Support for sexual harassment and assault

The University of Western Australia is committed to providing an environment where students, staff and visitors are valued, respected and can realise their full potential.

Your safety and wellbeing is our priority. Sexual harm in all its forms has no place at our university or anywhere else.

UWA takes incidents of sexual harm very seriously. View the University Policy on Sexual Misconduct

If you have been affected, you may need a range of supports that suit your unique situation and individual challenges, with the goal of minimising disruption to your work, study and personal goals.

Message from UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Amit Chakma

After an incident

If you, or someone you know, has experienced a sexual assault, it is important that the person access medical care as soon as possible. All medical and wellbeing support options are confidential and not linked with your academic record or your visa to study in Australia.

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Immediate safety

If on campus contact UWA Security for 24/7 support. If off campus, contact Emergency Services: 000.

UWA Security

For a recent sexual assault

Get immediate and specialist medical, counselling and forensic support 24/7 for an assault within the past 14 days.

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)

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Make a confidential disclosure to a specialist staff member and get support regarding your safety, academic, wellbeing and reporting options.

Student Incident and Support

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Submit a report to the Police by calling 9428 1600 and/or the University via our online portal.

Integrity and Standards Unit

If you raise an incident with us, we are here to support you. We will:

  • meet you privately to provide advice and options, and facilitate connections
  • treat you with respect, sensitivity, understanding and professionalism
  • not judge you or blame you
  • keep you informed on UWA decisions relating to your incident

It is your choice whether you make a disclosure, complaint or report to the Police. You can report anonymously; however, this can limit our capacity to support you or respond to the incident.

UWA is committed to ensuring a safe and inclusive environment

Get support from the University

There are many support services at UWA and, if you wish to seek independent advice and support, the Guild Student Assist team. You can access any of these services for issues that are recent or in the past, regardless of whether they relate to your experience at UWA. 

Student Incident and Support

The Student Incident and Support Team are specially trained to respond to sexual harm and family domestic violence. They can assist you holistically on a range of issues. It is important to know there are many options to take following an incident and it's your choice to decide what will work best for you.

This team can help to coordinate practical and academic support to minimise any disruption to your studies, fast track referrals to support services and provide advice regarding formal reporting options.

To make a confidential disclosure phone (+61 8) 6488 2423 or email disclosure@uwa.edu.au

University Medical Centre

Make an appointment to see a doctor/general practitioner on campus by booking online or via phone: (+61 8) 6488 2118.

Counselling and Psychological Services

Access free and confidential counselling support on campus.

Guild Student Assist

This team of social workers and a wellbeing counsellor are employed by the UWA Student Guild and can assist with any academic, welfare and financial issues you may encounter whilst studying at UWA. This support service is independent of the University.

Call (+61 8) 6488 2292 or email assist@guild.uwa.edu.au

Submit a report

Making a report means that you are asking for an investigation and/or response.

Reporting can help to:

  • resolve the issue quickly,
  • prevent others from experiencing a similar issue, and
  • contribute to a positive change in processes.

If you have experienced an incident that may classify as a criminal offence, such as sexual assault or rape, we encourage you to report this to police in the first instance. You can access UWA support services at the same time as filing a report.

You may also want to consider getting a restraining order from a court or from the police if someone is using violence, making threats, or behaving in a way that makes you feel unsafe or upset.

Visit Legal Aid WA for information on the different types of restraining orders that can be made in WA and help with the process.

Reporting to the police

We encourage you to report incidents that may constitute a criminal offence to the police in the first instance, as they can conduct criminal investigations.

The police will ask you about the incident and discuss the possibility of a criminal investigation. You can either contact your nearest police station on 131 444 or the Police Sex Assault Squad on (+61 8) 9428 1600 or sexassaultsquadsmail@police.wa.gov.au. Find out more about what's involved in reporting to the police on the WA Police Sexual Assault webpage.

Reporting to the University

Anyone directly subjected to sexual misconduct, including someone who is not a member of the UWA community, can submit a report against a member of the UWA community.

If you report an incident to the University, a range of responses are possible, depending on the information that you provide. If you choose to report anonymously it can limit UWA's capacity to take action in response to the report.

Reports can be made to the UWA Integrity and Standards Unit by:

If you report an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment, this will not affect your academic record. If you are an international student, reporting an incident will not affect your student visa.

If you have questions about submitting a report, you can discuss these openly with staff at Student Incident and Support before you support this process (phone (+61 8) 6488 2423 or email disclosure@uwa.edu.au).

Supporting someone who has been affected

You may currently be supporting a friend or a class mate who has experienced sexual harm.

Your response matters. Here's some pointers for responding:

  • It's important to ensure the person's immediate safety and wellbeing
  • Do not blame any of the individuals involved or make judgements
  • Ask how the person would like to be helped and give timely and accurate information on specialist support and reporting options

Refer to our Guide for supporting a student who has experience sexual assault or harassment for more information.

What is UWA doing to prevent sexual harm?

UWA, along with other Australian institutions, is part of the Universities Australia Respect. Now. Always. Initiative. This aims to raise awareness amongst university communities that sexual assault and harassment are unacceptable and ensure that avenues of support are available, appropriate and easily accessible.

We also convened a dedicated Safer Communities Working Group, co-chaired by the Guild President and Director of Student Life. This group oversees prevention strategies to address sexual harm in the UWA community.

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