Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

SUMMARY

The Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy sets out:

  • behaviours which are not accepted by Macquarie University;
  • what consent means in relation to those behaviours;
  • how reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment concerning Macquarie University students can be made to the University; and
  • how the University will respond to a report about sexual assault or sexual harassment committed by a student.

The Policy is supported by the the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Procedure and Guide.

POLICY

1. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE

If someone is in immediate danger or requires urgent medical attention, use the Emergency Assistance contacts.

Emergency assistance

On campus - (02) 9850 9999

For immediate help on campus

Off campus - 000

For immediate help off campus

For other support service contact information, see Section 1 of the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Procedure.

2. PURPOSE AND BACKGROUND

All members of the Macquarie University community have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to work or study in a safe environment.

Sexual assault and sexual harassment can cause significant harm to individuals and communities. Sexual assault and sexual harassment are unacceptable, illegal and are prohibited by Macquarie University.

This Policy should be read with the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Procedure.

This Policy sets out:

  • behaviours which are not accepted by Macquarie University;
  • what consent means in relation to those behaviours;
  • how reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment concerning Macquarie University students can be made to the University; and
  • how the University will respond to a report about sexual assault or sexual harassment committed by a student.

3. SCOPE

This Policy applies to members of the Macquarie University Community when engaged in University activities or on University premises. University activities include a broad range of activities occurring on and off campus, including University-sponsored social events, and activities which use online platforms and/or social media. See the Definitions for a detailed explanation of the terms ‘Macquarie University community’, ‘University activities’ and ‘University premises’.

Where sexual assault and/or sexual harassment is reported and is outside the scope of this Policy, the incident(s) will not be investigated by the University as a potential student misconduct issue. Support services and referrals, however, will be offered.

This Policy does not apply to sexual interaction, flirtation, attraction, or friendship which is invited, mutual, consensual, or reciprocated. However, behaviours can become sexual assault or sexual harassment if the interaction changes to non-consensual, unwelcomed or unreciprocated.

This Policy does not apply to sexual assault or sexual harassment affecting anyone under the age of 18. Reports of child abuse, which includes any sexual offence or sexual misconduct involving children or young people must  be managed in accordance with the Children at Macquarie University Policy / Procedure.

4. POLICY STATEMENT

4.1 UNIVERSITY RESPONSIBILITIES

The University is committed to providing a safe environment for all students and staff and does not tolerate any act of sexual assault or sexual harassment. Members of the Macquarie University community should behave in an inclusive and respectful way.

The University will:

a) implement education and training for students, which may include mandatory education and training;

b) provide evidence-based and person-centred support services to students who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment;

c) provide students with ways to report behaviour to the University, including anonymous reports;

d) assess all reports of sexual assault and sexual harassment;

e) where possible, consult with the person who experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, and take their wishes into account when responding to a report;

f) ensure procedural fairness;

g) ensure confidentiality and privacy, in accordance with University Policy;

h) impose a sanction, if a University investigation of a report concludes a student or student organisation has engaged in misconduct; and

i) consider disciplinary action, if a report is assessed to be vexatious or malicious.

4.2 STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES

Students at the University must not sexually assault or sexually harass any other member of the Macquarie University community.

The University may require students to undertake education and training in relation to sexual assault and sexual harassment. The University may implement sanctions for students who do not complete mandatory education and do not request to opt-out of mandatory education.

4.3 WHAT IS CONSENT?

Consent means a person has freely chosen to take part in sexual contact.  Consent requires ongoing agreement; it can be withdrawn at any time. Where consent is withdrawn, or cannot be given, sexual contact must stop.

If someone has given consent in the past, it cannot be assumed that they consent to further sexual contact. Consent cannot be assumed because someone does not resist, verbally or physically, or because they do not appear to be resisting.  Consent can be given by words or actions, if those words or actions are clear indications of willingness to engage in sexual contact.

See the Definitions for more information about consent.

4.4 WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?

For the purposes of this Policy, a person may be considered to have sexually assaulted another person if:

  • the other person did not consent to sexual contact or a sexual act; and
  • the person should have reasonably known, having thought about the circumstances, that the other person did not consent to sexual contact or a sexual act.

See the Definitions for information about specific behaviours which are sexual assault.

4.5 WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?

For the purposes of this Policy, sexual harassment is defined as:

  • unwanted sexual advances, or unwelcome requests for sexual favours; or
  • other unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature; and
  • a reasonable person, considering the situation, would expect the person experiencing the behaviour to be offended, humiliated, or intimidated by the behaviour.

Sexual harassment can take many forms and may be physical, verbal, or occur online. It includes behaviour that may be considered an offence under criminal law, such as stalking.

See the Definitions for more information about behaviours which are sexual harassment.

4.6 SUPPORT

The safety and wellbeing of students who have been affected by sexual assault and sexual harassment are priorities of the University. The University will provide accessible support for students affected by sexual assault and/or sexual harassment, whether or not the incidents occurred during University activities. Students can request support from University services, and/or from support services outside the University.

Students at Macquarie who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, can decide whether to share information with the University, or not. There are no time limits on seeking help or advice.

Support provided by the University may include helping a student to access adjustment to their studies to support their safety, wellbeing or academic progress. Seeking support does not lead to an investigation by the University.

For contact details of support services on and off campus, and examples of the kind of support a student may be able to access, see Section 1 of the Procedure.

4.7 REPORTING

The University encourages anyone in the Macquarie University community who is affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment to make a report to the University.  Members of the University community who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment have the right to decide what information they report.

Sexual assault and sexual harassment affecting students can be reported to the University anonymously, or a person making a report can chose to provide their contact details. A report can be made by the person who experienced the behaviour, or by someone who witnessed or heard about the behaviour.

For more information about how reports involving students can be made to the University and what happens when a report is received, see Sections 4-5 of the Procedure.

Staff reporting the behaviour of other staff members, or behaviour of members of the public which has affected staff only, will be referred to Human Resources at Macquarie University. These reports will be managed, using complaint handling policies and procedures appropriate to the situation.

Any investigation of a report by the University is not a substitute for a criminal investigation conducted by the NSW Police.

The University’s investigation procedures may not be applicable if a report of sexual assault or sexual harassment is made against someone who is not a member the Macquarie University community.

4.7.1 Anonymous Reports

When an anonymous report is made, the University may not be able to take any further action. The information provided in an anonymous report will be used to monitor the incidence of sexual assault and sexual harassment affecting the Macquarie University community, and to identify potential improvements to safety on campus.

The assessment of an anonymous report may lead to information being shared with NSW Police or other relevant government agencies.

For more information about when information from anonymous reports may be shared with other organisations, see Section 4.9 in this Policy.

4.7.2 Report with Contact Details

Reports with contact details include the name and contact information of the person who experienced the sexual assault or sexual harassment or the name and contact information of the person who submitted the report.

The University will consult with a person making a report with contact details regarding what response they wish the University to take. Reports with contact details may be treated as a complaint, which may lead to a University investigation.

A report with contact details which concerns the actions of a student or a student organisation may result in the University putting in place interim measures affecting students; see Section 4.8 of this Policy for more information about interim measures.

A report with contact details which concerns student behaviour or a student organisation, may result in the University responding in accordance with the Student Discipline Rules and Procedure.

4.7.3 Reports on behalf of another person

The University will accept reports made by a person who has witnessed or heard about a student experiencing sexual assault or sexual harassment.

The University may not be able to investigate a report made on behalf of another person, if the person directly affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment does not share their contact details with the University.

4.7.4 Reports to External Organisations

Members of the Macquarie University community can report to external organisations. Any student who experiences sexual assault or sexual harassment has the right to report to an external organisation, and the right to decide not to report.

If a report is made to an external organisation, such as NSW Police, a University response may need to be delayed. However, the University may still implement interim measures.

4.8 INTERIM MEASURES

Interim measures against a student can be put in place by the University to reduce the potential for harm to any member of the Macquarie University community. Interim measures do not anticipate the outcome of any University or external investigation and are not a penalty.

Interim measures are temporary restrictions or requirements regarding who a student can contact, or how they can contact someone, or where and when they can go on campus. These restrictions or requirements may be in place for a length of time which the University considers appropriate. The University may also place conditions on the restrictions or requirements, if appropriate. Interim measures may be applied to any student and cannot be implemented unless a report has been made to the University.

If the University or an external organisation is investigating a report, the University may put in place interim measures against a student before the investigation has been completed.

A student who is subject to interim measures has the right to ask for the measures to be removed or varied.

See Section 6.3 of the Procedure, for more information about interim measures.

4.9 PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

4.9.1 University responsibilities

Information from a report can be disclosed for a specific purpose, if the person making the report has given consent to disclosure. Otherwise, the University will keep reports about sexual assault and/or sexual harassment confidential, with some limitations.

The University is required to report serious crimes, as defined in Section 316 of the Crimes Act (NSW) 1900. If a report provides information about a serious crime, the University must share this information with the NSW Police. The University is also required, by law, to protect student and staff safety and may need to provide information to the NSW Police and/or relevant government agencies to safeguard the Macquarie University community.

Mandatory reporting legislation may also affect confidentiality. Information about sexual assault or sexual harassment that involves individuals under 18 years old (whether as victim, perpetrator or witness) must be reported to relevant government agencies, which may include the NSW Police.

Within the University, information from a report may only be accessed by staff who need this information to act on the responsibilities specified in this Policy. Where the University responds to a report, students and staff involved in the response or any investigation must keep all information about the report, the investigation, and the University response confidential. A University response includes an investigation, a finding or penalty.

4.9.2 Student responsibilities

Students involved in any report, investigation or response may only disclose information if seeking support or advice from the following:

  • a confidential communication to immediate family members
  • a registered health professional (such as a General Practitioner or psychologist),
  • a spiritual leader or Elder,
  • a registered legal practitioner,
  • NSW Police,
  • staff from relevant government agencies, including the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Australian Human Rights Commission, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency or NSW Ombudsman’s Office.

Disclosure of information about a report, University response or investigation may be a breach of the Student Discipline Rules and Procedure.

4.10 PROTECTION FROM REPRISALS, RETALIATIONS, OR THREATS

Students must not victimise another person, or commit or threaten to commit an act of reprisal, because that person has:

  • asked for support regarding sexual assault or sexual harassment;
  • reported sexual assault or sexual harassment;
  • provided information about a report of sexual assault or sexual harassment;
  • referred someone else to support for sexual assault or sexual harassment;
  • helped someone else report sexual assault or sexual harassment; or
  • been the subject of a report of sexual assault or sexual harassment.
4.11 INVESTIGATION BY THE UNIVERSITY

An investigation by the University will assess whether, on the balance of probabilities, the reported sexual harassment or sexual assault is a breach of the Student Discipline Rule. The University’s investigation process is not a substitute for criminal processes.

Where a University investigation concludes that the behaviour(s) reported is a breach, a finding of misconduct may be made under the Student Discipline Rule. The Student Discipline Procedure Schedule 2 lists a range of sanctions which may be imposed on a student, or student organisation, as the result of finding of misconduct.

See Section 7 of the Procedure for more information.

4.12 PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS

Macquarie University will make decisions in accordance with the requirements of procedural fairness. Procedural fairness means:

  • decisions relating to allegations must be made based on evidence provided;
  • an alleged perpetrator is entitled to be given notice of the allegations against them and of any associated process.  They will be given the opportunity to respond to allegations;
  • all parties may be accompanied to any meeting by a support person, if they wish;
  • the parties involved will not be required to meet with one another to reach a resolution; and
  • A person must not hear or determine a misconduct allegation if they are personally and substantially involved in any aspect of the allegation, if they have a current or prior relationship with the person being investigated for misconduct, or with the person who has made an allegation of misconduct
4.13 APPEALS or DISSATISFACTION WITH UNIVERSITY RESPONSE

Where a student or student organisation has had a sanction imposed as a result of a finding of misconduct related to sexual harassment or sexual assault, the student or student organisation can appeal the finding or the penalty according to the procedures in Part 6 of the Student Discipline Procedure.

Where a student has made a report to the University about sexual harassment or sexual assault, and is not satisfied with the University response, the student can make a complaint within the University or to an external organisation, as described in the Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public.

4.14 MANDATORY EDUCATION

The University may make online or face-to-face education mandatory for Macquarie University students, or for Macquarie University students engaged in specific activities (such as leading student groups).

A student may ask to opt-out of part or all of education, in limited circumstances. These circumstances include:

  1. a student can provide evidence of completion of the education course or its equivalent within the last 36 months;
  2. past experiences mean participating may have a significant, negative affect on a student’s wellbeing.

The University may impose a sanction on students who do not complete mandatory education, and do not request to opt-out of education.

5. DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms can be found in the University Glossary.

For the purposes of this Policy and associated Procedure, the following definitions apply:

Balance of probabilities

A standard of proof which means that it was more likely than not that something occurred in a certain way.

Consent

A person is not able to consent to sexual contact when:

  • they are asleep or unconscious;
  • they are substantially intoxicated by alcohol or any drug;
  • they do not have capacity to consent because of their age, physical   disability or cognitive capacity;
  • they are intimidated, coerced or threatened
  • they are unlawfully detained;
  • they are pressured to engage in sexual activities by another person,   who is in a position of power, authority or trust;
  • they are tricked about the identity of any person involved;
  • they are tricked about the situation; or
  • they are under 16 years of age.

Macquarie University community

Includes the following:

  • Members of the University’s council
  • Staff (see Definition below)
  • Students (see Definition below)
  • Student Organisations including student groups, clubs, and societies
  • Sub-contractors working on University premises
  • Tenants and licensees of University Premises and their officers and   staff;
  • Persons conducting an authorised business or other activity upon   University Premises; and
  • Members of the public who are visiting University premises, or taking   part in University activities
  • People external to the University with whom students or staff interact   as part of their study or work (e.g. employers supervising student   placements)
  • Residents in University accommodation

Person-centred

Refers to an approach that supports a victim or survivor’s rights and wishes; and prioritises safety, dignity and respect.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault can include a range of sexual acts, which are described below. Threatening to engage in these behaviours may also be considered sexual assault.

a) rape – the penetration of a person’s vagina or anus by another person, using any part of their body or an object. It includes unwanted oral sex.

b) sexual touching – Unwanted touching or threatening to touch a person in a sexual way without their consent. It can include

  • unwanted touching of a person’s breast, bottom, or genitals;
  • touching on top of or under clothing that does not penetrate someone’s   body;
  • kissing;
  • a person making someone touch their penis, vagina, or anus.

c) sexual act – behaviour of a sexual nature with or towards another person, without consent, or when a person is made to do something of a sexual nature. It can include:

  • masturbating in front of another person;
  • a person showing another person their genitals;
  • a person sending another person an unwanted image of genitals, breasts   or bottom;
  • making a person show another person their breasts, bottom or genitals.

d) voyeurism – observing a person on purpose, for sexual gratification, for instance:

  • watching someone who is naked;
  • watching someone who is wearing underwear only, or trying to see   someone’s genitals or underwear during day-to-day activities;
  • watching someone using the toilet, showering or bathing; or
  • watching someone engaged in a sexual act.

e) recording and/or distributing an intimate image –using electronic, digital or other means to make or distribute photographs, audio or visual recordings of another person, including altered images of another person. Recordings may include, or attempts to include, any of the following:

  • the other person’s breasts, bottom or genitals;
  • the other person wearing underwear (sometimes called “upskirting”);
  • the other person naked;
  • the other person using the toilet, showering or bathing;
  • the other person engaged in a sexual act

Sexual harassment

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • unwelcome touching, hugging or kissing;
  • staring or leering;
  • unwanted invitations to go out on dates;
  • unwanted requests for sexual contact;
  • intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body;
  • sexually explicit emails or SMS messages;
  • touching or fiddling with a person’s clothing, such as lifting up a   skirt or pulling down trousers.

Staff

Any staff member of the University, including officers, employees and contractors of the University and appointees to conjoint, adjunct, emeritus, honorary, clinical and visiting academic positions of the University.

Student

Means a student of the University and includes:

  • A person who is enrolled in or auditing a program or unit of study   provided by the University;
  • A person who is enrolled in a program or unit of study at or offered   by an affiliated educational institution which is approved as an award   program or a unit of study by the University;
  • A person who has accepted an offer of admission to the University but   who has not yet enrolled in any program or unit of study;
  • A student of another educational institution who is authorised by the   University to be on or to have access to or use of University property;
  • A person who was a student at the time of any alleged misconduct;
  • A person who became admitted or enrolled as a student after having   done so by misleading or dishonest means;
  • Any person who has been suspended or excluded from a program or unit   of study at the University;
  • A person who is on leave of absence from, or who has deferred   enrolment in, a program or unit of study offered by the University or by an   affiliated educational institution which is approved as an award program or   unit of study by the University; or
  • Any person who undertakes any academic exercise on University premises   or which is part of a program or unit of study provided, supervised or   assessed by the University.

University

Means Macquarie University, including:

  • Its controlled entities;
  • Any educational institution located on the premises of the University.

University Accommodation

Means any:

  • Residential college of the University;
  • Residential premises primarily intended for use as student residences,   whether or not they are owned, operated or Managed by the University.

University Premises

Means any:

  • Premises owned operated, supervised, occupied or controlled by the   University, including premises of which the University is the landlord;
  • Premises on which University activities take place; and
  • University accommodation.

University activities

Means the activities of the University and the University community, including:

  • Teaching, study and research at the University;
  • The management or administration of the University
  • Recreational, commercial, disciplinary or ceremonial activities of the   University or the University community;
  • Any clinical, professional or practical work, including workshops,   camps or fieldtrips or vocational placements, whether or not it is part of a   program or unit of study at the University;
  • Any other activities arranged, sponsored, controlled or supervised by   the University;
  • Activities on any Macquarie University campus and all Macquarie   University controlled buildings, facilities, places, and equipment;
  • Activities using information or communication technologies associated   with Macquarie University, such as online learning platforms and social media

Vexatious/malicious reports

A report will be considered vexatious or malicious if:

  • it does not have a basis in fact; and
  • it is made to damage another person’s or the University’s reputation   or standing.

6. RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Anti-Discrimination Act, 1977 (NSW)

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act (NSW) 1998

Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW)

Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)

Sex Discrimination Act, 1984 (Cth)

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth)

Work, Health and Safety Act, 2011 (NSW)

7. KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS


Children at Macquarie University Policy
Student Code of Conduct
Student Discipline Rules
Student Discipline Procedure
Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy
Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public
Privacy Policy

8. NOTES

Contact Officer

Respect. Now. Always. Project Lead and Manager, Student Diversity and Inclusion

Implementation Officer

Executive Director, Student Engagement and Registrar

Approval Authority/Authorities

Vice-Chancellor

Date Approved

9 May 2019

Date of Commencement

9 May 2019

Date for Review

May 2020

Documents Superseded by this Policy

Nil

Amendment History

N/A

PROCEDURE

1. SUPPORT SERVICES CONTACT INFORMATION

For someone in immediate danger or requiring immediate medical attention, contact Emergency Assistance.

Emergency assistance

On campus - (02) 9850 9999

For immediate help on campus

Off campus - 000

For immediate help off campus

Support on campus:

Service

Contact Information

For Students
Student Wellbeing

Urgent matters:  

Phone or ask at Reception for a same day appointment

T: (02) 9850 7497

E: wellbeing@mq.edu.au

W: Online self-referral form accessible from https://students.mq.edu.au/support/wellbeing/counselling-services

Location: Level 2, 16 Wally’s Walk

Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Non-urgent matters:

Complete an online self-referral form.  

If you cannot complete the online form, can phone or drop by reception.

After hours
(7 days a week)

MQ Care Line 1800 227 367

For University staff Benestar 24 hours, 7 days

T: 1300 360 364

W: https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/wellbeing/employee-assistance-program

Support outside the University:  

Service Name

Contact Information

NSW Rape Crisis

Free 24/7 telephone and online crisis counselling service for anyone who has experienced sexual assault.  

Phone and online counselling (24/7)
T: 1800 424 017
W: nswrapecrisis.com.au

Northern Sydney Sexual Assault Service

Forensic and counselling service for adults.

T: (02) 9462 9477

Interpreters

Free interpreters can be provided over the phone or in person.  Interpreters must keep confidential information which they interpret.

Translating and Interpreting Service will need to know which service you need to call and your name. They do not need to know why you are calling the service.

T: 131 450

W: https://www.tisnational.gov.au/

QLife

Anonymous and free phone or online support for LGBTQIA+ people, available every day from 3pm-midnight

T: 1800 184 527

W: https://qlife.org.au/

MensLine Australia

Free phone or online support for men.

T: 1300 78 99 78

W: https://mensline.org.au/

National Relay Service

24-hour service relaying information for people who are deaf or have speak impairments. There are special contacts available for emergency services – see the relay service website for more information.

TTY/voice calls: 133 677

Speak & Listen: 1300 555 757

SMS relay: 0423 677 767

W:  relaysevice.gov.au

2. PURPOSE and DEFINITIONS

This Procedure accompanies the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy. It includes:

a) information about seeking support for sexual assault or sexual harassment

b) information about how to report sexual assault or sexual harassment to Macquarie University;

c) information about reporting to external organisations

d) information about what happens when someone submits a report using RNA Online Report; and

e) procedures for Macquarie staff responding to reports.

Procedures described in this document do not override:

  • professional standards regarding confidentiality between clients and medical practitioners, nurses, psychologists, social workers;
  • mandatory reporting requirements according to child safety legislation, criminal law, or the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; and/or
  • legal obligations applicable to Macquarie University.

Definitions of terms can be found in the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy.

3. SUPPORT

For someone in immediate danger or requiring immediate medical attention, contact Emergency Assistance.

Confidential support for students is available at Macquarie University, or off campus. For instance, a student can see a psychologist at Student Wellbeing, at Macquarie University or a psychologist or counsellor at an external specialist service. Student Wellbeing staff also provide information to students about support available with study, accommodation, finances and seeking referrals to legal advice. For a list of support services available, see Section 1 of this document.

3.1 Study Adjustments  

Seeking support can help a student to request study adjustments, such as changes to their study timetable. To discuss study adjustments, contact Student Wellbeing. Study adjustments may not include measures relating to other students. To find out more about interim measures relating to other students, see Section 4.8, Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy and Section 6.3 in this Procedure.

3.2 Supporting someone who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment

Students and staff responses to a disclosure of sexual assault or sexual harassment are important. For more information about supporting someone who has been affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment, see Section 1.6 of the Guide to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy / Procedure (the Guide).

Students and staff who would like further assistance with how best to respond to a disclosure can contact Student Wellbeing.

4. REPORTING SEXUAL ASSAULT OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

For someone in immediate danger or requiring immediate medical attention, contact Emergency Assistance (see Section 1).

4.1 RNA Online Report

RNA Online Report can be used to report experiences of sexual assault or sexual harassment involving members of the Macquarie University community. Reports can be made to the University anonymously or with contact details.

Staff and students can also report to the University on behalf of another person using RNA Online Report. Any decision to report sexual assault or sexual harassment to the University is best made with the agreement of the person who experienced the incident(s). If possible, discuss making a report with the person who experienced the behaviour.

For more information about who can make a report, see Section 2 of the Guide.

4.2 Anonymous Reports

An anonymous report means the person making the report has not provided their name or contact details. The University may be limited in what action it can take after receiving an anonymous report.

When an anonymous report is submitted using RNA Online Report, a submission reference number is provided. This submission reference number can be provided to the University, if the person making the report decides they want to provide their contact details or follow up on their report.

4.3 Reports with Contact Details

A report with contact details includes the name and contact information of the person making the report and/or the person who experienced the behaviour.

If a report with contact details has been submitted via RNA Online Report, and there has been no response after 3 business days, contact respect@mq.edu.au.

4.4 Reporting to an external organisation

Reports to external organisations, including NSW Police, are not shared with the University. For the University to assess and respond to an incident, report using RNA Report Online.

5. HOW THE UNIVERSITY RESPONDS TO REPORTS

To find out how Macquarie University manages confidentiality of reports about sexual assault or sexual harassment see Section 4.9 of theStudent Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy.

5.1 How the University Responds to Anonymous Reports

When an anonymous report is submitted through RNA Online Report:

  1. Staff from the Respect. Now. Always. team and from Student Wellbeing are notified.
  2. Student Wellbeing staff identify if any immediate action is required to manage safety of the Macquarie University community. They may contact University Security, Emergency Services or NSW Family and Community Services. In these situations, details from the report may be shared.  If a report indicates a significant risk involving University Accommodation, Student Wellbeing staff may contact staff at University Accommodation to alert them.
  3. Respect. Now. Always. staff will assess whether an anonymous report indicates that the University needs to take further action, such as improving security in certain locations. They may seek advice from staff in University Security, Governance Services, Human Resources, Workplace Health and Safety and University legal services and consult with staff from the Executive Director (Student Engagement and Registrar), and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. Discussions with staff at University Accommodation may also occur.

Respect. Now. Always. staff will use information from anonymous reports to monitor general trends relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment affecting the Macquarie University community and to report to the University Executive Group. No information from reports which could identify individuals will be included in reporting on general trends.

5.2 How the University Responds to Reports with Contact Details

When a report with contact details is submitted using RNA Online Report:

  1. Staff from the Respect. Now Always. team, and from Student Wellbeing are notified.
  2. Student Wellbeing staff identify if any immediate action is required to manage safety of the University community. They may contact the person who made the report, via phone or email, to check that they are safe, and to check if they require access to support services. If the report is about another person, Student Wellbeing staff will contact them if their contact details are provided. They may also alert University Security, Emergency Services or NSW Family and Community Services, if action from these services is required. If a report indicates a significant risk involving residents living in University Accommodation, Student Wellbeing staff may also contact staff at the University Accommodation to alert them.
  3. Respect. Now. Always. staff will consult the person who submitted the report to discuss their wishes regarding a response to the report, including investigation. If the report is on behalf of another person, staff will consult with the person who directly experienced the behaviour, if their contact details are provided. Respect.Now.Always. staff may seek advice from staff in Governance Services, Human Resources and University legal services at Macquarie University, in relation to any University response.
  4. Respect. Now. Always. staff will also assess whether a report indicates that the University needs to take further action, such as improving security in certain locations. They may seek advice from University Security, Governance Services, Human Resources, Workplace Health and Safety and University legal services, and consult with the Executive Director (Student Engagement and Registrar), and the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. Discussions with staff at University Accommodation may also occur.

Respect. Now. Always. staff also use information from reports with contact details to monitor general trends relating to sexual assault and sexual harassment affecting the Macquarie University community, to report to the University Executive Group. No information from reports which could identify individuals will be included in reporting on general trends.

6. INVESTIGATIVE AND DISCIPLINARY PROCESSES

6.1 University investigation of reports about students

Reports about students which are investigated by the University are managed in accordance with the Student Discipline Procedure. The report, including contact details, will be shared with staff from Governance Services who manage student misconduct investigations. The student or student organisation being investigated will receive written notice that an allegation of misconduct is being investigated. The notice will include information about the allegation, based on information provided in the report.

The aim of any University investigation is to assess the report and any supporting evidence, and to seek the perspective of those involved about what occurred. If it seems that the report is supported by evidence, and/or those involved agree the events occurred as reported, the University may conclude that a student or student organisation has engaged in misconduct.

6.2 Delays to University investigation

If a Police investigation, or investigation by another external organisation commences, the University may delay its own investigation of a student. This is to avoid adversely affecting the external investigation. The University may delay its own investigation until:

  • it is advised that any University investigation will not adversely affect an external investigation; or
  • when advised that the external investigation is complete or is not continuing.

Where a University investigation is delayed, interim measures against any student may be put in place by the University to reduce the potential for harm to any person.

Interim measures do not anticipate the outcome of any University or external investigation and are not a sanction.

6.3 Interim measures

Interim measures are temporary restrictions or requirements. Any student can be asked to comply with interim measures, if assessment indicates that this is needed to manage the safety of the Macquarie community.

For instance, the University may stop a student from entering specific University buildings, facilities or accommodation, restrict access to classes, or prohibit a student from speaking to or approaching another person.

Any staff at the University can contact someone in the roles listed below to discuss applying for interim measures, if they believe interim measures are needed in relation to a report of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Interim measures can be recommended by the following staff:

Disability Support Lead;

Manager, Allied Health Services;

Manager, Student Diversity and Inclusion;

Manager, Student Grievances and Discipline;

Head, Governance Services

Senior Clinical Psychologist, Student Wellbeing;

Student Care and Trauma Lead, Student Wellbeing;

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy

Assistant Director, Human Resources or their delegate.

Any interim measure must be approved by the Registrar, or their nominee. The Registrar can ask appropriately qualified staff at the University to provide advice regarding whether the proposed interim measures should be varied, removed, or approved.

A student who is subject to interim measures has the right to ask for the measures to be removed or varied. A student requesting a review of interim measures must provide information to the Registrar about why the interim measures should be removed or varied.

Where possible, a student will have the opportunity to request a review once interim measures have been proposed, but before the measures are approved by the Registrar. However, if this is not possible, a student may request a review of the interim measures after they have been approved.

A student can write to the Registrar via disciplinecommittee@mq.edu.au to request a review of interim measures. Any review of interim measures needs to be completed in a reasonable timeframe.

7. RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Anti-Discrimination Act, 1977 (NSW)

Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act (NSW) 1998

Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW)

Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW)

Sex Discrimination Act, 1984 (Cth)

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011 (Cth)

Work, Health and Safety Act, 2011 (NSW)

8. KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Children at Macquarie University Policy
Student Code of Conduct
Student Discipline Rules
Student Discipline Procedure
Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy
Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public
Privacy Policy

9. NOTES

Contact Officer

Respect. Now. Always. Project Lead and Manager, Student Diversity and Inclusion

Implementation Officer

Executive Director, Student Engagement and Registrar

Approval Authority/Authorities

Vice-Chancellor

Date Approved

9 May 2019

Date of Commencement

9 May 2019

Date for Review

May 2020

Documents Superseded by this Policy

Nil

Amendment History

N/A

GUIDE

Guide to Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure

If someone is at immediate risk or needs urgent medical assistance, use these Emergency Contacts:

On campus - (02) 9850 9999

Off campus - 000

This document contains information about the Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedure. It answers many of the most common questions which students or staff might have about support and reporting sexual assault or sexual harassment.

If you have a question which is not answered here, you can contact staff at Student Wellbeing (T:9850 7497) or staff in the Respect.Now.Always. team (E:respect@mq.edu.au).

1. SUPPORT

If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment, it is not your fault. You are not alone and there are support services which can help you. There are no time limits on seeking help or advice.

If you are a student at Macquarie who has been affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment, you can decide whether you want to share information with the University, or not. Seeking support does not lead to an investigation by the University.

1.1 How can I get support if I have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment?

You can get support at Macquarie University or off-campus. You can see a psychologist at Macquarie University Student Wellbeing, or a psychologist or counsellor at an external service. Student Wellbeing staff can tell you about support available with study, accommodation, finances or seeking referrals to legal advice.

1.2 Can I ask for adjustments to my study?

Seeking support may enable you to ask for study adjustments, such as changes to your study timetable. If you would like to talk about study adjustments, contact Student Wellbeing.

1.3 Can I ask for adjustments to the study of other students?

Seeking support may enable you to ask for changes to your study arrangements. However, these adjustments may not include measures in relation to other students. If you would like to find out more about measures relating to other students, see Section 4.8, Student Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Policy and Section 6.3 in the Procedure.

1.4 Will the University know if I seek support?

Seeking support to discuss sexual assault or sexual harassment is not the same as making a report to the University. If you want the University to know about what you have experienced, or you want the University to take action, you will need to make a report. Please see Section 2 of this document for more information about making a report.

1.5 Are there support services for specific social groups?

Evidence shows that sexual assault and sexual harassment disproportionately affect people who are members of distinct social groups.  These groups include, but are not limited to, people who identify as: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, LGBTQIA+, living with a disability, and women.

There are many external services which provide confidential support to specific social groups. See Section 1 of the Procedure for contact details.

1.6 How can I help support someone who tells me they have been affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment?

If someone is at immediate risk or needs urgent medical assistance, use these Emergency Contacts:

On campus - (02) 9850 9999

Off campus - 000

Your response to a disclosure of sexual assault or sexual harassment is important. Your response may affect someone’s ability to cope, to seek further help, or report what has happened.

You are not alone in responding. You can contact Student  Wellbeing if you would like some help with how best to respond.

If you are responding to a disclosure you should:

  • Consider the safety of the person disclosing to you, and your own safety.  If you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment yourself, you may feel that you are not the best person to disclose to. You can respectfully suggest that they contact one of the services listed in Section 1 of the Procedure;
  • Refer the person disclosing to support services listed in Section 1 of the Procedure;
  • Respect the decisions made by the person who has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment about what to do next.
  • Show compassion to the person who is disclosing to you by acknowledging that it is not their fault and show that you believe them.
  • Look after yourself. You can contact Student Wellbeing (if you are a student) or the Employee Assistance Provider (if you are a staff) if you would like support.

2. REPORT SEXUAL ASSAULT OR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

If someone is at immediate risk or needs urgent medical assistance, use these Emergency Contacts:

On campus - (02) 9850 9999

Off campus - 000

2.1 How can I report sexual assault or sexual harassment to the University?

You can use RNA Online Report to report these behaviours. You can make an anonymous report, or you can provide your contact details when you make a report.

2.2 What should I do if I can’t access RNA Online Report?

If you are a student and cannot access RNA Online Report, there are two alternative ways to make a report;

  1. you can download and complete the Word document on the Respect.Now.Always. website, and email it to respect@mq.edu.au; or
  2. Student Wellbeing staff can help you complete either an anonymous report, or a report with contact details, using RNA Online Report.

2.3 When can I use RNA Online Report?

a) you have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment

b) you have witnessed sexual assault or sexual harassment involving members of the Macquarie University community; or

c) someone from the Macquarie University community has told you about their experience of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

2.4 Who can use RNA Online Report?

I am a…

I want to report…

Can I use RNA Online Report?

Student

behaviour of students

Yes

Student

behaviour of staff

Yes

Student

behaviour of member(s) of the public

Yes*

Staff

behaviour of students

Yes

Staff

behaviour of staff

No**

Staff

behaviour of member(s) of the public

Yes*

Member(s) of public

behaviour of students or student organisation

Yes

Member(s) of public

behaviour of staff

Yes

Member(s) of public behaviour

behaviour of another member of public

Yes*

*If Macquarie University students or staff are affected, or the incident occurred during a University activity or on University premises

**Consult your supervisor or HR manager for guidance on reporting

2.5 Can I make an anonymous report to the University?

Yes, you can make an anonymous report if you want Macquarie University to know that something has happened, but you do not want to share your name or contact details. If you choose to make an anonymous report, the University is limited in the follow-up action it can take.

When you submit an anonymous report using RNA Online Report, you will receive a submission reference number, for your records. If you decide that you want to provide your contact details or follow up on your report, use your submission reference number when you contact staff.

2.6 What is a report with contact details?

A report with contact details includes the name and contact information for the person making the report and/or the person who experienced the behaviour.

If you have submitted a report with contact details and you have not received a response after 3 business days, please contact respect@mq.edu.au.

2.7 Where is the information in reports stored?

Information provided in reports is stored on servers located in Australia. It is the responsibility of the University to ensure that any information provided in a report is secure.

2.8 I am an international student.  If I report sexual assault or sexual harassment, will my visa be affected?

No, if you choose to report an incident of sexual assault or sexual harassment your visa will not be affected.

2.9 Can I report something that happened on exchange, placement, or field trip?

Yes, you can report any experience of sexual assault and sexual harassment that has occurred.

2.10 I am a postgrad coursework/HDR student.  Can I make reports to the University?

Yes, all students at Macquarie can report sexual assault and sexual harassment to the University using RNA Online Report or the ways listed in Question 2.2 of this document.

2.11 Can students living in University accommodation make reports to the University?

Yes, incidents occurring in University accommodation can also be reported to the University using RNA Online Report or the ways listed in Question 2.2 of this document.

2.12 What should I do if I want to report behaviour which I witnessed or heard about?

You can report to the University on behalf of another person using RNA Online Report. You should discuss making a report with the person who experienced the behaviour, if possible. Any decision to report sexual assault or sexual harassment to the University is best made with the agreement of the person who experienced the incident(s).

When using RNA Online Report to make a report on someone’s behalf, do not provide their contact details (such as name or contact phone number) unless they have given you permission to provide their information. You can provide your contact details when you make a report about someone else, or you can make an anonymous report.

2.13 What will happen if I provide my contact details when I report on behalf of someone else?

Staff from Student Wellbeing and/or the Respect.Now.Always. team will contact you. This may help you to assist the person who experienced the incident.

2.14 Do I have to report to the Police or another external organisation?

Macquarie University recognises that the decision to report to an external organisation can be difficult; many people who have experienced sexual assault and sexual harassment do not want to report their experience externally.

If you would like to talk about reporting to NSW Police, you can contact a specialist sexual assault service to talk about this confidentially. See Section 1 ofthe Procedure for contact details. If you are a student, you can also discuss reporting to the Police with Student Wellbeing. Your discussion with Student Wellbeing is confidential.

2.15 How can I report to NSW Police?

There are two ways to report an incident of sexual assault to the NSW Police.

If you want the Police to consider investigating your report, you should make a report to your nearest Police station. You can find a list of NSW Police stations here.

If you wish to report an incident of sexual assault to NSW Police, but you do not want an investigation to occur, you can complete the Sexual Assault Reporting Options (SARO) questionnaire. The SARO questionnaire can be completed anonymously, should you choose to do so. Submitting the SARO questionnaire will not result in the commencement of a criminal investigation. However, the information may be used in relation to other investigations. If, after completing a questionnaire, you decide to make a formal complaint to the Police, you can still do so at your nearest Police Station.

2.16 Where else can I report sexual harassment?

You can make a complaint about sexual harassment to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board or to the Australian Human Rights Commission, to ask that these organisations investigate and help resolve the problem.

2.17 If I report to the Police, or another external organisation, will they tell the University?

If you report to an external organisation, they will not share information with the University. If you would like the University to assess and respond to an incident, you will need to make a report to Macquarie University.

3. UNIVERSITY RESPONSE TO REPORTS

3.1. What does the University do in response to reports?

See Section 5 of the Procedure to see what staff at the University will do if a report is received.

3.2 Will I be consulted about what happens when I make a report?

If you provide your contact details, staff from the RNA team will discuss with you what you want to happen in relation to your report. This information will be taken into account when developing a University response.

3.3 Will information I give in a report always be kept confidential?

In some cases, the University may have to share information from your report. See Section 4.9 of the Policy to read about when the University is obliged to share information.

If there is no legal requirement to share information in your report, then it can only be shared with staff who need to know, so they can respond to the report. See Section 5 of the Procedure for more information about this.

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