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Report inappropriate behaviour

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Important information

We acknowledge that reporting inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination can be a difficult decision, and that a person must feel safe and confident that any report they make will be treated appropriately. UWA’s policy and procedures are designed to put the wellbeing and needs of the person who has experienced or is experiencing inappropriate behaviour first, and to listen and take action with their permission unless we have a duty of care obligation to take protective action.

We encourage any person to report any incident by, or toward, a member of the University community. It is possible to make an anonymous report, and it is possible to make a report without identifying any other person/people involved (find out more about possible limitations in our frequently asked questions). We also encourage students and staff to get support from University.

Who can make a report of inappropriate behaviour?

We encourage any person to report any incident of inappropriate behaviour by, or toward, a member of the University community. This includes current, former or prospective students or staff, as well as community members.

You can:

  • Report an incident that you have been subjected to. You are able to, but do not have to, identify yourself or the other people involved in the incident. You are able to provide as much or as little information as you feel comfortable to share.
  • Report an incident that someone has disclosed to you. You should advise the person who has disclosed to you that you are providing a report. You must NOT provide details that could identify the person unless you have their consent to do so.
  • Report an incident that you are aware of through other means, for example, you were a bystander, or have been made aware of indirectly, (such as sexual harassment that happened to someone else in a lecture that you attended or in your workplace) you can provide any details without approaching or contacting the people who are directly impacted or involved but you should not name the people involved.

What can I report?

  • Blackmail, extortion, fraud
    • Blackmail – the action of demanding payment or another benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising or damaging information about them.
    • Extortion – is a form of blackmail using intimidation to obtain money, property or valuable items through the use of actual or threatened force, violence or fear
    • Fraud means dishonest activity causing actual or potential financial loss to any individual or entity (including the theft of moneys or other property) in circumstances where the individual undertaking that activity has used deception immediately before, at the time of, or immediately following, that activity
  • Aggression, Bullying, harassment
    • Aggression: Any incident where a person is abused threatened or assaulted. The behaviour can include physical, verbal or written behaviour that causes harm or causes someone to fear harm.
    • Bullying means the repeated, unacceptable and unreasonable conduct directed at an individual or a group of individuals.
    • Harassment means conduct towards an individual or group of individuals that offends, humiliates and/or derogatory comments or taunts. Bullying and harassment can be in person or online.
  • Discrimination

    Discrimination means behaviour that treats an individual or group of individuals less favourably on the basis of certain personal characteristics such as sex, gender, age etc.

  • Domestic or relationship violence

    Domestic and family violence can involve behaviour that makes you feel scared, involve threats to you, your children or pets, and denies you choice. Domestic and family violence almost always involves an ongoing repeated pattern of behaviour of control. This is known as coercive control, which can include both physical and non-physical abuse.

  • Foreign interference
    Foreign Interference occurs when forms of inappropriate behaviour are directed at a student or staff member by, or on behalf of a foreign actor.
  • Hazing or initiation traditions

    Hazing is behaviour directed towards students or staff and involves pressure and/or force to participate in humiliating, negative, or distressing activities in order to be accepted as part of a group, club or workplace.

  • Modern slavery
    Modern Slavery involves coercion, threats or deception to exploit individuals and undermine their freedom. 
  • Racial harassment
    This includes a range of behaviours which intend or are likely to intimidate, offend or harm an individual or group because of their ethnic origin, colour, race, religion or nationality.
  • Sexual assault, harassment, exploitation (sexual misconduct)

    Sexual misconduct means an incident(s) where an individual engages in unwanted and unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It can include assault, harassment and/or exploitation.

  • Stalking
    Stalking can occur in almost any form of behaviour/s that doesn't stop when you ask. It can be in person or online or even involve other people.

Where can I get support?

We encourage anyone who has experienced or is experiencing inappropriate behaviour to seek support, and if not yet sure if you want to make a report, then the support services can help you consider what you want to do next and that may include making a report here.

UWA Security are available 24/7 to all students, staff and visitors and can help with safety escorts, building access, and responding to incidents and emergencies.

Supports for Students

Supports for Staff

Frequently asked questions

  • Why report?

    Reports enable UWA to identify patterns (in behaviours or in areas of the University) and monitor progress towards eliminating inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual harassment and sexual assault. If the identity and contact details of the person subjected to harm are provided in the report, information provision and support to that person can be facilitated.

  • What happens after a report is made?

    UWA will act in line with the wishes of the person who has experienced or is experiencing inappropriate behaviour, if that person has been identified (see 'who sees the report for exceptional circumstances’ where UWA may be required to act otherwise). In all cases, the Report will be confidentially recorded and stored, with de-identified information being shared to minimise future harm to our community.

  • Who sees the report?

    The report will be received and assessed by the Integrity and Standards Unit. As part of the assessment process for named reports, the ISU will make contact to find out what support services the person impacted would like information on or perhaps a referral to; and if the incident(s) are to be investigated., then what that process involves.

    Where an investigation is needed to put allegations to a student, the ISU will manage that process. Where it requires that allegations be put to a staff member, the case will be referred to Human Resources.

    Reports will be confidentially managed, stored and archived in accordance with UWA’s Record Management Policy. Reports are kept strictly confidential except where the Report needs to be sent to a different section such as Human Resources for an investigation, or in other exceptional circumstances, for example, where there is an immediate and serious risk to others. In such circumstances, UWA may either have to commence an investigation or may have to notify third parties, such as the Police or child protection authorities.

  • Difference between a report and a complaint

    The use of the terms ‘report’ and ‘complaint’ can be quite confusing at times. What the terms have in common is that they both let UWA know that something has happened that we should know about. Making a named report as the person who experienced or is experiencing inappropriate behaviour is the same as making a complaint – you are concerned about something that happened/is happening and have an expectation that UWA will take steps to support you and to look into those incidents (s).

    Third parties making a Report – such as DEI Contact Officers, are doing to so to provide de-identified reports that UWA can still consider in order to address basic issues such as lighting and building access, or to inform our development of training, etc. to change culture.

  • Anonymous reports

    You are able to make an anonymous report but the actions that are possible in response to anonymous reports are limited. We will only be able to act upon anonymous reports on very rare occasions. Anonymous reports can assist the University to track emerging concerns and target areas for prevention initiatives.

  • Reporting to Police

    UWA encourages those impacted by conduct/behaviour that may also be a criminal offence to report to WA Police. It is always up to the person who has been subjected to the harm to decide if they wish to report to Police (Note: there are exceptional and very limited circumstances when UWA may make a report directly to Police, for example, if there is an immediate and serious risk to others).

    In some cases, if the person who is the victim/survivor is under 16 years of age and at risk of harm, UWA has legal mandatory reporting obligation to notify Police.

    You can report criminal matters to WA Police at any time. It is possible to make an anonymous report to Police.

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