What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment can be described as unwelcome sexual behaviour, which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.

It can be physical, verbal or written, and can include:

  • Comments about a person’s private life or the way they look
  • Sexually suggestive behaviour, such as leering or staring
  • Brushing up against someone, touching, fondling or hugging
  • Sexually suggestive comments or jokes
  • Displaying offensive screen savers, photos, calendars or objects
  • Repeated requests to go out
  • Requests for sex
  • Sexually explicit emails, text messages or posts on social networking sites.

Some types of sexual harassment may also be offences under criminal law, such as indecent exposure, stalking and sexual assault. A single incident is enough to constitute sexual harassment.

Source: Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission

Sexual harassment is never acceptable.

For immediate, 24/7 help

On campus, call Campus Security on 03 8344 6666
Off campus, call emergency services (police and ambulance) on 000.

The Safer Community Program

The Safer Community Program is the University's support service for people who have experienced inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, including sexual harassment.

If you choose to make a report to the University, we can support you to do so. We can also refer you to other specialist support services and help you to deal with any impact on your studies.

Contact the Safer Community Program

Other support services

The following University services can also provide confidential support.

Campus Security
You can contact University Security at any time by calling 03 8344 6666. In any life-threatening situation, always call Victorian emergency services first via 000.

Counselling and Psychological Services
The University of Melbourne Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides free, confidential, short-term professional counselling to currently enrolled students and staff.

Chaplains are representatives of different faith groups in the wider community, who are placed in the University by their respective faith group with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor.

1800RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.

The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria
The Sexual Assault Crisis Line Victoria is a state-wide, after-hours, confidential, telephone crisis counselling service for victims/survivors of both past and recent sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Lifeline provides anyone experiencing a personal crisis with access to online, phone, and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services 24 hour a day, 7 days a week.

University policies and information

Student Conduct Policy
Provides guidance on matters concerning behavioural standards and expectations for students.

Student Charter
Sets out what students are responsible for and what they are entitled to expect.

Appropriate behaviour on social media
Outlines the University's expectations of students and staff when using social media.

Child Safety Policy
Outlines the University’s commitment to child safety and appropriate standards of behaviour towards children. It also guides the development of systems and processes that support the prevention and management of child abuse risks.

Appropriate Workplace Behaviour Policy
Outlines the standards, values and expectations for appropriate behaviour in the workplace.

Respect at the University
Outlines the University's commitment to a safe, inclusive and respectful community.

Student complaints and grievances
Guides you through the student complaints and grievances process.