Harmful Behaviours Disclosure Response and Support

The Australian National University values the diversity of our student and staff community and wants everyone on our campus to feel included, safe and respected. 

We agree on a set of values that guide how we work, study, research, and engage in campus life together. These shared values are set out in in our student and staff codes of conduct and reflect our shared expectations of interacting respectfully on campus. 

As a member of the ANU community, you can expect to live, study and work in a place where everyone has a right to be free from discrimination or harassment, whether direct or indirect. Discrimination will not be tolerated.  If you experience or witness harmful behaviour at ANU, you can use the below tool(s) to disclose and/or report it to the University.


Making a Disclosure

We acknowledge that disclosing a harmful behaviour can be a difficult decision, and that a person must feel safe and confident that any disclosure will be treated respectfully and appropriately.

A disclosure, using the ANU Disclosure form, is not a formal report or complaint but is a mechanism for the ANU to provide you with information and support through a Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manager or a Staff Respect Consultant. The ANU provides an identified or de-identified disclosure option.

Lodging a disclosure does not prevent you from also looking at your reporting options both within the ANU or externally. A Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manager or Staff Respect Consultant can provide you with information on these options.

Why should I make a disclosure?

Completing a disclosure form, allows one of the ANU Case Managers to reach out to you to provide with information and coordinated personalised support around your safety, wellbeing and academic progression and with your consent link you to appropriate and specialist ANU and community services.

What information do I have to provide as part of completing an online disclosure to the ANU?

You are in control of how much information you provide in the disclosure form about your experience, your identity and the identity of the alleged perpetrator (if known).

You will be asked to provide some information i.e. the location of the incident and the type of behaviour you have experienced or witness. You can still do this without identifying yourself or others involved. This information assists us to identify areas that may require broader education, prevention and safety interventions.

De-identified and aggregated general data is used for reporting purposes. If you don't want to be identified, you can create a disposable email address exclusively for the disclosure by following the instructions offered by Google or another email provider.

You can exit the disclosure form at any time prior to submission.

What happens with my disclosure?

ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Managers monitor the disclosures daily. Case Managers are professional staff with expertise in trauma informed and person-centred processes and the provision of care and support to people that have experienced sexual misconduct. Interaction with a Case Manager are confidential.*

Within 72 hours of the ANU receiving an online disclosure, a Case Manager will be in contact through the email provided in the disclosure to provide general information on the support available at the University and through community services.

The Case Manager will offer to meet with the person that lodged the disclosure in person (COVID-19 restrictions permitting), by phone or Zoom/Teams to discuss safety plans and personalised support that can be provided through the ANU and in community. The Case Manager can also discuss options for reporting to the ANU or external bodies such as the Police.

For time-critical or emergency situations, please call 000 or present to your nearest emergency ward. For afterhours support, you can contact one of the following services:

  • 1800 Respect 1800 737 732 (24/7);
  • Canberra Rape Crisis (02) 6247 2525 (7am - 11pm)
  • Lifeline 13 11 14 (24/7);
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 476 (24/7)
  • ANU Crisis Support Line 1300 050 327 or text 0488 884 170 (5pm - 9am Mon - Fri and 24/7 weekends and public holidays)

* Disclosures are kept strictly confidential except in exceptional and limited circumstances, for example, where there is an immediate and serious risk to yourself or others or if the person impacted by sexual misconduct is under 18 years old. In such circumstances, ANU will be required to notify third parties, such as the Police or child protection authorities as the circumstances require.

Is my disclosure confidential?

The information you provide during the disclosure will be kept confidential and any identifying information will not be shared with anyone without your consent*. Other than the Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Managers, the Practice Lead Sexual Misconduct Team also has access for the purposes of providing information, support and de-identified reporting.

A Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manager can explain how your information is managed and discuss consent to release relevant information for the purpose of safe making (a variety of measures to assist minimise potential harm to any person and to address safety concerns), referral to support services and/or facilitating academic accommodations.

De-identified and aggregated data is used for reporting purposes. The reports are prepared by the Practice Lead Sexual Misconduct to ensure your privacy and confidentiality is maintained.

* Disclosures are kept strictly confidential except in exceptional and limited circumstances, for example, where there is an immediate and serious risk to yourself or others or if the person impacted by sexual misconduct is under 18 years old. In such circumstances, ANU will be required to notify third parties, such as the Police or child protection authorities as the circumstances require.

Making a Report

Means making an official complaint in a documented process. 

Reporting to ANU 

Means that ANU will review the allegation and decide whether to proceed with an enquiry under a particular Policy or the Discipline Rule. 

Reporting to external agencies 

Depending on the harmful behaviour experienced, you can contact external agencies including the Police and Human Rights Commission to lodge a complaint. 

Reporting to Police means giving as much information as possible to begin a police investigation. You can meet with the police to talk about the reporting process before you decide whether you want to make an official report. There is no time limit on reporting: you can make a report no matter how long ago the incident took place. 

A Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manager or Staff Respect Consultant can provide you with information on external reporting.


The ACT Discrimination Act 1991 protects people against discrimination or harassment on the basis of attributes including sex; pregnancy; marital or relationship status; family responsibility; breastfeeding; race, colour, ethnic or ethno-religious background, descent or national identity; age; sexual orientation, gender identity, transgender identity or intersex status; disability; union affiliation, political conviction, religious belief or any other characteristic specified. 

If you or someone you know have experienced harassment, racism, discrimination, violence or threats of violence, including sexual harm, there is support in place at the ANU. The University offers two pathways for anyone who has been impacted by harmful behaviours. Responses are managed by staff who understand trauma informed and person centred approaches, and who can provide you with support and information to assist with your decision making while supporting your wellbeing


Harmful Behaviours

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or any other unwelcome sexual conduct in circumstances in which the person who is exposed to the conduct reasonably feels offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can include:

  • Displays of sexually graphic materials including posters, cartoons or messages left on noticeboards, desks or common areas
  • Repeated invitations to develop a closer or intimate relationship after prior refusal
  • Unwelcome and uncalled for remarks or insinuations about a person's sex or private life
  • Comments of a sexually suggestive nature about a person's appearance or body
  • Sexually offensive phone calls
  • Offensive emails and text messages of a sexual nature
  • Unwanted sexual attention using internet, social networking sites and mobile phones
  • Revenge porn
  • Sexual propositions
  • Indecent exposure
  • Pressuring a student or staff member to engage in sexual behaviour for some educational or employment benefit, or

Making a real or perceived threat that rejecting sexual behaviour will carry a negative consequence for the student in education, accommodation, or University programme or activity.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behaviour you have not consented to. Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim and can take many forms ranging from:

  • unwanted touching 
  • exposure to sexual acts 
  • sexual images taken without consent
  • any form of sexual penetration.

Sexual assault is a crime in all Australian jurisdictions.

What is consent?

Consent is when two or more people explicitly agree to participate in a sexual act including intercourse, kissing and touching. Consent to sexual acts is freely given.

You are unable to consent if you are:

  • asleep, unconscious or significantly affected by drugs or alcohol
  • unable to understand what you are consenting to
  • pressured or coerced to have sex because of threats, force, fear, or harm to yourself or someone else
  • under the age of consent which is 16 years in the ACT.

Consent can be withdrawn at any point, including after a sexual activity has begun.

What can I do if I have been accused of sexual misconduct?

Being accused of perpetuating sexual misconduct is a serious matter and can be a traumatic experience. ANU's duty of care applies to all parties named in a disclosure or Report with the University committed to following due process and natural justice in the interests of all parties.

If you have been accused of sexual misconduct you can be supported by an ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manger by emailing student.wellbeing@anu.edu.au or calling (02) 6125 2211

You also have access to the following services to support you during this time and provide you with information to assist with your decision making:

  • ANU Counselling to help deal with feelings related to being accused, decision-making, and concerns about relationships
  • ANU Dean of Students provide confidential, impartial advice including information on University policies
  • ANUSA can provide free independent advice and support navigating University policies and procedures
  • ANUSA can provide you with information in gaining independent legal advice

Please be aware that as part of safe-making processes, the ANU and/or Residential Hall or College may put in place precautionary measures. These measures are intended to use reasonable attempts to ensure the wellbeing of all those involved and the wider community.

Discrimination and harassment

In the ACT it is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of a characteristic that you have, or that someone thinks you have, in an area of public life such as employment, education, provision of goods and services and accommodation. The characteristics included under the ACT legislation, these include:

Disability, illness or health condition

It is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your disability which can include sensory disability, physical disability, intellectual disability, a temporary disability, a workplace injury, mental illness, brain injury, a neurological condition, a condition that results in a person learning differently, the presence in a person’s body of organisms that could cause illness or disease, and reliance on a support person, disability aid or assistance animal. It is also against the law for someone to discriminate against you because they assume you have or have had a disability, or may have a disability in the future. This might include assuming you may or might acquire a particular illness or a future injury because you may have had an illness or injury in the past.

People who are associates of a person with a disability are also protected from discrimination – so if you are discriminated against because you are a carer or friend, parent or work colleague or an advocate of a person with a disability you are also protected under the ACT Discrimination Act 1991 as well as the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Race (including but not limited to race, religion, ethnicity, home country or language spoken, antisemitism)

Racism is the process by which systems and policies, actions and attitudes create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race. Racism is more than just prejudice in thought or action. It occurs when this prejudice – whether individual or institutional – is accompanied by the power1 to discriminate against, oppress or limit the rights of others.

The ACT Discrimination Act 1991 makes it unlawful to treat you unfavourably because of your race. ‘Race’ includes a person’s colour, descent, ethnic or national origin and nationality. Treating you unfairly because of your accent or language is also unlawful. Asking for information about your ethnic or racial background may be unlawful if the purpose is to use the information to discriminate against you.

The Human Rights Commission’s Racism. It Stops With Me campaign website offers more information on racism and key terms.

Gender identity, sex, sexuality or sex characteristics

  • In the ACT it is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your gender identity, including appearance or mannerisms or other gender related characteristics of a person, with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth. It is also unlawful to discriminate against a person because the record of their sex has been altered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages registration Act 1997 (or an equivalent law in another jurisdiction). 
  • It is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your sex, or any characteristic generally imputed to your sex. It is also against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of characteristics you have which are exclusive to one sex, including around pregnancy, potential pregnancy, and breastfeeding. 
  • It is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your sex characteristic variations or intersex status. 
  • It is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of your sexual orientation – including if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or heterosexual.

Cyber and technology facilitated abuse

Technology-facilitated abuse uses technology to threaten, intimidate, harass or humiliate someone – with the intent to hurt them socially, psychologically or even physically. Also known as cyber-abuse, it includes a range of behaviours including: 

  • sending abusive or obscene text messages or emails 
  • making continuous threatening phone calls 
  • stalking a person online and hacking into their accounts, such as social media, banking or email accounts (cyberstalking
  • spying on and monitoring victims through the use of tracking systems 
  • personal attacks through social media sites 
  • posting someone’s personal information online along with offensive and/or sexual comments 
  • sharing intimate images of someone without their consent (image-based abuse
  • using technology to control or manipulate home appliances, locks and other connected devices

The e-Safety Commissioner can provide general advice and guidance, including information about when to seek legal advice and where to go for legal assistance. The eSafety cyber abuse response guide may help in identifying appropriate actions, including reporting the abuse to various services and platforms.

You can report image-based abuse, and adult cyber abuse issues to e-Safety. With image-based abuse, e-Safety may be able to take removal action, and in some cases take action against the person who posted, or threatened to post, an intimate image without consent.

Workplace bullying

The Fair Work Amendment Act 2013 defines workplace bullying as repeated unreasonable behaviour by an individual towards a worker that creates a risk to health and safety. If you have experienced workplace bullying, don’t use the harmful behaviours disclosure tool, you can lodge a confidential report on Figtree or contact the Staff Health, Safety and Wellbeing team or the Staff Respect Consultant for information and support.


Support at ANU

The Student Safety and Wellbeing team and Staff Respect Consultant provide free and confidential support and a single point of contact for ANU students and staff who have experienced any of the harmful behaviours listed on this page or anyone who is supporting someone who has experienced a harmful behaviour.

Case Managers and Staff Respect Consultants put the safety and wellbeing of the person who has been subjected to the harmful behaviour at the centre of all responses and work using a trauma-informed framework which means you will be treated with dignity and respect that will empower you to make choices and connect with appropriate services. 


A Case Manager can help coordinate: 

  • Safe making on-campus or Residential Hall or College
  • Safety information and links to community services for students in off-campus accommodation
  • Information and referrals to specialist support services at ANU and community services
  • Information on Reporting processes within ANU and Police
  • Developing support plans to work through what support a person needs to continue with studying or working
  • Coordinating support required at the ANU - including negotiating academic accommodations and administrative processes, referrals and liaison with community services, and for students living on-campus - liaising with Residential Halls and Colleges. 


The Staff Respect Consultant is here to provide free and confidential support to ANU staff experiencing issues that may impact your wellbeing, work experience, engagement and career development. This could include, but is not limited to;

  • ableism, 
  • sexism, 
  • racism, 
  • discrimination, 
  • harassment, 
  • bullying, and 
  • sexual harassment.

Helping someone who makes a disclosure to you

How do I respond to someone who has made a disclosure to me?

Receiving a disclosure of sexual assault and/or sexual harassment can be a difficult thing. It is important to remember that you are not alone and you can contact an ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing  Case Manager if you need support, information or de-briefing.

The University also offers free and confidential counselling for students through the ANU Counselling) and staff (Employee Assistance Program).

The following provides you some steps on how to support someone through a disclosure.

  1. Attend to immediate safety needs

Determine if there are any immediate safety or wellbeing concerns for the person who is making the disclosure. For time critical support, call emergency services on 000. If you are on-campus, please also contact ANU Security on 6125 2249.

Continue to access the safety and wellbeing needs of the person making the disclosure throughout your conversation.

  1. Listen, believe, be supportive and explain your role

Listen and be supportive - It can be very hard for someone to disclose sexual assault and sexual harassment. Find a quiet space to talk and give the person your full attention. Let them tell you at their own pace, without interrupting or asking direct or probing questions about the experience. Silences are okay. Letting someone, take charge of what they disclose enables them to reclaim some control.

Believe the person - Do not ask 'why' questions. Validate their experience by acknowledging their distress. Saying 'I am sorry for what has happened' can be heard as 'I believe you'; saying 'What happened to you is never okay' can be heard as 'This is not your fault'. Let the person know they are not alone.

Explain your Role - Be upfront about your role and limits to your role. It is ok to say you need assistance from someone to ensure you can provide the best support and information. Do not make promises you can't keep or take responsibility to resolve the matter if it's outside the limits of your role.

Maintain confidentiality - Treat the disclosure respectfully and do not share details with others without permission unless the person who is making the disclosure is under 18 or you have concerns about their safety and wellbeing.

If you are in a residential hall or college, explain any requirements you have to communicate with your Head or Wellbeing Coordinator/ Residential Life Manager that you have received a disclosure. In most instances this communication can be de-identified.

  1. Refer to support

Part of your role as a first responder is to provide the person with information so they can make an informed choice about what to do next.

It is essential for the person making the disclosure to maintain control over their decisions. They may or may not want to talk to a support service. If they do, they need to find one with whom they feel safe to discuss their experience.

  • ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Managers - provide confidential information and support and can assist the person work out what support they need. Support can include safety plans, short-term emergency housing, or changes to class scheduling, assessment extensions and referrals to specialist services within the ANU and in the community including Counselling, Police, etc.  Case Managers can provide secondary consultation to staff who are supporting individuals involved in incidents of sexual misconduct.
  • Canberra Rape Crisis Centre: 7am-11pm DAILY(02) 6247 2525 (voice calls) 0488 586 518 (text)
  • Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (SAMSSA):- 7am-11pm DAILY(02) 6247 2525 (voice calls) 0488 586 518 (text)
  • ANU Crisis Support Line 1300 050 327 or text 0488 884 170 (5pm - 9am Mon - Fri and 24/7 weekends and public holidays)
  • Police - In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) or for police assistance call 131 444
  • Visit www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/getting-help-at-anu/urgent-support - ANU for a comprehensive list of ANU and community services.
  1. Explain disclosure / reporting options

Remind the person they have an option to lodge a disclosure form with the ANU, report to the ANU or report to the Police. If they are unsure, they can discuss the options with an ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manager who can assist them clarify the options and provide information on each of the processes.

Some survivors will not want to pursue resolution pathways at the stage of the disclosure and you need to respect that decision.

  • ANU Online Disclosure form - can be de-identified and allows a person to document an incident they have experienced or witness. They can provide as much or little information as they are comfortable. An ANU Case Manager will make contact within 72 hours to provide support if contact details are provided.
  • ANU Report - a report can be lodged to the Registrar, Division Student Administration and Academic Support (DSAAS). The Registrar will consider and assess the complaint under the ANU Discipline Rule. For further information about reporting to ANU and/or to submit a report to the Registrar,  please email reports@anu.edu.au.
  • Reporting to the  Police  - information on reporting to the police can be accessed at Sexual Assault | Australian Capital Territory Policing (act.gov.au)
  1. Self-care - contact a support service to debrief

It can be difficult hearing and supporting someone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment. It is important to look after yourself and have a confidential debrief if you need to.

You are encouraged to contact available support services including:

  • Employee Assistance Program (staff):1800 808 374
  • ANU counselling (students) - 02 6125 2211
  • ANU advisor to staff - staff.adviser@anu.edu.au
  • ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing Case Manager - particular for information and support regarding the disclosure process: 02 6125 2211  student.wellbeing@anu.edu.au
  • If you are in a residential hall or college - you can talk to your Head or Wellbeing Coordinator / Residential Life Manager for support.

If not already done, complete the ANU online Sexual Misconduct Disclosure Form to alert the institution of the incident - it is possible to maintain confidentiality of all by completing the de-identified disclosure form.

External Support Services

There are a wide range of services available across the university, the ACT, and nationally to support student mental health. These are a selection of services and resources most relevant to university students. The Urgent Support webpage contains both urgent and non-urgent support options.


  • Student Safety and Wellbeing
  • +61 2 6125 2211
  • Send email
Page Owner: Wellbeing