Sexual violence prevention and response

Content warning: This webpage contains information about sexual assault and sexual harassment which may be distressing for some people. For support, contact Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

About this page


The Australian National University (ANU) is committed to providing a safe, respectful and inclusive environment for our community on our physical campuses as well as online. We are continuously working to achieve a culture that is free from sexual and gender-based violence. Our holistic response to prevention covers three key areas:


Governance, strategy and action plan

The University has taken progressive steps to meet the recommendations found within the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Change the Course Report and the ANU Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy (SVPS). 

  • We released our first action plan – The Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan (2022-2023).
  • We’ve set up a Student Safety and Wellbeing Committee which reports directly into ANU Council.
  • We have updated our Sexual Misconduct Policy and implemented a new procedure for dealing with reporting.
  • We’ve expanded teams across Student Safety and Wellbeing, Residential Experience and the Office of the Registrar. There are now more resources to support our students and staff, to ensure we are delivering against our Student Safety and Wellbeing action plan (2022-2023).    
  • We’ve formed a Student Safety and Wellbeing Steering Group, including student representatives, who meet monthly and have endorsed an action plan.
  • We’re developing a regular student forum which includes senior members of the University to continually gauge student insights on what is working and where we need to improve.   
  • In August 2023 we partnered with the Gendered Violence Prevention Strategy Research Network (UNSW) to undertake a mid-review of the Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy. The outcomes of the review will be released later in 2024 and will inform future gender-based violence prevention and response activities at ANU.


Sexual Misconduct Policy

Human Rights Commission’s Change the Course Report

ANU Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy (SVPS) 2019-2026

Student Safety and Wellbeing action plan

Prevention and response

We’ve established the Respectful Relationships Unit (RRU) sustainable cultural change through evidence-based education and professional services. The RRU has developed the following prevention initiatives:

  • In January 2023, the Rights, Relationships and Respect program launched. This is an education program which introduces new students at ANU to core concepts about consent and respectful relationships and is mandatory for students living in residence.
  • Released the Respectful Relationships Unit's (RRU) sexual violence prevention toolkit, a practical guide to help implement change across all areas of ANU. 
  • New staff training programs are being provided in partnership with Lifeline Canberra to further support our student facing staff and their work.   
  • Implemented the Residential Community Safety Officer program across residences to add additional safety and support to our residential students after hours. 
  • The Respectful Relationships Unit launched in May 2024 a Rights Relationships and Respect module program for HDR students and HDR supervisors.

Additionally, ANU has been working on uplifting and expanding the current support services offered to students and staff for reporting, disclosures and case management through the Student Safety and Wellbeing Team.

  • The Student Safety and Wellbeing in partnership with staff development teams and the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) team hosts training sessions to support staff dealing with student disclosures and other matters across Colleges and Service Divisions on campus.
  • In 2024, the University launched a Harmful Behaviours Disclosure tool to expand the range of harmful behaviours staff and students can seek support and information for which includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination.
  • The University’s Staff Respect team was established in late 2023 to provide information and  support to staff who have have experienced harmful behaviours. 


Respectful Relationships Unit

Sexual Violence Prevention Toolkit

About our Nurse Practitioner

Health Safety and Wellbeing

ANU Medical Services


Institutional reports and communication

The documents, communication and reports below demonstrate our ongoing commitment to improving institutional transparency and accountability about incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus. Read below to find out what the university has done in response.


Independent Assessor's Report of SVPS

Universities Australia NSSS National Reports

ANU NSSS Results Infographic

Sexual Misconduct Report and Disclosures 2019 – 2021

Sexual Misconduct Reports and Disclosures 2022

Sexual Misconduct Reports and Disclosures 2023

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