Help for Sexual Assault Issues

The Safer Community Program is here to help you. If you, or someone you know, have been sexually assaulted, we are here to provide support, referrals and information to assist you.

Contact us

Phone: +613 9035 8675

Email: safer-community@unimelb.edu.au

Student appointments: Book a Stop 1 adviser

Staff appointments: Telephone or email using the contact details above to book an appointment.

The Safer Community Program is located in Stop 1 (Parkville), 757 Swanston Street.

If you are in immediate danger, or for after-hours support, contact University Security on +613 8344 6666 or the Police on 000.

Other help available

There are a range of services that can provide support, referrals and counselling about sexual assault issues. These are listed below:

Reporting to the University

The Safer Community Program is here to help you. If you, or someone you know, have been sexually assaulted, we are here to provide support, referrals and information to assist you.

The Safer Community Program is the University’s support service for the reporting and management of all concerning, inappropriate and threatening behaviours. In addition to providing you with wellbeing support, the Safer Community Program can help you understand the options available to you to address the behaviours of concern.

If you report an alleged sexual assault to the Safer Community Program, we will generally encourage you to report any criminal matter of this seriousness to Victoria Police, and will provide you with support to do this if you choose to. There is more information about reporting to Victoria Police below.

Reporting to Victoria Police

If you, or someone you know, have been sexually assaulted, either recently or in the past, you have a right to report it to police and receive legal protection. Further information, including an information booklet, about reporting sexual assault matters to Victoria Police is here:

Reporting sexual assault


Sexual assault is known to be an underreported crime. Victims/survivors of sexual assault experience a range of feelings and reactions, and many people do not report sexual assaults due to emotions such as fear, shame and self-blame. Concerns about reprisals, medical and legal procedures, social attitudes, and responses from family and friends may prevent someone from seeking the help they need following a sexual assault.

Police have specially trained officers to respond to victims/survivors of sexual assault. The victim/survivor is the number one priority with police members guided by a set of guidelines known as The Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Sexual Assault.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is a serious crime. It is generally defined as a sexual activity that is unwanted, that a person has not consented to, and can refer to a broad range of sexual behaviours that make the victim feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened. Sexual assault can include rape, incest, indecent assault, child sexual assault, and it may be a single incident or can occur over time.

Sexual assault is never the fault or responsibility of the victim/survivor.

Have I been sexually assaulted?

The legal definition of sexual assault focuses on consent, which is defined as free agreement to engage in a sexual act. The law states there is no 'free agreement' if:

Consent can only be given if you are the correct legal age and have the mental and physical ability to consent.

Who are the victims/survivors?

Sexual assault is a serious crime that can occur to both males and females. The law does not distinguish between male and female perpetrators. However, Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the majority of sexual assault victims are women. In many cases, the victim will know the attacker, and a significant percentage of assaults occur in the victim's home.