Sexual Offences Reporting Portal - Frequently Asked Questions

General


What's the reporting portal for?

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.

Who can report?

Anyone can make a report. It could be a person who has experienced a sexual offence, someone reporting the assault for them, a support person, friend, parent or staff member.

Who owns the portal? Where do reports go?

Reports are managed by the University's Complaints Resolution Unit. For more information see here

Can I report anonymously?

Yes. You can add as much or as little information as you are comfortable with. However, please be aware that an anonymous report may be difficult to investigate if there is insufficient detail.

Can I report on behalf of someone else?

Yes. Anyone can use the portal, including the person who has experienced the sexual offence or someone reporting the assault for them. See here on supporting a friend.

Can I report both to Western and the police?

Yes you can.  If there's a chance that you, or other people, might be in danger, please call the Police immediately (000).

Can I report incidents which are not recent?

Yes. Each person takes their own time to process and disclosure assault and harassment. The University will investigate historical reports to the best of its ability.

If I already made a report, can I add more information later?

Yes.

Can I save a copy of my report? Is there a reference number?

You will be given a reference number once you submit the final page of your report. If you want to save a copy when you report, we recommend screenshots or photos.

I think I might be in danger. Should I make a report before something happens?

If you are in danger, call the Police 000 immediately. Your safety is important. You can make a report later.

I'm experiencing stalking/ cyberbullying/ online threats. Can I make a report?

Yes, but if you think you may be in danger, call the Police 000 now.

Do I need to have a student or staff number to make a report?

No. Anyone can use the portal, including the person who has experienced the sexual offence or someone reporting the assault on their behalf.

Sexual Offences Questions


What is a sexual offence?

"Sexual offences" mean some type of sexual act which is not consented to. It usually means unwanted sexual touching but also includes unwanted image sharing and threatening to touch.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is a legal term used to describe a range of sexual offences, including kissing or touching them, as well as penetration of the person’s body with a body part or object.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment means 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 would cause the person to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. At Western, sexual harassment is covered by a separate policy – the Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.

What is consent?

Consent means both people freely and voluntarily agree to sexual activity. It also means taking responsibility to ensure the other person is comfortable at all times. A person can withdraw their consent at any time.

Management / Response


How are reports managed?

When the University becomes aware of an allegation involving a sexual offence, it will respond promptly to the person reporting the allegation by providing support, information and facilitating access to relevant counselling, with the exception of reports made anonymously.

How long until I get a response to my portal report?

The Complaints Resolution Unit aim to respond to your query by the next working day. See here (opens in a new window) for more.

If I make a report, will the university inform the Police?

The University will manage each report on a case by case basis and we would generally consult with you before contacting the police.

Making a report can affect my grades, my job or my visa?

No. The University will take all reports seriously and the fact of making a report will not have a negative impact on you.

Will you tell my parents? Immigration? Lecturer? Colleagues? Supervisor?

The University will not disclose any information to any individual without your express consent.

What if someone makes a false report?

All reports are taken seriously. The University will take relevant action if someone makes a report they know or must reasonably know is false.

Can a report be withdrawn?

Making a report is a serious matter. Requests for a report to be withdrawn will be considered, however, there may be obligations to act once the University receives a report.

Someone has made a report against me, or I think they have. What can I do?

If a report progresses to an investigation, you will be advised and given the opportunity to respond in accordance with procedural fairness. The University's investigations will be procedurally fair. The person allegedly responsible for the sexual offence will have the opportunity to understand and respond to the allegations made against them before a determination is made.

What if the harassment or behaviour was supposed to be only a joke? What if no harm was meant?

The University has policies in place which encourage respect for all members of its community.  All reports will be taken seriously.    

The “reasonable person” test decides if behaviour is sexual harassment.  It basically assesses the behaviour against the standard that the community would expect of a person.

For more on sexual harassment, see here (opens in a new window).

Someone has reported / complained against me. What will happen? (Student)

If a report progresses to an investigation, you will be advised and given the opportunity to respond in accordance with procedural fairness. The Sexual Offences Response Policy and Procedures (opens in a new window) will be followed.

It is recognised that the alleged offender also needs support. Campus Safety and Security will ensure the most appropriate method of informing the alleged offender/s about available legal and support services. Where the alleged offender/s is a student, Campus Safety and Security will also report the matter to the Chief Student Experience Officer for preliminary investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule and to the Executive Director, Student Services and Manager, Complaints Resolution.

Someone has reported / complained against me. What will happen? (Staff)

If a report progresses to an investigation, you will be advised and given the opportunity to respond in accordance with procedural fairness. Sexual Offences Response Policy and Procedures (opens in a new window) will be followed.

It is recognised that the alleged offender also needs support. Campus Safety and Security will ensure the most appropriate method of informing the alleged offender/s about available legal and support services. Where the alleged offender/s is a staff member, Campus Safety and Security will also report the matter to the Executive Director, Human Resources for handling under the relevant staff Enterprise Agreement.

Support Questions


Can I contact counselling in case I'm not really sure of what happened?

Yes, the counselling team aims to offer support and help you decide what you want to do. If you are staff you may contact the University's Employee Assistance Provider (opens in a new window) in confidence to work out your options.

This service is available free of charge for all Western staff, including casuals.

If I contact counselling, will I be obliged to make a report?

It's up to you whether you want to report or not.

However, Western Sydney University encourages survivors and bystanders to report behaviour which may constitute a sexual offence.

I would like to talk to a First Responder. How can I contact them? 

Our First Responder Network is available here (opens in a new window)

Can I contact someone at Western rather than using the portal?

Please contact whoever you trust. Perhaps they can help you use the portal. This is your choice. You can get in touch with our First Responder Network (opens in a new window) or contact our  Counselling team (opens in a new window) - 1300 668 370.

Can I have assistance to complete this form?

The University Counselling Service (opens in a new window) is here to help. Please contact us and we can work with you to help you choose what to do. Staff may contact our Employee Assistance Provider (opens in a new window).

What if I need assistance during the weekends or after business hours?

If you need support during the weekend or after hours, we recommend calling 1800 RESPECT (opens in a new window) (1800 737 732) or NSW Rape Crisis (opens in a new window) (1800 424 017). There are many good services offering free and confidential care. Please see Respect Now Always' Support page (opens in a new window) for more. You can also contact Campus Safety and Security (opens in a new window) at any time.

Privacy Questions


How is my privacy maintained?

Western Sydney University values your privacy and has strict rules about this. Information collected from you is stored in a secure database and will only be used to process your report. See the information in the portal on More information about how your personal information is managed.

As a staff member, will my director, supervisor or colleagues (etc.) be informed?

The University will not disclose any information to any individual without your express consent.