Know where the line is
It is important to understand the line between what is appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
Have an open and respectful conversation with your partner to understand if consent has been given – don’t try to argue with them or convince them they are wrong.
Consent is required for any physical contact. Have the conversation, and the line will become clear. Learn more about consent here.
What is sexual assault and sexual harassment?
Sexual assault is a type of violence that involves physical contact or intent of contact of a sexual nature using physical force, intimidation or coercion without consent. This includes any contact of a sexual nature with a person under the age of consent.
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. It doesn’t need to be physical, it captures other behaviour, like how you speak to, or about other people too.
Common situations that are inappropriate include:
- Jokes about sex, gender, religion or race
- Talking about another person’s body – even if it’s not directly to them
- Asking someone out, over and over again, after they haven’t said yes
- Asking someone about their sex life
- Using intimate terms like ‘Hey sexy’ or ‘Hey baby,’ particularly if you do not know the person
- Cat-calling or wolf-whistling
- Making jokes or comments that someone isn’t masculine or feminine enough
- Making derogatory comments about sexuality, even if it isn’t directed at them (e.g. ‘That’s so gay')
- Sending nude or intimate photos
How can you help build a culture of respect and prevent sexual assault and harassment at your Village?
Everyone has a responsibility to lead by example and ensure our villages have a culture of respect. If you see something that doesn’t look right and you feel safe to do so don’t stand by, stand up. Call the Duty Manager, Campus Security or the Police on 000 (in Australia). Scroll down for the relevant Village and campus security numbers.
Reporting concerning behaviour to the village team will go a long way to support the safety of everyone.
If you feel safe enough to say something, make it clear that what is happening isn’t okay and that the victim is not alone. Address the person who is being harassed directly, ask them if they are okay and if they need help.
It’s important to know that harassment can seem subtle and come in the form of humour and jokes. If you hear someone treating others disrespectfully, even if it is a joke, you could step in and say something. Some examples of comments to make are:
- That’s not funny
- That’s not how we talk to each other around here
- That’s not appropriate
- I don’t get the joke
Every time you speak up and intervene, you make our community a little bit safer.
Consent: Have the chat
Consent is a core foundation of any respectful relationship. Learn more about what consent means and how to ask for it.
What can you do if you have experienced disrespectful behaviour?
If you have seen or experienced disrespectful behaviour including sexual harassment or sexual assault, we encourage you to speak to a member of the village team as soon as possible so we can support you through it. Click 'learn more' to find out what will happen when you speak to a member of our Team and all the ways we'll support you.