Difference between disclosure and reporting

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed, you can choose to disclose what has happened or report it.

What is disclosure?

Disclosure means telling someone about what has happened so together you can make sure you've got the care and support you need to understand and cope with what has happened.

A disclosure is made to someone you trust; this might be a friend, family member, residence staff member, teacher, tutor or the Respectful Relationships Unit. When you disclose, you just tell the details that you feel comfortable telling. It is important to know that a disclosure won't result in holding a perpetrator to account, but you can seek other outcomes like arranging your timetable to avoid seeing someone. Find out more on How to disclose sexual misconduct page.

What is reporting?

Reporting 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. 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. Find out more on the established ANU reporting procedures page.

Get support 

The Respectful Relationships Unit can help you to understand the available disclosure and reporting options, and provide support throughout the reporting process if desired. Content the Unit at respect@anu.edu.au.