Sexual Assault

We understand that this can be a difficult topic to discuss but we know that it is important to create awareness and provide useful information for the international student community in Australia regarding sexual assault and related matters.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault refers to being forced to participate in any unwanted, uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated or threatened sexual activity. It happens where the victim has not agreed to the sexual behaviour, however another person force against them by physical or emotional abuse. From sexual harassment through to life threatening rape, it is all considered to be sexual assault. The victim/survivor has no fault or responsibility for sexual assault.


Examples of sexual assault include:          

  • ‘Stalking e.g. repeatedly being followed or watched by someone;

  • Rape e.g. being forced to have vaginal, anal or oral sex'

  • Unwanted touching e.g. pinching, patting, embracing, rubbing, groping, flicking, kissing, fondling, being touched on the breasts, bum, legs etc;

  • Sexual harassment e.g. dirty jokes or rude comments about a person's sex life;

  • Obscene gestures e.g. simulating masturbation in front of a person;

  • Voyeurism e.g. being watched doing intimate things without permission;

  • Unwanted sexual comments or jokes e.g. comments about a person's body or relationships;

  • Sex-related insults e.g. calling someone a slut, dyke, homo, slag etc;

  • Pressuring for dates or demand for sex e.g. invitations that turn into threats or not taking 'no' for an answer;

  • Indecent exposure e.g. someone showing private parts of their body or 'flashing' their genitals;

  • Being forced to watch or participate in porn e.g. taking a photo without permission, forcing someone to be on video, making someone watch a pornographic movie;

  • Offensive written material e.g. dirty notes, letters, phone messages, emails, SMS, pictures;

  • Incest/intrafamilial child sexual assault e.g. a family member e.g. father or brother engaging in sexual activity with a child or young person; Unwanted, offensive and invasive interpersonal communication through technologies such as mobile phones, internet social networking sites and email’. (Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) Forum)                


Sexual assault is a CRIME!

Sexual assault IS A CRIME in Australia. It is not acceptable weather you know the person or not who assaulted you sexually. This means it is not acceptable even if you know this person such as your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, husband or wife, it is still a crime.


Be aware of CONSENT

The legal definition of consent is ‘free agreement’, whether consent is given or not is a key factor in identifying sexual assault. A person must be qualified to give free agreement, the qualifications are based on the person:

  • Being the right age: They must be over certain age to make sexual decisions.
  • Being sober: If someone is too drunk or under the influence of drugs to make the decision, then they are not qualified to give consent.
  • Having the mental and physical ability to freely agree: mental ability to make decisions and the physical ability to communicate their desires


Circumstances where a person can’t make the free agreement in law        

  • ‘Threatened or afraid of harm to themselves or someone else;

  • Detained against their will;

  • Asleep, unconscious, affected by drugs or alcohol;

  • Unable to understand the sexual nature of the act;

  • Unclear about the identity of the person performing the act’ (Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) Forum)


What should you do if you are a victim?                     

If you have been raped or sexually abused or threatened, you should telephone the police on 131 444. If you are in a life-threatening situation, you should telephone Triple Zero (000).


Places and organizations you can contact

Organization that speaks ALL languages/provide service for non-English speaker:   


  • inTouch- The Multicultural Centre against Family Violence, is a statewide service, which provides services, programs and responses to issues of family violence in CALD (Culturally And Linguistically Diverse) communities- speak ALL language.



  • Fertility control clinic- The Fertility Control Clinic is Australia's first private abortion clinic established to provide women with access to high quality and safe termination of pregnancy and contraception. (The abortion costs around 1200 australia dollars)




Organization provides service against violence:



Organization provides general information, health support and financial support:



  • Cohealth- community health centre

    • Address and Ph:

      • Collingwood, Fitzroy, Carlton and Melbourne CBD – 9411 4333

      • North Melbourne, Kensington, Moonee Ponds, Essendon, Strathmore, Niddrie and Reservoir – 9377 7100

      • Footscray, West Footscray, Braybrook, Sunshine, St Albans, Deer Park Hoppers Crossing, Werribee, Sunbury and Melton – 8398 4100

      • Phone 131450 to call one of the numbers above

    • Hours:

      • 8:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday

      • 9am-12pm on Saturday

      • 24 hours on Sunday

    • Email:

    • Website:


  • Court network- Court Network is a unique court support service operating throughout Victoria and Queensland. We are the only court based service explicitly and solely concerned with the needs of court users. Information, support and referral services are provided by over 400 trained volunteers supporting.





  • CASA Forum (2008), Standards of Practice 2nd Edition, Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault

  • Department of Human Services (2006) Child Sexual Abuse. Understanding and Responding: for professionals working with children who have experienced sexual abuse

  • Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) (2016), Fact Sheet: What is sexual assault? Viewed 26 September 2016, <>
  • Victoria Legal Aid (2008), Am I Old Enough, Melbourne: Victoria Legal Aid.

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