Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Support

The Australian Institute of Higher Education is committed to preventing incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment, and providing access to support.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, you will find a range of useful information on this page about confidential counselling, medical support, reporting, complaint options, and external services.

Crisis support (24/7)

Police and ambulance services (immediate safety and medical concerns) – 000

1800 RESPECT (sexual assault counselling and information) – 1800 737 732

EXTERNAL SUPPORT SERVICES

Below you will find a list of services off campus which can offer you support, counselling and information.

1800 Respect
1800 424 017
Counselling is available 24/7, whether you're seeking help for yourself, a friend or relative, a colleague or a client. Professionals are also encouraged to use 1800RESPECT for support with secondary referrals or vicarious trauma.
NSW Rape Crisis1800 211 028
24/7 telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone in NSW - men and women - who has experienced or is at risk of sexual assault and their non-offending supporters.
Sexual Assault Counselling Australia1800 211 028
A national counselling service for anyone who is involved in or considering participating in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Sexual Assault Counselling Australia also provides counselling for people who want to address their trauma as a result of hearing about the Royal Commission, and anyone who is supporting someone who is participating in the Royal Commission.
Lifeline131 114
Online, phone and face-to-face crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Beyond Blue
1300 224 636
Provides information and support to help everyone in Australia experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Sydney Women's Counselling Centre
9718 1955
Specialist counselling service supporting women affected by trauma.
MensLine (24/7)1300 789 978
A professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men.
Survivors and Mates Support Network1800 472 676
A not-for-profit organisation working to increase public awareness of the effects that childhood sexual abuse can have on men in their adult lives.
Qlife LGBTIQ Counselling1800 184 527
Australia’s first nationally-oriented counselling and referral service for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and/or queer (LGBTIQ). Online and phone counselling available.
Twenty108594 9555
Sydney based service providing a broad range of specialised services for young people 12-25 including housing, mental health, counselling and social support, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse, non-binary, intersex, questioning, queer, asexual and more (LGBTIQA+)
Useful Contact Numbers
If there is an emergency and you require an ambulance000
13SICK home doctor service137 425
Health Direct 24 hour helpline1800 022 222

HELPFUL INFORMATION

Below you will find information which will support you to make the best decision for yourself, or the person you are supporting. For Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Policy and Procedure at AIH, please visit Policies and Procedures.

Sexual assault is any sexual or sexualised act that has not been consented to, agreed upon, invited, or chosen. It is a betrayal of trust and a denial of each person’s right to determine what happens to their body. Sexual assault can be committed against people regardless of their gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, and background. Sexual assault is sometimes referred to as rape, sexual abuse or sexual violence.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It is not sexual interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual. Sexual harassment might include:

  • Discussions of a sexual nature or graphic sexual description
  • Sexual innuendos, slurs, jokes and comments
  • Asking personal questions about a person’s sex life or body
  • Repeated unwanted requests for sex and/or dates
  • Displaying or distributing sexually suggestive visuals including pictures, calendars, posters, or sexually explicit materials such as videos or text
  • Inappropriate touching such as patting, pinching, stroking or brushing up against the body
  • Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person, or exposing yourself

Consent is when a person freely and voluntarily agrees to sexual activity. Sexual assault occurs when someone is unable to and/or does not give consent. Consent is not always verbal, but must be given before people engage in any sexual activity. The legal age of consent in NSW is 16 years old, regardless of gender.

The law says that a person may be unable to give consent when:

  • Asleep or unconscious
  • Significantly intoxicated or affected by drugs
  • Unable to understand consent due to their age or intellectual capacity
  • Intimidated, coerced or threatened
  • Unlawfully detained or held against their will
  • There is abuse of power or a position of trust
  • The law requires the alleged perpetrator to demonstrate what steps they took to ensure consent was given.

If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, you are encouraged to report it so that you can get the support and information you need.

You can report the sexual assault to a specialist sexual assault service like 1800 RESPECT who can guide you through the options available to you.

You can report sexual assault to the police, who will ask you about the incident and discuss the possibility of a criminal investigation.  You have the option of contacting your nearest Police Station, or you can complete a Sexual Assault Reporting Options (SARO) questionnaire.

You can contact AIH’s Student Well-being Officer who can help direct you further to the appropriate services, Mrs Alison McPhee (a.mcphee@aih.nsw.edu.au).