Safer Community is one of several La Trobe initiatives designed to protect your safety and wellbeing.
The free and confidential service supports students who are the victim of, or witness to, unacceptable behaviour.
Safer Community manager Elli Darwinkel says those who seek out the La Trobe service, report being the target of intimidating, uncomfortable behaviour from another person.
This type o behaviour doesn’t have to be happening on campus either. Students can approach Safer Community with concerns about what they’ve encountered outside of La Trobe too – online, on the street or in their own home.
The team can offer you advice, explain to you the process for making a more formal complaint and even accompany you to speak with the police, should you wish to go down that road.
In some situations, it might be appropriate for the Safer Community staff to investigate an allegation themselves.
“We’re a good starting point for people to get some advice to see what their options are,” Elli says.
Elli says Safer Community doesn’t just help people who’ve experienced this sort of behaviour themselves. It’s also a service you can contact if you hold concerns about another student, or if you’ve seen behaviour you think shouldn’t be tolerated.
Staff can also access Safer Community for advice if they need assistance with a student, or if a student has disclosed to them a troubling experience, like family violence.
There’s a phone number, email address and anonymous online form you can use to contact Safer Community, with the team doing the best to respond within one business day (head to the bottom of the page for all these details).
Elli says she understands some people might feel afraid of coming forward, but they should feel sure their concerns would be handled confidentially and sensitively.
“Students have a really positive experience when they come to us,” she says.
“When we meet with them, we ask what’s happening and what they’d like to see happen.
“What we usually find is people feel like they’re being heard.”
Importantly, the team at Safer Community are keyed into the other support services available on campus – they can introduce you to the other Wellbeing staff who can also assist you to deal with the unwanted behaviour.
So, have confidence: at La Trobe, we’ve got your back.
To contact Safer Community
Telephone: 03 9479 8988
Submit the online reporting form here. You have the option of remaining anonymous.