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 assault and harassment.
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 Consent can be withdrawn at any time during a sexual encounter.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.
What is sexual harassment?
The Equal Opportunity Commission has defined what constitutes sexual harassment in South Australia: sexual harassment means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, where it is reasonable to expect that the other person would be offended, afraid or humiliated.
Both men and women can sexually harass and be harassed by either sex.
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.
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.
This process can often be daunting, so accessing support from the University of Adelaide Counselling Support or Student Care can be a good first step. They can assist you to make a report to the University, or to have a confidential discussion about this process.
Sexual violence is not acceptable. As a University we have zero tolerance for sexual violence of any kind against any member of our community.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence and sexual assault refer to a number of criminal offences including rape, indecent assault or any unwanted sexual touching or fondling.
Most people might think of sexual violence as happening to a person of the opposite sex, but it can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference. Sexual 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 sexually assaulted by anyone at any time. Responsibility for sexual violence always lies with the perpetrator. It is never the victim's fault.
Sexual violence can occur without physical violence – 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.
What to do if you have been subjected to sexual violence?
If you have experienced sexual violence or you are unsure about whether you consented to a sexual activity, you can always seek confidential advice and support.
The University of Adelaide Counselling Support can help you to get support you need to manage the effects of sexual violence, 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.