Every member of our community has the right to feel safe, welcome and respected. We are committed to making our campuses and our community safe – and free from sexual harassment, indecent assault and rape.
What is consent?
Consent means freely and voluntarily agreeing to sexual activity. It also means taking responsibility for ensuring the other person is comfortable and agrees to engage in sexual activity with you.
If someone is manipulated, threatened or forced into sex, or any sexual activity, or they are so intoxicated that they don’t know what is going on, then they are not consenting.
Each and every time you do anything sexual, whether it's touching and kissing or having sex, you must always have the other person's consent. Never assume that a person is consenting because they have previously said yes, because of the way they act or dress, or for any other reason. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during a sexual encounter.
Unsure if the other person is consenting? Not sure if you've read the signs right? Just ask them. It's always better to be sure that the other person really wants to go ahead, than to realise later that they actually weren't into it. All students and staff are encouraged to complete the Consent Matters Training.
The Line provides some great information if you're still not clear about consent and how it works.
Sexual Misconduct includes Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault (SASH). Definitions and examples of SASH can be found below.
You will see the term 'sexual misconduct' used on this website. The University uses the term 'sexual misconduct' as it is broader than SASH. The full definition of sexual misconduct can be found in the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Response Procedures.
What is sexual harassment?
The Equal Opportunity Act (1984) defines what constitutes sexual harassment.
Under the Act:
A person sexually harasses another (the person harassed) if:
- the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the person harassed; or
- engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed,
in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated
The Equal Opportunity Commission website provides some helpful information and examples.
People of any gender can be victims or perpetrators of harassment.
Sexual harassment is determined from the point of view of the person feeling harassed.
It does not matter how the behaviour was intended. What matters is its effect on the other person.
Sexual harassment can be:
- unwelcome touching or kissing
- commenting on a person's appearance
- comments, jokes or name-calling
- leering or staring
- sexual pictures, objects, emails, text messages or literature
- direct or implied propositions, or requests for dates
- asking about a person's sexual history or sexual activities.
Mutual attraction or friendship with consent is not sexual harassment.
What to do if you feel you have been sexually harassed?
Sometimes people who have been sexually harassed can feel unsure about talking to others, but taking action may stop the harassment.
The University wants our students to be safe, and encourages you to report sexual harassment. You can report an incident to the Integrity Unit via the online form, or by calling 8313 0609, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This process can often be daunting, so accessing support can be a good first step. Students can contact Counselling Support or Student Care for assistance in making a report to the University, or to have a confidential discussion about this process.
Staff, volunteers and titleholders needing counselling support can contact the University’s confidential employee assistance program (EAP), which is available to you at no cost. You can contact CHG on 8352 9898 or 0418 883 855 (after hours), or Human Psychology on 1300 277 924 to make an appointment.
For assistance in making a report, or if you are unsure what to do, you can contact the Integrity Unit via e-mail email@example.com or via phone on 8313 0609
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault refers to a number of criminal offences including rape, indecent assault or any unwanted sexual touching or fondling.
Most people might think of sexual assault as happening to a person of the opposite sex, but it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation. Indecent assault can happen between strangers or between people in a relationship. It can occur in same-sex relationships as well as heterosexual relationships. People can be indecently assaulted by anyone at any time. Responsibility for sexual assault always lies with the perpetrator. It is never the victim's fault.
Sexual assault can occur without physical assault – it can include any act that is unwanted and of a sexual nature – anything that crosses the line of what you’ve consented to. Read more about where to draw the line or visit legal services: sexual offences for information about the law in South Australia.
What to do if you have experienced sexual assault?
If you have experienced sexual assault or you are unsure about whether you consented to a sexual activity, you can always seek confidential advice and support.
Counselling support can help students get the support they need to manage the effects of sexual assault, and can discuss the options available if you want to make a report. Information discussed at Counselling Support is not shared or reported further without your written consent, subject to legal requirements.
Student Care offers independent confidential support and information to all students enrolled at the University of Adelaide. Information discussed at Student Care is not shared or reported further without your written consent, subject to legal requirements.
Any staff member or student can contact:
- Yarrow Place rape and sexual assault service: 1800 817 421 or
- the national sexual assault, domestic family violence counselling service - 24 hours: 1800 737 732 (1800 RESPECT).
For more support options, please see the information on our support page.