Gendered violence affects every segment of our society, and there is no place for it as this university.

While there is increased conversation about gendered violence many of us don’t know how it occurs, what to do if it does, and how we can prevent it. Here are answers to some common questions.

  • UNSW has established an online reporting portal to allow staff and students of UNSW to report an incident of gendered violence which has happened to them. The portal can also be used to report an incident which has happened to someone else (for example, where you have witnessed an incident, or you are reporting on behalf of a friend or colleague). 

    If you are reporting on behalf of another person, please do not provide any identifying information that can reveal who the person is (e.g., their name) unless you have their consent. If you have witnessed an incident and you don’t know the name of the person involved so you can’t seek their consent, you may report the incident.

  • YES. You control what information you provide to us. You can use the portal when you want to ensure that the University is aware that an incident happened, but you don’t want to share your name.

    If you choose to make an anonymous report, we are limited in the follow-up action we can take.

    For example, the University is unlikely to commence an investigation based upon an anonymous report. However, if a number of anonymous reports highlight particular activities or areas of risk, the University may take steps to reduce the risk of further incidents occurring.

  • You don't have to be a UNSW student or staff member to make a report on the portal. A person making a report might be a victim of an incident, a witness to an incident or a support person, family member or friend of a victim or witness. 

    Where you are reporting something which happened to another person whom you identify in the report, please do not provide any identifying information that can reveal who the person is (e.g., their name) unless you have their consent.

  • The portal may be used to report incidents which are not recent. There is no uniformly accepted “normal” reaction to having experienced or witnessed gendered violence.  Each person’s reaction is an individual one.  Many people wait for years before they feel able to disclose an incident to someone.

    UNSW cannot investigate incidents which are not connected to UNSW and there may be limits on our ability to investigate if the incident occurred in the past. However, even where UNSW cannot investigate, we will do our best to assist with referrals and information to help our students and staff.

  • Reports made to this portal go to the Gendered Violence response team which is a specialist team of counsellors within Psychology and Wellness. The team is available within business hours Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

    They provide information, support and referral to staff, students and members of the public based on the wishes of the reporter.

    Where appropriate additional support can be provided and may include trauma informed counselling, advocacy, case management, referral and process information around making a report.

    Reports to this portal will be stored securely within Case IQ. All reports will be treated as confidential. You can learn more about how UNSW handles privacy and personal information here.

  • All reports, including those submitted anonymously, will receive an immediate automatic acknowledgement which includes a Case IQ number.

    If you wish to remain anonymous, you have the option to opt-in to receive or seek updates by accessing the Message Board through a safe and secure log-in. If you choose to opt-out, we have no way of contacting you.

    If you provide your contact details, you will receive follow up communication from the Gendered Violence response team within 3 working days (72 hours) by the preferred method you have indicated on the report (e.g. email or phone call).

    After consultation with the person making the report, depending on what support the person making the report has request, the UNSW Gendered Violence response team, may provide you with referral details to other appropriate areas within UNSW e.g. Safer Communities, Health Services, Student Support Service, HR, ARC legal services or a union such as the NTEU. They may be able to provide case management and trauma informed counselling support or suggest external specialist support services like sexual assault services, external medical services, and counsellors.

    In some circumstances, the conduct being raised may be so serious that the Gendered Violence response team has no choice but to escalate your concerns to the Safer Communities team or the appropriate UNSW teams because of our duty to keep people safe and eliminate sexual harassment at UNSW.

    UNSW also has a legal duty to inform the Police about a report concerning a serious indictable offence (meaning a crime punishable by a prison term of at least 5 years). Under the Crimes Act (NSW) when a person knows or believes that the offence has been committed and has information which might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension of the offender or the prosecution or conviction of the offender they must not, without reasonable excuse, fail to bring it to the attention of the Police. You will be consulted wherever possible prior to any notification in relation to your report being made.

    Complaints or allegations of gendered violence against UNSW students and staff will be addressed in accordance with the UNSW Complaints Management and Investigations Policy and Procedure and the UNSW Enterprise Agreements (there are two Agreements, one for academic staff, and one for professional staff).

  • Yes. Both students and staff can contact the Gendered Violence Response team directly for support, advice, and referrals via email on This email will be monitored in business hours and a member of the team will be in contact with you on your preferred method of contact to discuss. 

    First responders are also people you can talk to someone about your experience. UNSW First Responders are students and staff who are trained to offer you confidential support. They understand that reporting gendered violence can be difficult and can provide you with guidance and support. 

    Should you choose to make a formal report, a UNSW First Responder can help you or they can complete the report on your behalf. For more information on how to contact first responders, please visit the First Responders webpage.

    UNSW also provides a general after-hours Mental Health Support line which students can contact where you can speak with a counsellor if you are feeling distressed and need someone to speak to. This line operates from 5pm-9am Mon- Fri and 24 hours weekends and public holidays. You can call 9385 5418 or text 0485 826 595.

    If you are a staff member, looking for counselling support, you can contact the Employee Assistance Program 24/7. 

  • First Responders are staff who have the training to act as first responders in cases of gendered violence. Initial contact with a first responder can be by email, by phone or in person. 

  • Our aim is to provide a response by the preferred method you have indicated on the report (provided you have supplied your contact details) within 24 hours.  Sometimes that will not be possible: for example, if a report is made on a Friday, or during the University shut down period in December.

    If you have made a report but you have not received an email acknowledgment within 72 hours, please email:

    (Please quote your Case IQ number you received when making the report through the Case IQ Portal)

    It is very important that, where urgent medical or other help is needed, you do not wait for a response to a report made to the portal.  It may, for example, be important to contact the Police, or an ambulance, immediately after a serious incident occurs.

    For immediate 24/7 help:

    On campus - Call Security on 02 9385 6666 or contact them via the SafeZone app

    Off campus - Call Emergency Services (police and ambulance) on 000

    See ‘where to get more support' on this webpage. 

  • What happens after you report an incident of gendered violence to UNSW depends on a few things:

    • Whether the person reporting has supplied contact details
    • The nature of the incident
    • What action or support the person reporting the incident is seeking

    Some examples of potential outcomes that could occur (as long as we have your contact details) are listed below.

    Examples where complainant is a student

    Outcomes: Provide support

    • A confidential discussion with a first responder
    • Contact from a UNSW Counsellor
    • Advice to consult a Doctor (who could be the person’s own Doctor (GP), someone in the University Health Service or a local hospital accident and emergency service)
    • Conversation about accessing a specialist sexual assault service and what that would involve
    • Where there are concerns about academic matters such as assessments or exams, advice about how to seek special consideration (if applicable)
    • Where the other person involved in the incident is a UNSW student or staff member, ways to manage activities at the University while any investigation takes place

    Examples if complainant is staff member

    Outcomes: Provide support

    • A confidential discussion with a first responder
    • Referral to a Doctor (who could be their own Doctor (GP), someone in the University Health Service or a local hospital accident and emergency service)
    • Conversation about accessing a specialist sexual assault service and what that would involve
    • Referral to an HR staff member
    • Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
    • Where the other person involved in the incident is a UNSW student or staff member, ways to manage activities at the University while any investigation takes place

    Examples where complainant is either student or staff member

    Outcomes: Dealing with alleged misconduct

    • Further discussion and investigation will be required to establish what happened
    • No UNSW misconduct procedure can be commenced if the person said to be responsible is not identified. Where the person said to be responsible for gendered violence is identified (as a student or staff member of UNSW), the appropriate UNSW staff member will consider what the next steps should be. This may involve contacting the Police. If the Police commence an investigation, UNSW will ordinarily not proceed with its own separate investigation until the outcome of the Police investigation (and, where applicable, any prosecution) is known.  This situation will not prevent UNSW from providing support as described above.
    • If the conduct is investigated and found to be misconduct or serious misconduct, there are a range of possible outcomes, depending on the seriousness of the conduct.  Proven conduct of the most serious kind would involve consideration of exclusion of a student from UNSW or termination of employment of a staff member. Where a student in these circumstances is an overseas student, UNSW will have reporting obligations to the Australian Government Office.

    See the following UNSW procedures for more information:

  • Yes. There are 2 ways to make a report of gendered violence to the police.

    1. Contact your nearest police station and make a formal complaint

    In an emergency dial 000.

    The police can also be contacted on the Police Assistance Line:

    2. Complete a sexual assault reporting option questionnaire

    The purpose of completing a questionnaire is not to enable a criminal investigation to take place but it can help police to take measures to protect the community and reduce repeat offending.  Read information on the questionnaire here: Sexual Assault Reporting Options. It is important to note that the questionnaire does ask for detail about the incident.  If you decide to complete the questionnaire, it is highly recommended that you have a friend with you to help you. Completing the questionnaire may be very distressing for you. 

  • YES. You can report to both the police and to UNSW (whether via the portal or through contacting a First Responder, other staff member or student leader etc.).


  • There may be occasional situations where UNSW has a duty to inform the Police about a serious incident reported to it (See item 6 above). Where the Police commence an investigation, the University may need to wait to carry out any investigation, pending the outcome of police inquiries.  However, providing appropriate support, referrals and ensuring the safety of the person(s) affected will remain a priority for the University in all circumstances.

    If the matter needs to be investigated under one of UNSW’s Procedures (e.g. the Student Complaint Procedure), all parties to the matter including the person alleged to be responsible for the gendered violence will be advised that the matter is being investigated.

    While most of our students are over the age of 16, in exceptional cases there may be UNSW students who are under 16 years of age, and who are therefore considered to be children under the law. There may also be children on a UNSW campus who are not students – for example, children attending a UNSW Early Years Centre or the UNSW Health Service.  Under the law, there are obligations imposed upon certain types of professionals (for example, doctors, counsellors and child care workers) to notify relevant Government Departments and/or the Police where there are concerns that a child is experiencing, or is at risk of, sexual abuse.

    More information is available on this Fact Sheet from the Australian Government: Child Family Community Australia for further information.

    Where a staff member is accused of an incident of a more serious and/or unlawful nature it would be likely that the process outlined in the Enterprise Agreement for dealing with allegations of misconduct/serious misconduct would be activated.

  • The University respects the right of individuals to decide for themselves whether to make a report to the police or not. In particular, UNSW acknowledges and supports the NSW Health Policy Directive: Sexual Assault Services Policy and Procedure Manual (Adult) and Rights of the Client 'to make choices about proceeding with legal action' (2005, Page 16)

    However, it is important to point out that under New South Wales law, if you have useful information about a serious criminal offence and you, without a reasonable excuse, don’t tell the Police, you may be committing an offence.  There may be a good reason why you do not want to make a report to the Police and where possible, this decision will be respected by UNSW.

    If you find yourself in this dilemma, UNSW encourages you to seek legal advice - for example, UNSW students can have a confidential conversation with the legal officer at Arc. Students and staff can seek advice from Kingsford Legal Centre or any other community legal centre or private legal practice.  (Please note that a private legal practice would ordinarily charge you fees for advice).

  • Yes. If you accessed Case IQ using your student/staff zID and password, just log back into Case IQ and you'll be able to see your report and communicate with a member of the Portal Response team.

    If you accessed Case IQ via the Portal and created an account, use the same credentials you created to log into Case IQ. 

    For more information on how to track your report and communicate with a member of the Portal Response Team, access our useful guides here.

    If an account was not created, you will not be able to track progress or update information to your report via Case IQ. Alternatively, email with updates.

  • No.  However if you are making a report on behalf of a student, privacy laws provide that you must have their consent to make the report.

  • Deliberately making a false report is a very serious matter. It is important to recognise the immense harm which a false report might cause, to the person wrongly accused of gendered violence, and to that person’s family, friends and community. Deliberately making a false report is also potentially damaging to those who have in fact experienced gendered violence, and who may fear that they will not be believed because of the occurrence of false reports.

    If the person found to have deliberately made a false report is a UNSW staff member or student, this would amount to a breach of the Staff or Student Code of Conduct, and may result in a disciplinary outcome.

    If you are not the person making a false report, but you are aware that someone has deliberately made a false report, you should email as soon as possible. The UNSW response team will be able to contact the appropriate UNSW staff and take the matter further.