Act Against Sexual Assault
Crime Stoppers Victoria is encouraging everyone, particularly tertiary students, to stand up to sexual assault.
A 2015 National Union of Students survey found:
- 27% of respondents had experienced sexual assault
- 72.75% had experienced sexual harassment/ unwelcome sexual behaviour
- 15.7% had experienced physical mistreatment
However, only 5.5% of respondents had reported an incident of sexual assault to their institution, and only 4.8% reported it to the police. Many tertiary students cite fears of not being taken seriously, being the target for revenge, or in the case of international students, fear of losing their enrolment or their visa as reasons they are unwilling to report.
The Crime Stoppers Act Against Sexual Assault campaign empowers bystanders to safely and appropriately respond to sexual assault in their community. Reporting information about sexual assault to Crime Stoppers gives the police the information they need to investigate, without identifying the person making the report. This empowers students to act and report without fear, leading to more information for police and a safer student community in Melbourne.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, advice and support is available at 1800 RESPECT or 1800respect.org.au
If you or someone else is in danger call 000
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault happens when someone does not consent to a sexual act or acts. Sexual assault can refer to a broad range of sexual behaviours that makes you feel uncomfortable, frightened or threatened. It is any sexual activity you have not consented to, whether another person uses physical or emotional force against you. It happens more frequently than people realise and is a crime that can happen at any time throughout the lifespan.
Sexual assault can include:
- Unwanted touching, fondling, kissing
- Being made to look at, or pose for, pornographic photos
- Sexual harassment
- Verbal harassment/innuendo
- Incest/interfamilial child sexual assault
Sexual assault can happen to anybody anywhere. It can happen in marriage, in family, to people of all ages, gender, and backgrounds.
Is it illegal / am I a victim?
Sexual assault is an act which is unwanted, occurs without free agreement or permission and / or makes the victim / survivor feel uncomfortable or afraid. It is a crime in Victoria to commit sexual offences against adults and children.
Sexual assault is an act of violence and is a violation of human rights.
The law says both parties must agree to the sexual act in order for there to be consent.
Some situations where you are unable to give consent can include:
- If you are affected by alcohol or drugs
- If you are unable to understand the sexual nature of what is happening
- If you submit because you are held against your will
- If you are a child
It is important that you know that sexual assault is a crime. Your report will be taken seriously and you will be given assistance and support. Any form of sexual assault is serious and everyone is entitled to protection under the law.
If you see something, say something!
Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report confidentially online