Sexual Assault

Safety and Wellbeing Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is any unwanted or forced sexual activity without a person's consent.

Assault occurs when a person:

  • Touches another person inappropriately without their consent – groping is a form of sexual assault
  • Forces another person against their will to commit an act of gross indecency – a sexual act that does not involve penetration, for example a person forces another person to touch their genitals
  • Forces another person to see an act of gross indecency, for example the person masturbates in front of the other person.

Rape is the most serious form of sexual assault – forcing someone to have sexual intercourse without his or her consent. Rape includes forcing someone to perform oral sex, digital penetration, and inserting any object into the vulva, vagina or anus of another person without their consent.

Sexual Misconduct Officers provide a single point of contact at JCU for a person who has been subject to Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault, or to the manager or person supporting that person. Sexual Misconduct Officers, or the Student Equity and Wellbeing counsellors can assist people to access support, and/or make a Report or Complaint in line with the Sexual Assault Procedures.

What is consent?

Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity. It's important that you are 100% sure that the person you're with is happy and willing because non-consensual sexual activity (even kissing and touching) is against the law.

One of the best ways to determine if someone is uncomfortable with any situation, especially with a sexual one, is to simply ask. People always have the right to say 'no' and always have the right to change their mind at any time regardless of how far things have gone.

Drugs and alcohol can affect people's ability to make decisions, including whether or not they want to be sexual with someone else. This means that if someone is drunk or under the influence of drugs, they cannot give consent.

The Thames Valley Police, in the UK developed a short video in 2015 to demonstrate what constitutes consent by demonstrating sexual consent is as straightforward as making a cup of tea:

What to do if you have been assaulted

Are you safe?

For immediate assistance of police or ambulance call 000. For on campus security call 1800 675 559.

It's never your fault

It is never your fault. You are not responsible for other people's behaviours. You have a right to be treated with dignity and respect. You have a right to privacy, and confidentiality, you can refuse to answer any questions. You have a right not to be judged based on your age, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity and/or cultural background. You have a right to ask questions and get answers. You have a right to decide what happens.

Connect with specialist sexual assault services

The sexual assault services provide specialist, free, confidential support (24 hours by phone Australia-wide, and 24 hours in person response in Townsville and Cairns).

The Specialist Sexual Assault Services have support workers who can meet you and can offer ways to help you manage the physical and emotional affects you may be experiencing. They can explain and assist with legal and medial options, including any emergency health care of forensic examinations, and, any decisions about reporting to police.

The Specialist Sexual Assault Services can also advise and assist you to access support from JCU to continue studying or working if you wish. They will ensure your decisions are communicated and respected. JCU Sexual Misconduct Officers can also assist you to connect with the specialist services.

Helplines

1800 RESPECT – 24-hour sexual assault and domestic violence support1800 737 732
Queensland Statewide Sexual Assault Helpline – 7:30am-11:30pm1800 010 120

Specialist Sexual Assault Services

Townsville Sexual Assault Support Service07 4775 7555
After hours 07 4759 9743
Cairns Sexual Assault Service07 4031 3590
After hours 07 4759 9743
Tablelands Sexual Assault Service07 4091 4036

Queensland Health Services

Mackay Sexual Health and Assault Service07 4968 3919
Mount Isa Sexual Assault Service07 4744 4447
Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Sexual Assault Response Team07 3646 5207

Assistance to continue with study and work

JCU has dedicated Sexual Misconduct Officers who provide a single point of contact. The Sexual Misconduct Officers can assist you with working out what support you need to continue your study or work, regardless of who perpetrated the assault. Support includes, for example, safety plans, short term emergency housing, or changes to class scheduling, assessment, or work reporting lines. Support can be provided without identifying the other person/people involved.

Supporting someone who has been sexually assaulted

The following resources will provide guidance if you are supporting someone who has been sexually assaulted.

Guidelines for responding to disclosures of sexual assault (PDF, 206 KB)

Report an incident of sexual assault to JCU

You can report a sexual assault to the Queensland Police, or any of the sexual assault services above.

Anyone can report incidents of sexual assault to JCU.

Support is available to guide you through this process. Sexual Misconduct Officers provide a single point of contact at JCU for a person who has been subject to Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault, or to the manager or person supporting that person.

Sexual Misconduct Officers will assist people to access support, and/or make a Report or Complaint in line with the JCU Sexual Assault Procedure (PDF, 208 KB).

It is possible to make an anonymous report to JCU, and it is possible to make a report to JCU without identifying another person/people involved.