Safe and Respectful Communities

The University of Wollongong is committed to creating a safe and respectful environment for all members of our community. We believe everyone has the right to feel safe and supported on campus, free from discrimination, harassment and assault. We encourage all members of the community to speak out, report and seek support if they see behaviour that is threatening, offensive, or could be seen to be harassing or discriminatory in any way.

What is sexual assault and sexual harassment?

Sexual assault is a crime, that can happen to anyone, of any age, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation. Sexual assault occurs when a person is forced, coerced or tricked into sexual acts against their will or without their consent, or if a child or young person under 18 is exposed to sexual activities.

Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature which a person should expect will make the recipient feel humiliated, intimidated or offended. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and may include physical contact, verbal comments, jokes, propositions, the display of offensive material or other behaviour which creates a sexually hostile working or studying environment. Sexual harassment is not behaviour which is based on mutual attraction, friendship and respect. Sexual assault or sexual harassment can happen to anyone in our community. Female, male and LGBTIQ+ community members can be victims of sexual assault or harassment and are treated equally under the law.

What is informed consent?

To give informed consent you need to have an understanding of what is happening. A person who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or who is asleep is unable to give consent. A person who is unable to understand what they are consenting to due to their age or intellectual capacity is unable to give consent. Additionally, consent needs to be free of any type of coercion, for example threats, intimidation or harassment.