How you respond is important

A report or disclosure may be received by anyone within the Griffith community. The best way to provide support is to let the survivor tell their story, assure them that it is not their fault, let them know that you believe them and refer them to specialised support services.


Often, disclosures are made by survivors who are seeking assistance for other matters eg. "I need an extension on my assessment" or "I need to take a few days off". For this reason, the University recognises that anyone in our campus communities might hear a disclosure.

To aide in providing the most effective possible support for students and staff, SASH Responders can be found in schools, departments and services across the University.

If there is a continued threat to the safety of the person, or others around, or anyone is in need of urgent medical attention, you should call 000 in the first instance, otherwise you should always be guided by the wishes of the survivor and let them be in control of what happens next.

The manner in which you respond can have a significant impact on the survivor's willingness and ability to report an incident or seek further support.

Here are some basic principles to follow:

Listen and believe

Ensure they are feeling safe..

Provide them with your full attention, remain calm, and validate their emotions and experience. Let them know that they are being taken seriously.

Remember that even though the survivor has disclosed to you, they might not be ready to report the incident formally.  A SASH Responder can talk to them about their options.

Don't ask 'Why?" type questions, these may seem judgmental or to be inflicting blame. For example:

×Why were you wearing that?
×Why were you still with them?
×Why didn't you go home earlier?


Let them know about the support and reporting options available at Griffith and externally. If you're not confident or sure, a SASH Responder can assist. Referal options can include:

  • On campus Health, Counselling and Wellbeing, including access to priority counselling appointments.
  • Informal disclosure to a SASH Responder,  Harassment and Discrimination Contact officer, a student organisation or other entity
  • Lodgement of a formal or informal concern to the University
  • Queensland Police Service
  • External support services such as 1800 Respect, DV Connect and local sexual violence services

Look after you, too

It can be confronting to witness or hear a disclosure of sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Bystanders and responders can access counselling and wellbeing support through the Student Counselling and Wellbeing service, or the Employee Assistance Program.

Download a guide to responding effectively

Referral options

SASH Responders

SASH Responders are a network of staff who have been trained to assist students and staff to understand their support and reporting options relating to:

  • sexual assault,
  • sexual harassment and
  • other types of personal violence including domestic and family violence.

SASH Responders are located in schools, departments and services across the University's five campuses.

Learn more about SASH Responders or find your local contact on the Griffith phone book.

Harassment & Discrimination Contact Officers

Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officers are a network of staff who have been trained to assist students and staff to understand the reporting and resolution options relating to bullying, harassment and discrimination at the University.

Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officers are located across Griffith's campuses.

Learn more about Harassment and Discrimination Contact Officers or search for your local contact on the Griffith phone book.

Learn about other disclosure and reporting options at Griffith and externally

Concerned about a student in crisis?

You can consult with Health, Counselling & Wellbeing Services about responding to students who are in distress or at risk.

Students can also contact the Mental Wellbeing Support Line, a free 24 hours/day, 7 days/week service for students in need of immediate support.

If you are experiencing an emergency or in immediate danger, call 000 for immediate police or ambulance assistance. If you are on campus, you should also call the Campus Support Team on 1800 800 707.

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