Resources for Survivors
We acknowledge that people who have experienced sexual assault can have a range of needs, including emotional, financial, academic and legal. If you have experienced sexual harassment or assault, or you know someone who has, some of the following services may be able to help address these needs.
Counselling and emotional support
CASA (Centre Against Sexual Assault) is a network of 15 centres spread out across Victoria that provide survivors with support and resources. They operate an after-hours sexual assault crisis support line (5pm-9am on weeknights, all day weekends and public holidays): 1800 806 292
CASA also operates a 24/7 sexual assault police/emergency line: 8345 3495
CASA House is the closest CASA to Parkville campus. They provide crisis care, counselling and advocacy support to survivors of sexual assault, including historic sexual assault. They can provide you information about your legal and medical options, and offer short to medium term counselling for up to 12 sessions. Their services are free.
Counselling and support line: 9635 3610
Address: 3rd Floor, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, 210 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
If you’re not in the inner Melbourne area, here is a list of all the other CASAs in Victoria.
WIRE offers a free confidential information and referral service for women on a range of issues including sexual harassment and assault and domestic violence. They can provide a safe place to talk about your experience and get practical and emotional support.
Ph (9am-5pm Mon-Fri): 1300 134 130
Address: 372 Spencer St, West Melbourne
The Royal Women’s Hospital has a 24/7 crisis care unit for both female and male survivors of sexual assault (run by CASA House). They can provide assistance with legal and medical options, including access to a forensic medical examination. Their services are covered by Medicare. They have interpreters available, including in AUSLAN. Access via CASA House sexual assault crisis support line (24hrs/7days a week) 1800 806 292
The Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic provides advice, testing and treatment of STIs. They operate on a walk-in basis, so you don’t need to make an appointment. Most services are free and do not require a Medicare Card.
Ph: 9341 6200
Location: 580 Swanston St, Carlton (hours: Mon-Thurs 8:30am-5pm, Fri 1-5pm)
The UMSU Advocacy Service is a free and confidential service available to current University of Melbourne students that can help you navigate how to seek academic support, and help you in applying for extensions and Special Consideration.
You can apply for an extension for up to 10 days through your subject coordinator. You don’t have to disclose the circumstances of why you need an adjustment, only to prove the impact these circumstances have had on your studies through a letter from a health professional (a doctor or counsellor).
For longer extensions, adjustments to attendance or exams, you can apply for Special Consideration through the Student Equity and Disability Support (SEDS) team. You can do this through your student portal.
Drop in service: 2-4pm, Monday to Thursday, on Level 4 Union House
Ph: 8344 6546
Contact them online
The University of Melbourne can provide students with short term loans to assist with financial difficulties. These can be up to $1000, interest free, for up to 6 months at a time.
The Department of Human Services has a 24/7 crisis accommodation line. When you contact it, a housing worker will speak to you and refer you to services in your local area.
The Department of Human Services also has a list of crisis housing services, sorted by region. Please be aware that some of the services are run by religious groups and use your own discretion.
Ph: 1800 825 955
The UMSU Legal Service is a free, independent and confidential legal service available to currently enrolled students. Their trained lawyers can provide assistance on a range of matters, including sexual assault, discrimination and sexual harassment. UMSU is a separate organisation, and not part of the University.
Advice line (1-4.30pm Monday to Thursday): 0468 720 668
Contact them online
Making a report
To the police: Sexual assault is a crime and you have the right to report it to police. Call 000 or visit your nearest police station to make a formal complaint.
If you’d like to make an anonymous report, you can use SARA (Sexual Assault Reporting Anonymously). Any information provided that could potentially identify you is removed and information passed on to the police.
CASA House can provide advocacy and support you in making a report to the police.
To the University: you can make a formal report to the University through the Safer Community Program
If you’re thinking of making a report to the University, we recommend you contact UMSU Legal Service to assist you and provide independent legal advice.
The Victorian Ombudsman accepts complaints about Universities in Victoria. Complaints can be made about maladministration on the part of the University, including the fairness of decisions or flawed university policies and procedures. We recommend you consult the UMSU Advocacy Service before you lodge a complaint to the Ombudsman.
The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency oversees universities’ compliance with national threshold Standards, which include requirements that universities foster ‘a safe environment’, have policies ‘that deliver timely resolution of formal complains’, and that students are informed in writing of the outcome of a complaint and the reasons for it. If you believe the university has breached one of the Standards, you can submit a complaint to TEQSA.
For more information about reporting to external bodies, here is a factsheet.