Disclosure versus Reporting Sexual Harm

Sexual harm is against the law. Everyone has the right to feel safe. If you or someone you know experiences sexual harm you can seek support by either disclosing or reporting an incident.

What is sexual harm?

Sexual harm is an umbrella term for any behaviour of a sexual nature that makes someone feel uncomfortable, frightened, intimidated, threatened, or coerced, or occurs without consent. This includes sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, and other non-consensual sexual behaviours. 

Sexual harm is never the fault of the victim

Sexual harm, including sexual assault and harassment, can happen to anyone and can happen anywhere. Sexual harm can be a traumatic experience, that can have a range of negative impacts, including shock, denial, fear, anxiety, and depression.

What is the difference between disclosing and reporting to Safer Community?

If you or another student has experienced sexual harm either on or off-campus, you can disclose or report to Safer Community. Safer Community will listen, believe, and support you, discuss options for your support and safety, and assist you in determining a course of action which is right for you.


Disclosing the incident is where an individual confides in someone else that they have been the victim of sexual harm, to receive resources and support. You can disclose an incident to Safer Community.


Formally reporting is where a student or staff member provides a formal account or statement about the sexual harm to the University. As a result, an internal investigation may commence determining if the conduct constitutes a breach of any relevant instruments, including the General Misconduct Statute 2009 (students). You can also make an anonymous report to Safer Community, however, it may limit our ability to respond, because we cannot contact you for further information.

If you choose to disclose or formally report any incident of sexual harm to Safer Community, the University may have to investigate the incident to comply with its legal obligations. An example of this is if the University believes that there is a serious risk to others, and the University needs to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the community is upheld. If this happens, you have the right to choose whether you wish to participate in the investigation; you will be kept informed about what is happening, and we will support you throughout the process.  

In an Emergency

In an emergency or in circumstances of immediate danger:

  1. Call police or emergency services – (24 hours) Triple Zero ‘000’
  2. In on-campus then call Campus Security – (24 hours) 03 9479 8888. They need to be aware of the incident to let emergency services on campus if required and can assist until their arrival.

University support services:

  • Safer Community offers information and support to students who have experienced sexual harm. Call 03 9479 8988, email safercommunity@latrobe.edu.au or report online
  • Student Counselling provide free, confidential personal emotional support for students. Call 9479 2956 for an appointment. 
  • La Trobe University Crisis Line offers free, confidential afterhours support, call 1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 10 (5pm – 9am weekdays, 24 hours weekends, and public holidays). 

External support services: 

For more information, visit our website or download one of our factsheets on Sexual Harm and Responding to Disclosures

Safer Community

Safer Community can provide you with expert advice, information, options and referrals. 

Call:03 9479 8988 
Email: safercommunity@latrobe.edu.au
Report online
Visit us in person at Bundoora PE level 2 or Bendigo SSC 

Not sure if Safer Community covers your issue? Get in touch for a consult or check out the Safer Community website for information.   

Please note: Safer Community is not an emergency or critical response service, and reports, emails and voicemails are not reviewed outside of operating hours. For after hours assistance please contact the La Trobe Crisis Line on 1300 146 307 or text 0488 884 100 or Security on campus at 9479 2222.