Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

Western is committed to creating safer university communities; the University strives to provide a safe, supportive and caring learning and working environment that is free from both harassment and assault as outlined under state and federal law.

Western Sydney University has joined together with other Australian universities to support a national campaign to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. Respect. Now. Always. is an initiative that was developed by Universities Australia to ensure that university campuses are places of safety and respect for all students and staff. Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and the Universities Australia Chair at the time of the initiative, Professor Barney Glover, says the campaign is about raising awareness in the university community that sexual assault and harassment are completely unacceptable.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, and which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Sexual harassment can take many forms and occur between men and women; women and other women; and men and other men.

Reporting sexual harassment

The University Respect web page has further information on supports and reporting options for students and staff who have experienced sexual harassment.

The Sexual Offences Reporting PortalOpens in a new window was created as part of Western's Respect.Now.Always. campaign.

The portal is for reporting any sexual offence, meaning a sexual activity that was unwanted, not consented to or that made a person feel uncomfortable. The portal securely captures all reports for investigation by the Complaints Resolution Unit. The portal is not intended to replace emergency services.

The portal accepts anonymous*, witnesses and bystander reports.

*In anonymous reports users are reminded that the lack of identifying detail may limit the university’s potential actions.

For more information about the portal, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Opens in a new window page.

We support those who report sexual harassment or sexual assault, and we encourage reporting. We believe survivors.

Policy and guidelines

The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy details further information on what is considered sexual harassment and identifies responsibilities for managers and supervisors, and staff and students. The following guidelines have been developed in association with the policy to provide practical advice on dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace.

To support the management and prevention of sexual harassment,  Guidelines for Managers and Supervisors are available which set out the responsibilities of managers and supervisors and give practical examples of how to prevent sexual harassment.

There are also guidelines available for students and staff who may have experienced sexual harassment. These guidelines "What to do if you think you have been sexually harassed" provide advice and options you can take.

Sexual assault

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 assault is a crime and is never the victim's fault.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone in our community regardless of age, sexuality, gender, socio-economic status, cultural background or relationship status.

Western Sydney University considers sexual assault a serious crime

Sexual offences response policy

The University Sexual Offences Response Policy and Procedures outlines the responsibilities of university staff in responding to reports of sexual assault and provides direction for the University when responding to all allegations of sexual offences.

University supports available

  • Students – If you want to speak privately with our free student Counselling Service or Welfare Service please ring 1300 668 370 during business hours. You can find out more about these services, which are on each campus, at Student Support Services.
  • Staff - Staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) on 1800 818 728. The EAP is a free, anonymous service to University employees.
  • Western Sydney University Campus Safety & Security - can also provide support if feeling unsafe, 24/7. Phone: 1300 737 003.

External supports

There are many sexual assault services throughout NSW that provide free counselling to victims of sexual assault: