- Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy
- - Get Healthy Information & Coaching Service
- - Go4Fun
- - Fit & Strong Challenge
- - Mental health meanings
- - Health and physical wellbeing
- - Support
- - Report
- - Information for survivors
- - Supporter Community
- - Western's Respect. Now. Always. Campaign
- - Supporting a friend: Responding to disclosures of sexual offences
- - Positive intervention
- - International students
- - Language and accessibility options
- - Sexual harassment
- - First Responder Network
- - Counselling Service
- - Australia and New Zealand University Mental Health Day
- - Lifeline Training
- - Anxiety Forum
- - Wellness Walk
- - Sports Inclusion Program
- - Early Intervention in Psychosis Forum
- - ONETalk Forums: Early Intervention in Psychosis
- - Carers Forum
- - Sexual Health Training
- - 10 Tips to Stress Less Competition
- - Lifeline CSWT Fast-track Program
- Mental Health & Wellbeing resources
- Mental Health & Wellbeing training
- Contact the Mental Health & Wellbeing team
Supporting a friend: Responding to disclosures of sexual offences
How you can support someone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment
Research indicates a person’s first experience in sharing their sexual offence story influences their healing journey.
Professionals recommend a trauma-informed (opens in a new window) approach. This helps survivors regain control and normalise their experiences.
- Assure you and they are safe now and in the future. This includes self-care.
- Listen patiently with an open mind - without judgement, questions or unrealistic promises.
- Provide options and resources if you feel you can. This might be an offer to listen and/or a few phone numbers to call (such as Lifeline, 1800 RESPECT or the University Counselling Service. See the Support page (opens in a new window) for more).
- Assist them with the next stage of their healing journey. This might mean contacting services together, offering to check in at a later time or checking websites together. Most reporting systems (opens in a new window) welcome reports on behalf of others and services, such as ambulances, accept supporters.
Some key talking points:
This is heard as
I am sorry for what has happened.
I believe you.
What happened is a crime.
This is not your fault.
I will do what I can to help.
You are not alone.
Download a PDF guideline here (opens in a new window) .
Our University community has a network of volunteers (opens in a new window) who are trained in supporting survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Research indicates that person's early disclosure experiences may affect their healing journey. Specifically, a positive disclosure experience may assist in survivors understand that while something happened to them, it does not define them. For more, see here (opens in a new window).
To express interest in joining our First Responder network, contact us (opens in a new window).
Currently, we are developing training with Western's Sexualities and Genders Research (opens in a new window). Express interest in attending a face to face session here (coming soon).
In 2018, training was provided by the Gendered Violence Research Network (UNSW) (opens in a new window)