If you have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, childhood sexual assault, or domestic and family violence support is available
All members of the Griffith University community have a right to feel welcome, safe and supported. We are committed to providing safe and inclusive campus communities, free from harassment, bullying, discrimination and assault. Personal violence occurs within all cultures, demographic and socio economic groups, and at all ages. It can occur within a range of relationships including intimate and personal relationships (including same-sex relationships) and between family members, colleagues and care givers.
If you are experiencing an emergency or you in immediate danger, call 000 for immediate police or ambulance assistance. If you are on campus, call Griffith Security on 1800 800 707.
Getting help to understand your options
If you have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, harassment, bullying or discrimination, you can seek information about your options from a range of services including the Counsellor, Violence Response and Prevention, and a Harassment & Discrimination Contact Officer. You can also seek support from a Student Support Officer from one of Griffith’s four student associations, including the Griffith University Gold Coast Student Guild, Griffith Student Representative Council , Griffith University Postgraduate Student Association, and the Gold Coast Association of Postgraduate Students.
What to expect at personal violence counselling
- Counselling is a respectful and safe space for you to focus on recovery and resilience. Your counsellor will prioritise your safety, wellbeing and self-care.
- They will support you to explore reporting options.
- Counselling will be at your pace, directed by your priorities.
- You won’t have to talk about anything that you don’t want to. Counselling isn’t about recounting incidents or details of violence unless it is helpful or important for you to do so.
- Counselling will emphasise your strengths and resilience. It will recognise there is more to you and your life than your experience of violence.
- Your counsellor will respect and support your decisions. They will not tell you what you should do.
- Your counsellor will understand that you might change your mind over time regarding decisions related to disclosing and reporting violence.
- Talking to a counsellor is very different to talking to a family member or friend.
- Your counsellor will check in with you about your progress in counselling, and you can discuss this and other aspects of counselling with them at any point.
- We may at times offer you other internal and external services to best suit your needs.
- Counselling is a private and confidential process.
We maintain confidentiality at all times and will not disclose anything to anybody about you unless:
- you ask us to do so and this is agreed at interview
- you give us written permission to do so
- we are required by law to do so
- there are compelling reasons such as significant risk to you or someone else.
We keep confidential documents securely for the required number of years after your last contact with us.
If you are in immediate danger call 000 for assistance
If you have just been sexually assaulted or raped:
- Get to a place where you feel safe
- You can report to Police by calling 000, or attending your local station
- To preserve evidence (if reporting):
- DO NOT bathe
- DO NOT wash or destroy the clothing you wore during the assault
- DO NOT disturb the physical environment where the assault occurred
- Seek medical assistance. Even if you do not think you have any physical injuries, you may want to be examined
- Do not blame yourself for the assault. No one is responsible for the offender’s actions but the offender.
Reporting to police
By reporting the incident to police you are providing details of what happened during your assault and requesting the police to investigate the matter.
Alternative Reporting Options
Alternative reporting options give the survivor the opportunity to provide police with the full circumstances of their assault with the option of remaining anonymous if they wish.
Alternative reporting options do not involve any judicial process.
If you have been, or feel you have been, subject to unwanted behaviour you can also seek support outside of Griffith through the following services:
- Sexual Assault Helpline, call 1800 010 120
- Domestic Violence Connect, call 1800 811 811
- 1800 Respect
- Queensland Police Service
- Local Sexual Assault services in Queensland
Supporting a survivor
Revealing an experience of personal violence takes a great deal of strength and courage.
Recovery from violent experiences can be complex and painful, made easier with help from loved ones. Supporters can play a vital role in safety and recovery.
There are several things you can do to support a survivor of sexual violence to ensure that your response is non-judgemental, compassionate and helpful.
- believing what they tell you
- listening to them and giving them your full attention
- allowing them to talk as much or as little as they want
- not judging their actions or blaming them in any way
- establish safety (checking in to ensure they are currently safe)
- avoiding discussion of the details of the alleged assault, instead focusing on supporting their immediate needs
- validating their feelings, for example "It's OK to feel scared"
- reassuring them it was right for them to disclose
- asking them what you can do to support them
- providing information about their options and encouraging them to seek appropriate help when they feel ready
- encouraging them to take care of themselves while respecting their choices
- understanding they may experience ups and downs
- respecting their confidentiality and don’t repeat details or disclose to others without the survivor’s permission
- focusing on the survivor’s needs and safety rather than what you think should happen
- looking after yourself and seeking support if you need it.
SEX AND CONSENT: IT'S ON ALL OF US
This free online module from the MATE Bystander Program team encourages you to participate in a conversation about what contributes to healthy, respectful relationships. Whatever your gender, sexuality or relationship status, the module aims to help you:
- understand respect as a foundation to healthy relationships;
- identify consent and non-consent in relationships and sexual interactions;
- understand attitudes and assumptions in society which effect your own beliefs and boundaries; and
- learn ways to look out for friends and others through positive leadership as an active bystander