support

The most important thing is to talk with someone and be supported in whatever your next steps are to be.

Find out about available support

Reporting to the University

We have no tolerance for sexual harassment. If the incident is in any way connected to the University you are strongly encouraged to report it to Equity and Equal Opportunity (students and staff). The staff can assist you by providing:

  • A confidential point of contact to facilitate access to support services
  • Understand University incident reporting and complaint processes
  • Make a record of incidents (formal and informal)
  • Explain what happens next, and
  • Facilitate personal safety plans and contact with University security.

Equity and Equal Opportunity can assist you by providing a confidential point-of-contact to facilitate access to support services, understand University incident reporting and complaint processes, make a record of incidents (formal and informal), explain what happens next, and facilitate personal safety plans and contact with University security if relevant.

What happens next

This depends on the unique circumstances of the incident and the actions that you have taken and want to take. The University is committed to ensuring that you are supported and communicated with appropriately, that action is taken (in line with your wishes), and that you are kept safe.

You witnessed an incident

If you witnessed concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour, it is important to contact the following services (dependent on the risk to you and the target of the behaviour):

Security may be able to attend the scene to intervene and prevent an escalation in the behaviour, or be present to provide immediate assistance to the target of the behaviour.

If you witnessed an incident that is distressing or triggers an adverse response in you, the following support services are available:

If you want to talk to someone within the University on what you might be able to do to report the incident check out these support services.

Students studying at a partner teaching location please contact the emergency number provided to you at your orientation.

An incident was disclosed to you

Establish immediate safety

Immediate risks to the discloser’s safety might include danger from the alleged perpetrator or an immediate medical or physical emergency

  • Call FedUni security
    • Ballarat and Wimmera: extension 6911 or 5327 6911
    • Gippsland: extension 333 or 5122 6999
    • Berwick: 9905 3333
    • Students studying at a partner teaching location please contact the emergency number provided to you at your orientation.
  • Then call 000 and report the incident to emergency services

If a person tells you they have been sexually assaulted

  • Be calm and provide an empathetic response
  • Listen and give them your full attention
  • Try not to interrupt, and let them speak at their own pace
  • Believe what they tell you – people rarely make up stories about sexual assault
  • Don’t blame or judge the discloser for the assault
  • Ask them what you can do to support them – supporting a person who discloses a sexual assault can have a major influence on their recovery, their willingness to proceed with legal action and to seek medical and counselling services.
  • Let them know that it is important to consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible - refer to the information in ‘you experienced sexual assault’
  • Let them know that there are dedicated and supportive counselling services available - refer to the information in ‘you experienced sexual assault’
  • Let them know that they might want to make a report to the police, and that they might want to find out more and get support - refer to the information in ‘you experienced sexual assault’
  • If the assault was in any way connected to the University, it is important to refer the person to the Equity and Equal Opportunity Office, so that the University can take action (in line with the person’s wishes). The Equity and Equal Opportunity Office is a confidential point-of contact service who can assist them to decide what course of action they feel comfortable in taking, if the sexual assault was in any way connected to the University, and can ensure support for them through that course of action.
  • If the person does not want to disclose their identity and details to the University, take a confidential note of the disclosure and the resulting actions. Then provide de-identified information to the Equity and Equal Opportunity Office, so that the University is informed in its development of supports, education and broad interventions.

Debriefing

If you want to talk through how you responded to a disclosure of sexual assault, you can talk to/debrief with the FedUni Counselling Service.

If a person tells you they have been sexually harassed

  • Listen without judgement
  • Let them know that we strongly encourage people to report any incidents of sexual harassment connected to the University.
  • Let them know that the Equity and Equal Opportunity Office is a confidential point-of contact service who can assist them to decide what course of action they feel comfortable in taking.

Be a helpful bystander

The only person responsible for committing acts which are concerning, threatening, or inappropriate behaviour, including sexual assault, is the perpetrator; but all of us have the ability to look out for each other’s safety. Whether it is giving someone a safe ride home from a party or directly confronting a person who is engaging in threatening behaviour, anyone can help prevent forms of violence.

Bystanders can help

A bystander is a person who is present when an incident takes place but isn’t directly involved. Bystanders might be present when violence or sexual assault occurs, or they could witness the circumstances that led up to these crimes. It is important to know what you can do to prevent crimes like sexual assault.

Prevent violence or sexual assault

The term ‘bystander intervention’ is used to describe a situation where someone who isn’t directly involved steps in to change the outcome. Stepping in may give the person you’re concerned about a chance to get to a safe place or leave the situation. You don’t have to be a hero or even stand out from the crowd to make a big difference in someone’s life.

Take steps to protect someone who may be at risk in a way that fits your comfort level.

Four steps to prevent an incident

  1. Create a distraction
    • Do what you can to interrupt the situation. A distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place.
    • Cut off the conversation with a diversion like, “Let’s get pizza, I’m starving,” or “This party is lame. Let’s try somewhere else.”
    • Bring out fresh food or drinks and offer them to everyone at the party, including the people you are concerned about.
    • Start an activity that draws other people in, like a game, a debate.
  2. Ask directly
    • Talk directly to the person who might be in trouble.
    • Ask questions like “Who did you come here with?” or “Would you like me to stay with you?”
  3. Refer to an authority
    • Sometimes the safest way to intervene is to refer to a neutral party with the authority to change the situation, like a Residential Advisor or security guard.
    • Talk to a security guard, bartender, or another employee about your concerns. It’s in their best interest to ensure that their patrons are safe, and they will usually be willing to step in.
    • If the concerning behaviour is occurring on University property, call Security.
    • Don’t hesitate to call 000 if you are concerned for someone else’s safety.
  4. Enlist others

It can be intimidating to approach a situation alone.

  • Ask someone to come with you to approach the person at risk. When it comes to expressing concern, sometimes there is power in numbers.
  • Ask someone to intervene in your place. For example, you could ask someone who knows the person at risk to escort them to the bathroom.
  • Enlist the friend of the person you’re concerned about. “Your friend looks like they’ve had a lot to drink. Can you check on them?”

Your actions matter

Whether or not you were able to change the outcome of the situation, by stepping in you are helping change the way people think about their roles in preventing violence and sexual assault.