Sexual violence prevention and response

***This webpage contains information about sexual assault and sexual harassment which may be distressing*** 

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Latest update - Tuesday 30 May 2023

Release of the 2022 ANU Sexual Misconduct Reports and Disclosures

On Tuesday 30 May 2023 the University released its second annual report on ANU Sexual Misconduct Reports and Disclosures.

With the release of this report, the University continues to meet the requirements set out in the Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy (SVPS) which outlines the University's long-term, evidence-based and strategic approach to effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence. 

ANU acknowledges and thanks the students in our community who have trusted us with their stories and have continually advocated for change. 

While we still have more work to do, it is important to acknowledge our staff and students who have done great work across campus to help keep our community safe. You can read more about the work that has been going on over the last 15 months below. 

For any enquiries about the report, contact Dr James Brann, Director of University Experience, at

We'll provide ongoing updates on our progress in the On Campus newsletter for students and staff. More updates below. 

About this page 


The Australian National University (ANU) is committed to providing a safe, respectful and inclusive study and work environment for our community. We put the health, safety and wellbeing of those impacted by sexual assault and sexual harassment at the centre of our response and processes.

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).

This website provides access to reports and strategies relevant to the University's commitment to improving its response to sexual violence prevention and response. It also aims to fulfil our commitment to increase transparency of information about incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment disclosed or reported to the University and our ongoing response.

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The University's holistic response to sexual assault and sexual harassment is divided into three areas.

  1. Education and prevention
  2. Reporting, disclosures and case management
  3. Institutional response and reporting

This website houses reports and strategies relevant to the University's institutional response to sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus (institutional response and reporting)

Information on education and prevention is available on the Respectful Relationships Unit website

For help and support with disclosures or reporting, please visit the Student Wellbeing website.

Past updates

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Summary of work over the last 12 months progressed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Portfolio helping to ensure our campus is safe for all.


  • Successfully recruited additional staff members, including GPs, to improve the access of care and address gaps in existing health care services on campus. This includes the appointment of Nurse Practitioner Kathleen Kuntz, who joined ANU last year and provides focused sexual healthcare and wellbeing support for students.
  • Expansion of teams across Student Safety and Wellbeing, Residential Experience and the Office of the Registrar. These expanded teams mean there are more resources to support our students and staff, to ensure we are delivering against our Student Safety and Wellbeing action plan

Policy and reporting

  • We have redefined the Sexual Misconduct Policy and introduced a new procedure which better guides the policy and provides easier navigation and support options for students who may have witnessed, experienced or had a disclosure shared with them by another student. 
  • Since the release of the first sexual misconduct report in March 2022, we have improved the integrity of the reporting tool and will release the second report in the coming weeks.  
  • We will conduct our first mid-term review for the Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy by August 2023.  

Practical measures

  • We piloted the Residential Community Safety Officer program across six residences in Semester 2, 2022. The pilot provided another level of safety and support for our residential students after hours from Wednesday to Saturday. The pilot has been well-received by our students in residences, and the outcomes and feedback will inform potential new models for greater after-hours support. 

Training and resources

  • The Respectful Relationships Unit's (RRU) sexual violence prevention toolkit has been a useful and practical guide to help implement change across all areas of ANU. 
  • In January 2023, the Rights, Relationships and Respect program was launched. A consent education program which introduces new students at ANU to core concepts about consent and respectful relationships. It is mandatory for students living in residence and the majority of commencing ANU students have already completed the training module. When surveyed, students shared that the program provided them with realistic scenarios that required a more nuanced look at respectful relationships.
  • Later this year, we will pilot new staff training programs to further support our student facing staff and their work.   


  • We've established the Student Safety and Wellbeing Committee - a sub-Committee which reports directly to ANU Council, ensuring we are held accountable and delivering against our Student Safety and Wellbeing Action Plan.  
  • Catherine Fitzpatrick was appointed the inaugural Chair in December 2022 and brings a wealth of experience from both private and public sectors, and is an advocate for people experiencing vulnerability, domestic and financial abuse.  

Tuesday 6 December 2022

  • Catherine Fitzpatrick has recently been appointed as the inaugural Chair of the Student Safety and Wellbeing Committee on ANU Council.
    Catherine's three year appointment will run until 1 November 2025. 
    Catherine also advises the Commonwealth Government on workplace and customer responses to domestic and financial abuse. She established and lead specialist customer vulnerability teams at two of Australia's leading banks, and has worked in various roles across not-for-profit, government and private sectors, ensuring products and services are more flexible, safe and equitable for customers. Catherine is an advocate for people experiencing vulnerability, domestic and financial abuse. Her position as Chair will ensure ANU is held to account to deliver against the Plan.
  • The Respectful Relationship Unit, Residential Life and the Student Safety and Wellbeing team are finalising the new prevention pilot program Rights, Respect and Relationships, to be rolled out in 2023. The new program is a comprehensive and bespoke sexual violence primary prevention program tailored to the ANU context.  It will comprise a blended learning program including a compulsory bespoke e-module, face-to-face multi session consent and sexuality education, and targeted pilot initiatives, complemented by comprehensive evaluation aimed to identify the benefits of the new initiative and long-term behaviour change.
  • Throughout 2022, the team hosted several staff facing training sessions to support staff dealing with student disclosures and other matters across Colleges and Service Divisions on campus. This will be expanded in partnership with staff development teams and Higher Degree by Research (HDR) team by 2023.  

Tuesday 4 October 2022

  • We've appointed Kathleen Kuntz as the new Nurse Practitioner at the ANU Medical Centre. Kathleen provides students with expert and judgement-free advice and support, in a safe environment. 
  • Two new case managers have joined our team - including a fluent Mandarin speaker who has worked extensively with international students. Students can drop into the Health and Wellbeing Centre in Kambri to speak with a case manager.
  • The Respectful Relationships Unit and the Student Safety and Wellbeing Team are developing the pilot training program to be implemented in 2023 Rights, Relationship and Respect at ANU. It will be a blended learning program, including a compulsory bespoke online module, and face-to-face multi sessions on consent and sexuality education. 
  • ANU has responded to the students' associations 'Follow through report'. It details our commitment to student safety and the concerns of our students. Read our response on 21 September 2022. 
  • Respectful Relationships Unit is launching the Sexual Violence Prevention Toolkit on Tuesday 11 October, 2-4pm. Chanel Contos will be our guest speaker. Chanel founded and led the Teach Us Consent campaign, which made consent mandatory in all Australian schools. 
  • The toolkit was designed specifically for our community, drawing together the evidence-based, best practice principles, as well as extensive consultation, and helps provide staff and students working in this space with tools and strategies to address these issues using a holistic approach. 

Tuesday 26 July 2022

  • Full action plan releasedSince the release of the Student and Safety Wellbeing Plan in March, ANU has consulted with over 200 stakeholders, including students, to gather feedback and input for the full action plan. The Sexual Violence Prevention Taskforce, Respectful Relationships Unit and seniors members of the University provided oversight and input into the Plan as well. Read the full action plan.
  • Student Safety and Wellbeing Steering Group, including student representatives, continues to meet monthly and has endorsed this plan. Additionally, ANU will build 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.  
  • We have interviewed candidates for the Case Manager positions, and in the process of making an offer to the Nurse Practitioner role. Appointments expected to be filled by September 2022. 
  • ANU will trial the Residential Community Safety Officer pilot program across six Residences in S2, 2022. The Officers will work in pairs and provide additional safety and support to residential students between 6pm and 6am, Wednesday to Saturday. The program will be assessed over the semester and may be expanded to all residences on campus in 2023.  
  •  The majority of new Residential students have completed our Enlivening Consent program - over 91% of the student evaluation feedback indicates they would recommend the program. 
  • pilot of new prevention education program is being developed by the Respectful Relationship Unit with a focus on the drivers of sexual violence, online safety, support available, peer leadership and intersectionality. The pilot will go live in 2023.   
  • ANU Council will open EOIs for three student representatives for the new Student Safety and Wellbeing Committee. Another way for student representatives to have a say in how we deliver on our plan and student services.
  • The Student and Safety Wellbeing Team and the Respectful Relationships Unit will be involved in planned day of student advocacy on 1 August and provide support to students as usual. 

Tuesday 21 June 2022

  • In the process of recruiting a Nurse Practitioner and three Case Managers.
  • Released our official response to the ANU Women's Department 'Broken Promises' report
  • Established a Student Safety and Wellbeing Steering Group sub-committee to hold ANU staff to account.
  • About to commence drafting a new Sexual Misconduct Policy.
  • Planning a new Consent package pilot for 2023.
  • Consulted with over 100 individuals on the Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan. A full action plan will be released on 19 July 2022. Released 26 July 2022. 

Read the full update

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2021 National Student Safety Survey

Release date: 23 March 2022

Update: 23 May 2022 (ANU NSSS Table added)

The Universities Australia National Student Safety Survey (the NSSS) ran across the Australian university sector in late 2021.

The survey collected data on the scale and nature of university student experiences of sexual harassment and sexual assault. It was conducted by the Social Research Centre (SRC) in partnership with leading violence prevention expert Associate Professor Anastasia Powell of RMIT University.

Results and analysis have been conducted and compiled by the SRC into a quantitative and qualitative national report, as well as individual infographics for each university.

ANU intends to publish more detailed results in due course, following discussions within the university sector about releasing results in a way that ensures victim-survivors are protected, and participants' privacy is respected.

Universities Australia NSSS National Reports 

ANU NSSS Results (Infographic) 

ANU NSSS Results (Table) - added 23 May 2022

ANU NSSS Response

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Response to ANU Women's Department 'Broken Promises' report

Release date: 26 May 2022

The ANU Women's Department released their 'Broken Promises' report in August 2021. We have been working with key student stakeholders since its release and our official response to the report was released on 26 May 2022 to both ANUSA and PARSA.

This Response accounts for two phases of actions leading into the Student Safety & Wellbeing Plan. Our response also rectifies some previous inaccuracies reported in the Broken Promises report. 

Read the response to ANU Women's Department 'Broken Promises' report

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Student Safety & Wellbeing Plan & Independent Assessor's Report (Walker, 2022)

Release date: 21 March 2022

The Student Safety and Wellbeing Plan (SSWP) builds on the University's ongoing work to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault on our campus. It bolsters work under the University's Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy

As part of the plan, the University has published and accepted all the recommendations from the Independent Assessor's Report of our Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy, led by expert Lyn Walker.

The plan includes initiatives and investments targeted to where ANU can make the biggest difference, as well as continuing to ensure the University's policies and systems are best practice.

These include significant investments in staffing in ANU residences, recruiting new case managers, making consent training a mandatory part of students' enrolment and embedding a zero-tolerance approach in ANU culture, including policies, language, training and disciplinary procedures.  

In September of 2021, the ANU Senior Management Group committed to a three-phase approach to rebuilding our internal capacity to implement and embed the SVPS under the direction of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student and University Experience).

This included the development of an SVPS Taskforce, led by the Director University Experience and comprised of key internal stakeholders and student leaders. This Taskforce has been, and continues to be responsible for driving the agenda for the phased implementation throughout 2021 and into 2022 with a focus on education and prevention, reporting, disclosures and case management which are supported by a committed and transparent institutional response and reporting.

These initiatives will be implemented with the input of key stakeholders including student representative groups and the staff who work in student support services.

Read the Independent Assessor's Report of the ANU Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy (Walker, 2022)

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Sexual Misconduct Reports & Disclosures

Release date: 2 March 2022

As one of our commitments endorsed under the three-phase plan and the SVPS, this report provides information on reports and disclosures of sexual misconduct lodged with the University between 2019 and 2021. The release of this report is a significant step towards improving institutional transparency and accountability at ANU. 

We acknowledge and thank the students and staff in our community who have trusted us with their stories and information through making a disclosure and/or report.

We acknowledge that reporting and disclosing of sexual harassment or sexual assault can be a difficult decision, and that a person must feel safe and confident that any report and disclosure will be treated appropriately. Our commitment is to continue to improve our support and processes, be victim/survivor centred and improve the data we report on.

In summary, the report indicates the following:

  • Year on year, more individuals are coming forward to report and disclose incidents of sexual misconduct.
  • In 2021, all reports of alleged sexual misconduct heard at inquiry received a finding of misconduct and the majority of respondents were penalised with exclusion from the University.
  • The majority of individuals contacting ANU through confidential disclosures are doing so to seek support through our specialist case managers or to inquire about formally reporting sexual misconduct to the University.
  • The majority of incidents disclosed happened on campus in residential halls/colleges and off campus, usually in a nightclub, bar or private residence.

Read the report

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Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy 2019-2026

Release date: 21 November 2019

The Sexual Violence Prevention Strategy is part of the University's long-term, evidence-based and strategic approach to effectively prevent and respond to sexual violence across the University. It was developed over a two-year period in consultation with key advisory bodies and with the valuable contribution of many ANU students, staff, community members and victim-survivors and takes a holistic approach to prevention of and response to sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Read the Strategy

Read the background to the Strategy

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Sexual Misconduct Policy

The Sexual Misconduct Policy outlines the commitment of the University to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct and to support members of the ANU community to navigate the policy framework as it relates to sexual misconduct. It clarifies ANU's capacity to act in matters of sexual misconduct, what factors inform and determine the parameters of ANU's action, and what the action can entail.

The Policy has been drafted to be trauma-informed and to provide members of the ANU Community with a range of options to access support, including directly from the Respectful Relationships Unit. It also references the online sexual misconduct disclosure form being developed by the Respectful Relationships Unit. Further, the proposed Policy outlines the responsibilities of all staff, students and members of the community to support this Policy and foster a campus free from sexual misconduct. The Policy is available in the University's Policy Library.

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Past reports

Review of ANU Residences' Response to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

Release date: 13 December 2018

In early May, the University committed to undertake an independent review of student residences in response to one of the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission report released on 1 August 2017. The Nous Group was commissioned to undertake the review.

The review looked into the factors which contribute to sexual assault and sexual harassment in student residences on the ANU campus. It found there is a strong and positive culture in most residential halls and most students have a high level of satisfaction with residential life.

Read the report

Read the management response

Response to the Rapid Context Report

Release date: 22 November 2017

In August 2017 the University commissioned independent research consulting firm Rapid Context to undertake an independent review of all policies and procedures related to sexual assault and harassment. The researchers consulted staff and students, to provide the University with a report in September 2017.

Read the report

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