Learn when and how to report an incident of sexual harassment or sexual assault.

All incidents of sexual misconduct can be reported whether you do so to seek support or you want the university to investigate or act. 

At ACU any student, staff member or member of the public can make a disclosure or submit a formal report below. Reports can be made anonymously; however, an anonymous report may limit the university’s capacity to effectively support you or respond to the incident. 

When a report is made to ACU it will not be shown on a student’s academic transcripts and will not be shared among staff or students. Reporting an incident will not affect an international student’s visa.

For all emergencies call 000 to contact the police. 

Make an online disclosure or report

Reporting options to disclose any sexual assault or sexual harassment, domestic/family violence or any other inappropriate behaviour include:

  • online by clicking the link above
  • in person to an ACU counsellor or trusted ACU staff member
  • calling National Security Centre on 1300 729 452 or 8888 (from an internal ACU phone).

For any student seeking assistance in navigating universities policies and procedures, including assistance to submit a formal report to the university, please contact ACU’s Student Advocacy Service.

Frequently asked questions

No. If you are over the age of 18, ACU will not disclose anything you have told us to your parents without your permission.

If a student discloses sexual misconduct to an ACU staff member, the ACU staff member is obligated to report the sexual misconduct. The staff member will not disclose in their report your personal details or any other information relating to the incident you have told them about.

If the student is under the age of 18 years, or there appears to be an imminent risk to the health or safety of the student or another person, the university may be legally required to notify third parties, such as the police or child protection authorities.

ACU will only tell the police if: 

  • the victim/survivor asks ACU to do so
  • the victim/survivor is a child under the age of 18 years
  • there is immediate risk or danger to the victim/survivor or someone else. 

The adult victim/survivor is in control of who they report an incident to, and what actions are taken. The victim/survivor has the right not to report an incident to the police or to have anyone else report it to the police if they do not wish to. ACU is happy to support a victim/survivor who chooses to report to the police. 

Yes, you can choose to informally report what happened to the police but not make a formal report. The police will only investigate formal reports. The purpose of an informal report is to gather information about where crimes may be occurring and to help the police to adopt strategies to address emerging crime hotspots.

Informal or information reporting is available in NSW, Qld, Vic and ACT: 

Police will not investigate informal reports; therefore, they will not approach the perpetrator when you make an informal report. 

* Victoria provides you the option to file a report, and request that no further action is taken.

If the incident involves an ACU staff member, we will first discuss with you all your reporting options, including reporting to the police. You are under no obligation to report to the police. 

If an anonymous report regarding inappropriate behaviour of a staff member is made, ACU will work with you to ensure your safety but, due to the lack of natural justice and procedural fairness, ACU may not be able to take appropriate action.

Depending on the situation, if a formal report against a staff member has been made, the staff member may be suspended while an investigation is conducted. All action taken against a staff member will be made under the Staff Complaints Management Policy and Procedure

If the staff member does lose their job because of the investigation outcome, it is important to remember that you are not responsible. They have lost their job because of how they acted and behaved, and you are not at fault.

In line with the Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy and Procedure, and the Staff Sexual Misconduct Policy, ACU will not tolerate any victimisation. Anyone who is found to be victimising a student because of a disclosure or formal report may receive disciplinary action in accordance with the university’s regulations, policies and procedures.  

No. A report of sexual assault or sexual harassment does not appear on any academic statement and will not be shared with staff or students, beyond what is strictly necessary to address the allegations. In line with the Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy and Procedure, ACU will not tolerate any victimisation. Anyone who is found to be victimising a student because of a disclosure or formal report may receive disciplinary action in accordance with the university’s regulations, policies and procedures.

Reporting enables ACU to: 

  • support the victim/survivor and ensure they receive advice and access to the most appropriate support services
  • ensure the victim/survivor feels safe and supported while on campus, with implementation of any necessary safety measures
  • identify patterns in behaviour and any risk areas across the university, so that strategies and processes can be implemented to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault within the university community. 

No. This is a personal decision and is entirely up to the  victim/survivor. The  victim/survivor has the  option of reporting directly to the police. 

 Find your local police station (PDF, 125KB).

You can visit an ACU counsellor who can provide confidential support and discuss other steps and available options with you. This is a free and confidential service.

Book an appointment with an ACU counsellor

If you do not feel comfortable talking to an ACU counsellor, there are external support services available.

Find out your options

If the assault occurred within the last three days, consider seeking medical attention for an examination. Should you decide to take the matter further, now or in the future, the physical evidence gathered through a medical examination may assist police in their investigation of the incident.

A report can be made at any time. There is no time limit on reports of sexual misconduct.

ACU will act in line with the wishes of the victim/survivor unless there are exceptional circumstances that require ACU to act differently. In all cases, the report will be handled confidentially and with the strictest privacy controls. If details of the victim/survivor are supplied, the Critical Incident Lead (Director, Student Support Services or National Manager, Safeguarding and Student Safety) will call to check on their welfare, provide support where required, discuss reporting options and answer any questions the victim/survivor may have.

The report will only be accessed by the Critical Incident Convenor (Academic Registrar) and Critical Incident Lead (Director, Student Support Services or National Manager, Safeguarding and Student Safety) and, in exceptional circumstances, the Critical Incident Management Team. Information provided will be confidentially managed, stored and archived in accordance with ACU’s Privacy Policy and Third Party Access to Personal Information Protocol, and the Australian Privacy Act. Reports are kept strictly confidential, except in exceptional and very limited circumstances; for example, where there is an immediate and serious risk to others or reports involve a child under 18 years. In such circumstances, ACU may notify third parties, such as the police or child protection authorities.

Talking about a sexual assault is difficult and may cause distress. Before submitting a report, consider your options and decide what is best for you. 

 If you have been the victim/survivor of sexual misconduct, you can:

  • Make a disclosure – this means you report what happened, you receive support from ACU, but you do not want the matter investigated further.
  • Make a formal report – this means that you would like the university to investigate or take specific action due to your disclosure of what has happened.  
  • Make a report to the police – there are two ways you can report an incident to the police:
    • you can make an informal report (meaning the matter will be recorded but not investigated); or 
    • you can make a formal report (where police will record the matter and proceed with an investigation). 
  • Choose to say nothing – this is a personal decision. If you do not wish to report or disclose your matter to ACU or the police, please consider reaching out to an ACU counsellor or external support service so you have someone to talk with and help you take care of yourself.    

If you would like to make a disclosure or a formal report, you can submit an online report.  

 Please note, any disclosure or formal report:

  • will not appear on your academic record
  • will not be shared with any teaching staff 
  • will not affect your visa status.

If you would like to make a formal or informal report to the police, you can you can find your closet police station (PDF, 125KB). Alternatively, please email respectandsafety@acu.edu.au or call the National Manager, Safeguarding and Student Safety, who can assist you with this process, on 02 9739 2002. 

Anyone can make a report. ACU encourages anyone who has experienced, witnessed or heard about behaviour that may be illegal, inappropriate, threatening or concerning to report it. Reports can be made by students, staff, contractors, former students or the general public.

Reports can be made anonymously. However, if you decide to remain anonymous, ACU may not be able to take appropriate action or investigate the incident due to natural justice and procedural fairness. If an anonymous report is made, ACU will not be able to provide the reporter with any information regarding the relevant support services available, including access to academic support.

When you choose to provide your contact details, ACU will be able to:

  • listen to you and respond with compassion and understanding
  • connect you with the most appropriate support services
  • explore any necessary safety measures
  • provide information and guidance on your reporting options
  • keep you informed with any updates on your report. 

If you are reporting on behalf of someone else, permission must be granted from the victim/survivor before you can include their name and contact details in your report.  

ACU Student Advocacy Service

The ACU Student Advocacy Service can help students navigate university policies and procedures, as well as assist with submitting a formal report to the university.

Contact student advocacy

National Manager, Safeguarding and Student Safety 

The National Manager, Safeguarding and Student Safety will help students to navigate the available support services and reporting options. Email respectandsafety@acu.edu.au or call 02 9739 2002. Emails to this address are only read by the trained staff responsible for responding to your report. All assistance is confidential.

If your report is not deemed to fall under the above categories or the Student Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy and Procedure, ACU will handle your report under the Student Complaints Policy and Procedure

Should the report not involve sexual misconduct, please complete ACU’s online complaints and feedback form.

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