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ELISE | Informing your studies: Sexual misconduct

Content warning

This page, and the videos and pages it links to, contains information about sexual misconduct which may be triggering for survivors. If you would like to discuss anything that this page brings up for you, please phone 1800Respect, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information service on 1800 737 732 or visit their website.


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Support a friend

1800Respect has a video that may provide you with some tips for supporting a friend who has been sexually assaulted or is in an abusive relationship.
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UNSW reporting portal

If you have witnessed or experienced sexual misconduct

  • at a UNSW campus, or
  • on a UNSW approved activity, or
  • by a UNSW staff or student

please be aware you can report this on the UNSW Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Reporting Portal.

Every report receives a response within 72 hours - including information and advice about how you could proceed and resources available for your particular situation.

Student complaints procedure

If you have been assaulted, threatened, harassed or discriminated against by a member of staff or another student due to your race, religion, sexuality, age, disability or gender identity you should follow the process outlined in the Student Complaints Procedure.

UNSW information

The information on this page is broadly based on the Discrimination and Harassment and the Sexual Misconduct pages of the UNSW website.

Sexual misconduct

In 2017 the Australian Human Rights Commission released Change the Course: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities (2017) which documents the Commission's findings on experiences of sexual assault and sexual harassment and their prevalence on Australian university campuses. The Commission based its analysis on data that it collected from a survey of 30,000 students from 39 universities.

The University launched its Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Policy in 2018.

Defining sexual misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a term used by UNSW to describe behaviour of a sexual nature which is unacceptable. Sexual misconduct is a broad term, encompassing various types of conduct. Sexual misconduct can involve behaviour by a person of any gender, and it can occur between people of the same or different genders.

Sexual misconduct involves a breach of the UNSW Staff Code of Conduct or the UNSW Student Code Policy because it involves a failure to behave in a respectful way towards another person. Students or staff alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct will be subject to misconduct procedures where the conduct occurs on a UNSW campus, or in the context of a UNSW activity (such as a field trip or placement) or in UNSW student accommodation, (wherever that accommodation is located).

Sexual misconduct, in its most serious form, involves a sexual assault. It can also involve indecent assault, an act of indecency, sexual harassment, image-based abuse, conduct involving child abuse material or certain other behaviours of a sexual nature which are crimes in NSW and the ACT.

The following video explores the types of sexual misconduct which most commonly occur within the community. 

What is sexual consent?

Consent is a crucial aspect of sexual relations. Sex without consent is sexual assault. It is important to be aware of the circumstances in which a person cannot legally consent to sex. 

    Learn about sexual consent on the Reachout.com website.
    Read Arc’s resources on Sexual Assault and Misconduct.

The following video gives some examples of navigating consent, and information on reporting sexual misconduct.

Reporting an incident

Any incidents of sexual misconduct related to staff or students at UNSW can be reported via the Sexual Misconduct Reporting Portal.

You can also contact a UNSW First Responder who has been trained to provide you with the best advice on what to do if you have been sexually assaulted or if you are being sexually harassed. They can also help you to make a report through the reporting portal. 

You will find further information and details of support services at UNSW's Sexual Misconduct web page. 

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