Sexual misconduct is a prevalent issue within the ANU Community, despite years of protest. A criticism often raised is that the support systems of the ANU are confusing and complex to navigate.
In collaboration with the Inter-Hall Council and ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing, Woroni has created this fact file to debunk and explain such procedures and policies to help students who have experienced SASH.
I have experienced SASH, where do I go for help?
The Student Safety and Wellbeing team offers confidential support by providing resources for ANU community members impacted by SASH. This support is available to staff, students and even friends or family members of the ANU community. Case Managers are trained in trauma counselling to support any member of the ANU community.
Student Safety and Wellbeing does not restrict itself to on-campus cases of SASH, that have occurred between two members of ANU. They will provide assistance to a survivor of SASH regardless of where it occurred or who the perpetrator is, as long as the survivor has a link to the ANU.
Case Managers work closely with other ANU services including Access and Inclusion, ANU Counselling and Residential Wellbeing Coordinators to provide students with coordinated responses that meet their needs. This includes academic referrals for support such as assessment extensions.
However, Case Managers do not provide ongoing therapeutic counselling. They also provide limited support to ANU students studying abroad. This means the resource, in full, is limited to members of the ANU Community in Australia.
Case Managers provide support to students until they obtain an appointment with ANU Counselling or community services. They can refer someone to ANU Counselling or external services including the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre and Headspace. Students can also access these services independently if they so choose.
The wait-time on a reply to out-of-office disclosures is 72 hours, and 24 hours if made within office hours. Student Safety and Wellbeing can be contacted at email@example.com or by walk-in, at Level 3 of the Health and Wellbeing Centre, open on weekdays.
If students have reported the incident to ANU to investigate, Case Managers will still be able to provide support. But, the Case Manager cannot make the report, only provide resources to help with reporting.
I want help, but don’t want the trauma of an official investigation
Disclosing is when a student wants to discuss the conduct of an individual to help learn about options such as safety, support and/or accommodations. At the ANU, both the Respectful Relationships Unit and the Student Safety and Wellbeing team handle disclosures. These teams provide support and information to the survivor, implement safety interventions in residences, and facilitate academic special consideration. When accessing Student Safety and Wellbeing, the student is the only one who chooses to disclose or report the incident.
I want to formally take action. Where do I go to make a case?
At the ANU, a report is an official and formally documented complaint. This means the University formally reviews, and potentially acts, upon information that a student or staff member communicates to it.
If it is found that a SASH incident has occurred, the ANU staff member in charge has a number of powers. They can refer the case to the police, they can bar or expel the offender from campus, as well as mandating physical separation in classes and/or residence.
Reports of any sexual misconduct go through the ANU Registrar – who deals with all forms of misconduct at the university. The ANU’s procedure relies on the survivor to submit a formal report to the University. There is no time limit on making a report, allowing the survivor to take their time with the process.
However, the ANU’s formal process may be suspended if the affected person chooses to pursue a criminal investigation. Support from the ANU is still available during this time.
I want to remain anonymous, is that possible?
ANU does allow both disclosures and reports to be anonymous, but survivors may also allow the release of their name if they so wish. This is done through the Student Safety and Wellbeing ‘pathways.’ Pathway One involves a person contacting a Case Manager who provides assistance. Pathway Two has the survivor be anonymous by completing a de-identified disclosure.
However, for both pathways, Student Safety and Wellbeing encourages the disclosure of the perpetrator/s name, in order to ascertain a suitable method to hold the accused accountable.
Under some circumstances though, staff members may have to mandatorily report a disclosure. Examples of reasons for a mandatory report include: if the discloser is under 18; or at risk of serious harm to themselves or another person, or the alleged perpetrator is an ANU staff member.
What other services are available to me as an ANU student?
ANU Counselling also provides support for student mental health and wellbeing. They are a free, confidential and non-diagnostic service available to all students. They also offer trauma counselling for students that have experienced sexual assault and/or sexual harassment. ANU Counselling however cannot report an incident, but rather support the student with their well-being and can provide direction to internal or external treatment to help them report or disclose a case. ANU Counselling does offer next day appointments, but students have reported long waiting times in getting access to longer term counselling.
Students can also access psychological care via a GP referral. Other organisations that provide assistance include Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, and Headspace.
I live on campus, what support can my residence provide me?
All ANU accommodations have Senior Residents (SRs) or Residential Advisors (RAs) that can aid students who experience any sort of sexual misconduct or violence. These students are provided with training to handle, respect and educate students that have experienced sexual misconduct.
Students are able to go to their SRs or RAs to disclose sexual assault or harassment, and receive information on reporting pathways. Information disclosed to SRs and RAs is treated confidentially, except in cases that require mandatory reporting, as above.
If you or anyone you know is affected by the content of this piece, please contact one of the support services below:
Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Crisis Line
(02) 6247 2525
ANU Student Safety and Wellbeing
(02) 6125 2211
ANU BIPOC Department
ANU Indigenous Department
(02) 6125 2442
1800 737 732
ANU Women’s Department
ANU Queer* Department
ANU Respectful Relationships Unit
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