What are sexual offences?

Sexual offences can be described as a broad range of sexual behaviours by another person that can make you feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened. Sexual offences include rape and sexual assault.

Sexual offences are never acceptable.


Rape is defined as occurring when:

  • Person-A intentionally sexually penetrates Person-B
  • Person-B does not consent to the penetration
  • Person-A does not reasonably believe that Person-B consents to the penetration.

Sexual assault is defined as occurring when:

  • Person-A intentionally sexually touches Person-B
  • Person-B does not consent to the touching
  • Person-A does not reasonably believe that Person-B consents to the touching.

Consent is free agreement, which cannot be given if a person:

  • is forced, or in fear of force or harm of any type
  • is unlawfully detained
  • is asleep or unconscious, or is so intoxicated as to be incapable of consenting
  • is mistaken about the sexual nature of the act or identity of any other person involved
  • mistakenly believes that the act is for medical or hygienic purposes
  • is not saying or doing anything to indicate consent
  • gives consent and later withdraws it to the act taking place or continuing.

Source: Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Act (2016)

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 offences.

If you choose to make a report to Victoria Police and/or the University, we can support you to do so. We can also refer you to specialist health and sexual assault 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.

University Health Service
The Health Service offers experienced medical doctors and nurses, with a depth of knowledge relevant to student medical issues.

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 assault.

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

Victoria Police
Victoria Police provides policing services to the Victorian community. In an emergency, always call 000.

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.