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Sexual assault and sexual harassment

At ECU we are committed to a safe learning and working environment. We have zero tolerance for sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Support is available from ECU and other organisations, no matter when or where the assault or harassment happened.

Who do I call in an emergency?

If your situation is immediately life-threatening or urgent contact emergency services at any time (day or night):

  • Call 000 from a landline or
  • Call 112 from a mobile or
  • Call 106 from a TTY if you have a speech or hearing disability

Request immediate police attendance and/or ambulance if needed.

ECU Security can be contacted at any time (day or night)

  • Call (08) 6304 3333

ECU Security will also follow up with other ECU support staff or Police and Emergency Services if required.

How do I report an incident?

If you or someone you know needs to report a concern we are here to help. ECU will respond to all reports of inappropriate or threatening behaviour and offer you support.

What support is available?

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment there is support available.

Any unwanted sexual behaviour that you have not agreed to is sexual assault. It can include touching, exposure to sexual acts, sexual images taken without consent, or any form of sexual penetration.

Sexual assault is never the responsibility or fault of the person who has been assaulted. It's a misuse of power and it violates personal boundaries.

Sexual assault is a crime and is often perpetrated by someone known to the victim. Sexual assault can happen to anyone of any age, gender, cultural background, sexual orientation or religious belief.

An unwanted sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours, or conduct of a sexual nature that a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances would have anticipated the possibility that a recipient would be humiliated, intimidated or offended.

It may include kissing, embracing, patting, pinching, touching, leering, gestures, questions about a person's private or sexual life, smutty jokes, inappropriate phone calls, emails, electronic messaging, offensive noises, or displays of sexually graphic or suggestive material.

Consent is agreement to an action or arrangement and must be given without fear, coercion or manipulation.

'Sexual consent’ means that you and your partner both consent to agreed sexual activity. Both people must always agree to proceed, and not to pressure someone if they don’t feel ready or decide they don’t want to continue. Either person can decide at any time that they don’t want to keep going. At that point they are no longer giving their consent and both people should stop.

You cannot give consent if you are:

  • asleep, unconscious or significantly affected by drugs or alcohol
  • unable to understand what you are consenting to
  • pressured or coerced because of threats, force, fear or harm to yourself or someone else
  • under the age of consent.

Respect is central to ECU’s values. We respect your right to a safe culture and environment to study and work in. We are committed to continuing to develop a culture at ECU that aims to prevent inappropriate behaviour and encourages staff and students to speak up and act if an incident occurs.

At ECU, we have zero tolerance for sexual assault and harassment. Over many years, policies have been developed to prevent sexual assault and harassment and ensure that services are in place to support students when they disclose or report an incident.

ECU has joined other Australian Universities, partnering in the Universities Australia campaign RESPECT.NOW.ALWAYS to improve awareness and support for victims of sexual assault.

The campaign raises awareness of sexual assault and harassment on Australian university campuses. By raising awareness of this important issue, the campaign aims to empower those who have experienced sexual assault or harassment to seek the help and support they need. It also provides an opportunity for the university sector to review policies, reporting procedures, and support services for victim survivors of sexual assault.

For more information, see the RESPECT.NOW.ALWAYS website.

  • If you receive a report of sexual assault from a student, please advise the Director Student Services Centre immediately on +61 8 6304 3888 or +61 8 6304 3881. If no response, call +61 8 6304 2282 (all hours).
  • If you are assaulted or harassed, or you receive a report from another staff member about an assault or harassment, please advise the Director HRSC on +61 8 6304 2937 or +61 8 6304 2362. If no response, call +61 8 6304 2282 (all hours).
  • Counselling and support services are available for staff 24/7 via ECU's Employee Assistance Program provider, People Sense. Call them on 1300 307 912.
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