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POLICIES & PROTOCOL

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are prohibited by law.  They are treated as serious misconduct at St Ann’s College.  Respectful relationships are the expected norm.

 

The term ‘sexual assault’ is used in this policy to refer to unwanted physical sexual activity which is defined wider than in the criminal law.

 

If an incident is the subject of a criminal law investigation, the College’s processes may have to be suspended pending completion of the criminal process.  The College’s internal process is not a substitute for a criminal process.

 

This policy has been prepared in accordance with the recommendations of the Broderick report into “Cultural Renewal at the University of Sydney Residential Colleges (p56)  A checklist of recommendations follows before the policy begins below.

 

From the report

 

“Best practice standards for preventing and managing sexual misconduct have been established by international and Australian studies, including those conducted by the White House Task Force; the Universities UK Taskforce; End Rape on Campus Australia (EROC); the Australian Human Rights Centre of the University of New South Wales; and the Australian National Association for Services Against Sexual Violence.

These studies are based on university-wide information. However, a number of studies have noted the potential for the increased incidence of sexual misconduct in residential settings. As Armstrong et al. have noted in their study of a residential hall at a Midwestern American research university, residential settings at universities are microcosms of the key structural and cultural factors that enable sexual misconduct on campus, including normalised heavy alcohol consumption and gender hierarchies, or what they call ‘the development of sexualized peer cultures organized around status’. For this reason, best practice principles for combatting sexual misconduct broadly are applicable to residential colleges. Indeed, because residential colleges are smaller communities, they have the potential to enact cultural change more quickly, and be a model to their universities.

Five key principles of best practice emerge from the evidence:

  1. Residential Colleges should adopt a whole-of-community integrated and holistic framework for preventing and responding to sexual misconduct.
  2. The institution must have a stand-alone zero-tolerance policy about sexual misconduct which is clear, well-communicated and readily accessible. This policy should clearly articulate consequences for any breach.
  3. Survivors must be supported, including through appropriate reporting options and trauma-informed professional support.
  4. Appropriate evidence-based, education and training must be provided for staff and for student leaders. Staff and student leaders should be trained in trauma-informed and survivor-centred responses. Sexual misconduct prevention education programs should be grounded in an understanding of gender, other identities and related power dynamics, as well as framed in terms of ethical relationships.
  5. Institutions must implement procedures to ensure transparency and disclosure, and conduct self-assessments to track policy efficacy.”

Broderick Report Recommendations

Best practice standards recommend a comprehensive, clear, detailed policy that is widely communicated and readily available, including on the institution’s website. The policy should[1]:

 

Recommendation Policy includes:
Expressly prohibit sexual misconduct and make clear the consequences of breaching the policy. Yes
Define key terms and concepts, illustrated with relevant examples in order to clarify the meaning of and behaviours that constitute sexual harassment, sexual assault and consent. Yes
Acknowledge the institution’s responsibility to provide a safe and respectful environment for all. Yes
Articulate expectations that all staff and students in the institution’s community play a role in creating a safe and respectful environment. Yes
Provide clear details on processes for reporting and responding to sexual misconduct, including with specific names and contact details, and how to support someone who has experienced sexual assault. Yes
Provide clear guidance and a variety of options for survivors/victims to disclose, and to seek external support, counselling and health services. Yes
With regard to disciplinary action against alleged perpetrators, a coordinated response between Colleges and the University should be considered where the student and perpetrator are studying on the same campus (see recommendations below). Yes
Information regarding perpetrator accountability is included in the sexual misconduct policy, and the processes made clear in advance to those reporting. Yes
While the College should maintain the principles of due process for the alleged perpetrator, consideration must be given to the affected student, as well as to the safety of other students. Such consideration may mean that an alleged perpetrator is temporarily or permanently removed from the College and potentially suspended from the campus. Yes

[1] From the Broderick report p56.

 

St Ann’s College Respectful Relationships Policy

  • Background to the Policy
  • Scope and purpose
  • St Ann’s College – Building a safe environment
  • Definitions
  • Reporting Party
  • Responding Party
  • Support Person
  • Informed Consent
  • Consent to sexual activity
  • Reckless indifference to consent
  • Sexual Assault
  • Indecent Assault
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Assault
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Confidentiality
  • Once a report is made
  • Initial report
  • Where to go for support and information
  • Executive Residential Staff
  • Student supports
  • Support provided by the College to past students
  • Record-keeping
  • Further information

St Ann’s College Sexual Misconduct Policy

  • Support
  • Reporting Procedures – what are my options?
  • Anonymous report
  • Informal request for support
  • Formal report
  • Criminal reporting
  • What if I don’t want to make a formal report or Police report?
  • What if I want to make a report on behalf of somebody else?
  • Standards of Evidence

St Ann’s College Protocol for Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Assault

  • Step 1 – Establish immediate safety
  • Step 2 – If a student tells you they have been sexually assaulted
  • Step 3 – Provide Information and facilitate access to counselling, medical, legal support
  • Medical Support
  • Making a complaint to College
  • Police and Legal Support
  • Step 4 – Provide printed information containing referral numbers for assistance
  • Step 5 – Proceed to St Ann’s College Critical Incident Policy
  • Step 6 – Debriefing
  • Other sources of support following sexual assault

Appendices

  • SP001 Code of Conduct Policy
  • SP002 Critical Incident Policy

Electronic Policy and Protocol Acceptance is mandatory for all St Ann’s Students and Staff

To ensure your understanding of the St Ann’s College policies, protocol and the topics covered within them you are required to read and answer the questions following each. Please complete the electronic sign off on each of  the 3 pages.

Before clicking the SUBMIT button on each page, you must include your full name, e-mail address and sign the box using either your mouse or touch screen. Once submitted you will receive individual confirmation emails, please keep these for future reference.

RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS POLICY

Preventing and responding to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, assault, indecent assault and sexual assault:

  • College Members are expected to maintain respectful relationships always and in all circumstances. Discrimination, harassment (in person or online), sexual harassment (in person or online), assault, indecent assault and sexual assault are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • College Members should understand that harassment, sexual harassment, assault, indecent assault and sexual assault are criminal offences.
  • College Members are expected to actively seek informed consent in their interactions with others and respect when it is not given or withdrawn.

Background to the Policy

St Ann’s College seeks to support students through their transition to adulthood with a breadth of intellectual, spiritual, cultural and social experiences. Rather than creating policy grounded in punitive measures, this policy aims to empower College members by focussing on wellbeing and encouraging its members to think critically, make informed choices and to hold themselves and others accountable for their actions. It seeks to assist all College members to engage in respectful relationships always, to actively seek informed consent and ethically negotiate all relationships and interactions.

At the same time, St Ann’s College is firmly committed to the safety of all students, staff and visitors, and expects all people who interact with the College to abide by the College values and the law. St Ann’s College does not tolerate any form of harassment, vilification or victimisation of or by its students and staff and takes a zero-tolerance policy to these behaviours where they are reported. St Ann’s College upholds the following legislation which provides a legal framework for our Respectful Relationships Policy (the “Policy”): Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA); Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA); Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth); Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA).

College students are young adults who are legally accountable for their actions. As a result of this, the College’s policy and procedures relating to respectful relationships emphasises personal responsibility and conformity with the law, as well as structural supports for encouraging respectful relationships in daily College life.

St Ann’s College recognises that discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, assault, indecent assault and sexual assault are abuses of power that contravene the St Ann’s College Code of Conduct and our values (Appendix 1). Students, staff and visitors must not engage in such conduct. Sexual assault and indecent assault are crimes; the College encourages students and staff to report any instances of sexual or indecent assault to both the College and the Police. The College takes all reports of inappropriate conduct seriously and has processes for responding to these reports with impartiality and sensitivity, in line with best practice in supporting people in these circumstances.

Scope and Purpose

This policy applies to all students, residential staff and non-residential staff, whether on or off-site. Alumni, contractors and visitors to College are also considered to be bound by College policies when on site. The law regarding sexual assault applies to everyone in South Australia, including all visitors to the College.

This policy aims to:

  • Ensure that College is a safe respectful community
  • Guide College students in creating a community where all students value informed consent and respect choices
  • Clearly set out the behavioural expectations and legal obligations of College Members
  • Outline the processes that St Ann’s College leadership have put in place to make St Ann’s a safe place for students and staff to live and work
  • Make College students aware of the support available to them
  • Encourage College students to seek help for any situation where they feel uncomfortable
  • Inform College students of the procedures that the College will follow in responding to a report
  • Ensure that any adverse experiences are approached ethically, and are dealt with sensitively, fairly and confidentially and within Australian Law

St Ann’s College – Building a safe environment

St Ann’s College takes very seriously its responsibility to protect students and staff from sexual assault, harassment, vilification, bullying and victimization. In discharging this responsibility, St Ann’s has an ongoing commitment to:

  • Ensure, as far as possible, that there is no unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, discriminatory harassment, vilification, bullying, or victimisation of students or staff;
  • Communicate regularly with the student community that sexual assault and sexual harassment are both illegal and unacceptable;
  • Train staff and student leaders to respond appropriately to reports and complaints of assault, harassment or other unacceptable behaviour;
  • Ensure that St Ann’s policies, procedures, and documentation accord with Equal Opportunity, and Health, Safety and Wellbeing best practices, and are updated as necessary;
  • Establish and maintain clear processes to manage and investigate disclosure and reports concerning matters covered by this policy;
  • Provide advice and support to students and staff in relation to complaints on matters covered by this policy;
  • Align this policy as closely as possible to those of the University of Adelaide, UniSA and Flinders University, while making sure that the particular needs and structures of the College as an educational and residential community are taken into account.

St Ann’s College has an ongoing commitment to ensure that no one is victimised or otherwise subjected to detrimental action or disadvantage as a consequence of making a disclosure or a complaint of sexual assault or sexual harassment, providing information about a disclosure or complaint, supporting a student who had made a disclosure or complaint, or engaging in safe active bystander intervention. Such victimisation or detrimental action constitutes misconduct.

Definitions

Reporting Party

A reporting party is any College member/s who makes a report to College concerning the behaviour of another person/s. Any individuals or groups who have witnessed or had something happen to them that they think has breached the College’s Respectful Relationships Policy can make a report. This can be about the behaviour of a St Ann’s College member or an outsider.  This can be for an incident/s either on or outside College grounds. The College seeks to support and empower the reporting party, who is not obligated to pursue any particular course of action unless there is significant risk to the reporting party or others.  St Ann’s College will support any reporting party wishing to go to the Police to report criminal incident/s.

Responding Party

A Responding Party is any College member who has had a report made concerning them. Since the College is unable to satisfactorily investigate reports made against external persons, reports made concerning external persons will result in a ban from College grounds. St Ann’s College will support any reporting party wishing to go to the Police to report criminal incident/s. Police will be called should the external person/s seek to re-enter College grounds.

Support Person

A person to whom the Reporting Party has spoken about the alleged breach of the Policy.

Informed Consent

St Ann’s College members have the right to make choices free from pressure and with a clear understanding of the facts and potential outcomes of that choice. This is “informed consent” and should be actively sought when interacting with others in any area of life.

College Members should understand that informed consent can only be given by those who are:

  • 17+ years old
  • Fully conscious and not intoxicated
  • Free to act without the influence of others, especially older community members
  • Aware of all the relevant facts

This includes:

  1. Being given sufficient information to understand what they are agreeing to
  2. Being given a free choice to opt in or out, without adverse consequences
  3. Being permitted to change their mind at any time
Consent to sexual activity

Consent to sexual activity in South Australia is defined in s 46 of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) as free and voluntary agreement. Under the legislation, a person does not freely and voluntarily agree to sexual activity if:

the person agrees because there has been force applied (this includes an express or implied threat of force to the victim or to another person) or because of a threat to denigrate, humiliate, disgrace or harass the person or another person, or out of fear; or

  • the person is unlawfully detained at the time of the activity; or
  • the person is asleep or unconscious when the activity occurs; or
  • the person is intoxicated to the point of being incapable of freely and voluntarily agreeing when the activity occurs; or
  • the activity occurs whilst the person is affected by a physical, mental or intellectual condition or impairment; or
  • the victim is unable to understand the nature of the activity; or
  • the victim agrees to engage in the activity with a person under a mistaken belief as to the identity of that person; or
  • the person is mistaken about the nature of the activity (for example, a person is taken not to freely and voluntarily agree to sexual activity if they agree to engage in the activity in the mistaken belief that the activity is necessary for the purposes of medical diagnosis, investigation or treatment, or for the purpose of hygiene).

Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not an invitation to sexual advances or activity. Equally, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not an excuse for improper or unlawful behaviour. Each and every time you do anything sexual, ranging from touching or kissing to having sex, you must always have the other person’s consent. This means taking responsibility for ensuring the other person is consenting to the sexual activity, with you, throughout the course of the interaction. Never assume that a person is consenting because they have previously said yes, or because of their reputation, or because of the way they act or dress, or for any other reason. Consent can be withdrawn – if consent is withdrawn, then stop. Going ahead with sexual activity knowing that the other person does not consent is criminal. It is also criminal to proceed with sexual activity if you:

  • are aware of the possibility that the person might not be consenting; or
  • do not give any thought to whether or not the person is consenting (so-called reckless indifference).

Even where a Responding Party was intoxicated at the time the offending occurred, he or she can be guilty of sexual assault provided intent to commit the offence can be shown.

Reckless indifference to consent

A person is guilty of sexual assault if he or she knows that the other person does not consent (or has withdrawn their consent) or is recklessly indifferent as to whether the other person has consented. Reckless indifference in the context of sexual offences means a failure on the part of the Responding Party to consider the other person’s wishes, having utter disregard as to whether or not they have consented (or withdrawn consent).

Under the legislation, a person will be found to be recklessly indifferent to the fact of consent (or withdrawal of consent) if he or she:

  • is aware of the possibility that the other person might not be consenting (or has withdrawn consent) but decides to proceed regardless of that possibility; or
  • is aware of the possibility that the other person might not be consenting (or has withdrawn consent) but fails to take reasonable steps to ascertain whether the other person does in fact consent before proceeding;
  • does not give any thought to whether or not the other person is consenting to the act (or has withdrawn consent).
Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is a serious crime. It is a violation of trust, an exploitation of vulnerability, and an abuse of power. Any sexual activity to which a person has not consented is sexual assault.  It is sexual assault if a person has sexual intercourse with another person without the consent of that person, either knowing that there is no consent or being recklessly indifferent about that consent. It is sexual assault if a person continues to have sexual intercourse with another person where consent has been withdrawn. It is sexual assault if consent is not obtained, even where the person does not physically resist. It is sexual assault where a person compels another to engage in, or to continue to engage in sexual intercourse with a person other than the offender; or an act of self-penetration. Sexual assault under the law means: unwanted oral, anal or vaginal penetration, by any part of the body of another person, or any object, and includes oral sex.

Sexual assault may be a single incident or may occur over time. Sexual assault is not defined by gender; it can happen to anyone, of any gender.

Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. It is important to remember that the perpetrator is always responsible for the sexual assault

Indecent Assault

Indecent assault is touching (or the threat to touch) a person’s body in a sexual manner without consent by another person. For example, indecent assault may include unwanted touching of a person’s breasts, bottom or genitals.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that offends, humiliates or intimidates an individual or group of people, and may occur as the result of a single incident or repeated incidents.

The law in South Australia says that a person sexually harasses another, if:

  • The person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the person harassed; or
  • Engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed,

in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated, or intimidated.

Sexual harassment is not defined by gender; it can happen to, or be perpetrated by, anyone of any gender.

Sexual harassment may include:

  • Displaying sexual material where it can be seen by others (online or in real life)
  • Sending or requesting sexually explicit photographs by mobile or online (so-called “nudes” or “dick pics”) where this is unwanted by one party
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Unwanted requests for sexual behaviours
  • So-called ‘traditional’ chants or sporting songs that are sexually oriented in nature
  • Hazing activities that focus on sexualised jokes, actions or activities
  • Making unwanted jokes of a sexual nature
  • Other unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature

Sexual harassment is against the law and may result in financial and other penalties. It is unlawful for a person to cause, instruct, induce or assist another person to act in a way that constitutes sexual harassment. This person can be penalised in the same way as the harasser. Once a complaint of sexual harassment has been made, it is unlawful to treat a person unfavourably because they have made a complaint.

Assault

Assault is any action or threat of action which intentionally inflicts injury, force or violence on an individual or group of people. Assault may include

  • Spitting
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Administering an intoxicating substance without a person’s knowledge
Harassment

Harassment is any unwanted behaviour that offends, humiliates or intimidates an individual or group of people, and may occur as the result of a single incident or repeated incidents. This includes stalking and intimate partner violence, as well as displaying material online or in real life that targets a person or group of people. Harassment because of a person’s actual or perceived status may be based on:

  • Gender, including transgender status
  • Race including colour, nationality, descent, ethnicity or ethno-religious background
  • Sexuality
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Marital or domestic situation
  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Carer’s responsibilities
Discrimination

Discrimination occurs when an individual or group of people are treated less favourably than another individual or group of people, because of an actual or perceived characteristic of that individual or group of people.

Confidentiality

All enquiries or reports on matters pertaining to breaches of this policy will be treated with sensitivity and respect, and will remain confidential except when it is assessed that it is likely that there is a significant risk to any College member.  In rare instances the College will encourage the disclosing student to report the matter to the Police.  If there are circumstances where the College is obliged to report a disclosed or reported incident to the Police, for example in instances requiring mandatory reporting, the student making the disclosure will be informed before the College reports to the Police.  The bounds of confidentiality will be discussed and an individual plan created that addresses a balance between the wellbeing and safety of the individuals involved and the College at large. Students should feel free to raise concerns in the abstract, or on a hypothetical basis, where they are determined that strict confidentiality be maintained, although this may limit the extent to which the College can follow up on the reports made. However, support will always be provided to those who seek it.

Once a report is made

Reports of breaches of the Respectful Relationships policy will be handled in a sensitive, discreet and fair manner, as outlined below. Where a breach of the policy involves a reported instance of indecent assault or sexual assault, the matter will be handled under the conditions outlined in the Sexual Misconduct policy, which over-rides the conditions of the Respectful Relationships policy.

Initial report

A report of behaviour that breaches the Respectful Relationships policy can be made to the Principal, Senior Tutor, Equity Officer and/or a Residential Tutor. St Ann’s College encourages students and staff to report any breaches of the Respectful Relationships policy. We are here to provide support, referrals, and information to assist you.

Where to go for support and information

Executive residential staff

The role of the College Respectful Relationship Officers is to provide support and information to any one in College who is concerned about any possible discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, assault, indecent assault or sexual assault. Appointed staff members include:

  • The Principal
  • The Senior Tutor
  • Equity Officers
  • Residential Tutors

These Officers can provide confidential information and support regarding the Respectful Relationship policy and procedures.  They may be instructed by the Principal to investigate any formal complaints.

Student supports

Equity Officers and Residential Tutors have undertaken training to better support people who are concerned about any breach of the Respectful Relationships Policy.

You are of course welcome to seek advice from anyone in College you feel can assist. College seeks to ensure that all College members are aware of this policy and can direct you to further support and information if needed.

Support available to students includes information about appropriate emergency health, counselling, security and accommodation providers, information about and assistance with navigating the College’s formal report and misconduct investigation processes, referral to internal and external support services, regular and timely communication about the process and its resolution, interim measures, etc.

Support provided by the College to past students

If a past resident wishes to make a disclosure or report the College will follow the processes outlined in this policy to the extent that they are relevant and effective.  As outlined above, the College seeks to support and empower the reporting party, who is not obligated to pursue any particular course of action unless there is significant risk to the reporting party or others.  St Ann’s College will support any reporting party wishing to go to the Police to report criminal incident/s.

Record-keeping

Appropriate records of all disclosures and reports (and other communications) of sexual assault and sexual harassment will be collected and kept securely.  Students will be allowed reasonable access to records about themselves.  Only members of the Discipline Committee will have access to records to carry out responsibilities under the policy subject to confidentiality requirements.

Review questions

To ensure your understanding of the St Ann’s College Respectful Relationships Policy and the topics covered within it, after reading the policy in full you are required to answer the following questions correctly before clicking the SUBMIT button at the bottom of this page.
Further information

Please contact the Principal if you have any queries:  denise.vonwald@stannscollege.edu.au

Policy created: October 2018

Policy adopted by Council: November 2018

Date to be reviewed: January 2019

With thanks to St Andrew’s  College Respectful Relationships Policy

With thanks to Lincoln College for their Respectful Relationships, Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment policies.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY

St Ann’s College encourages students to report sexual assault and indecent assault of any kind. The best research available indicates that the incidence of false allegations of sexual assault is very low. The literature also suggests that the disincentives to reporting sexual assault are high due in part to the fact that victims fear that they will not be believed.

With this in mind, St Ann’s College takes the position that a person making a report of sexual assault is assumed to be telling the truth in the first instance.

Where a report of sexual assault is made by a member of St Ann’s College, St Ann’s students and staff are encouraged to use the attached “Protocol for Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Assault” to guide their response.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, St Ann’s College is here to provide support, referral and information to assist you. There are a number of options available to you, ranging from an anonymous report through to informal provision of support, formal complaint and full-scale criminal reporting to Police (see “Reporting Procedures – what are my options?” below). It is important that the situation is not ignored. There is no time limit on being able to report a sexual assault but you are encouraged to make a report or complaint as early as possible so that you can be supported and provided with good advice about the reporting options available to you. The College recognises that sexual assault is traumatic and you may not wish to progress to a report immediately.

Support

If you have been sexually assaulted, or you have had a concerning sexual experience that you wish to discuss, even if you are not sure whether it falls under the definition of sexual assault, the College encourages you to talk to someone about the incident – what happened and how it is affecting you. You might prefer to talk to a friend first, or bring someone along to support you when you talk to College staff. The following staff have received training in responding to disclosures of sexual assault:

  • Residential Tutors
  • Equity Officers
  • Senior Tutor
  • Principal

When you make a report of sexual assault, the College’s primary aim is that you be supported through the process of recovery in the way that feels right to you. Therefore if you make a disclosure to College staff, we will listen to you, believe you, support you, give you information about your options, and take steps to help protect your mental and physical health, and your confidentiality. We will help you to clarify what happened, including key facts such as dates, times and places. Feelings such as discomfort or intimidation are also facts, as are effects on study and effects on other aspects of your life at College and your general wellbeing.

Support available to students includes information about appropriate emergency health, counselling, security and accommodation providers, information about and assistance with navigating the College’s formal report and misconduct investigation processes, referral to internal and external support services, regular and timely communication about the process and its resolution, interim measures, etc.

Reporting Procedures – what are my options?

Instances of sexual assault reported to the College will be handled in a sensitive, discreet and fair manner, on the assumption that the Reporting Party is making a truthful report. Counselling support services will be offered throughout this process, no matter what kind of report the Reporting Party wishes to make.

Reporting options range from an anonymous report, to an informal request for support, a formal complaint, or a criminal report to the Police. There is more detail around each of these types of report below. No matter what kind of report you choose to make, it will be your decision as the Reporting Party as to what happens with the information you disclose.

Anonymous report

Although the College encourages you to disclose full details about the incident and the Responding Party, so that the College can investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action, you may make an anonymous report without identifying yourself, or the Responding Party, or both, if you wish.  Under these circumstances, the College may not be able to take any further action, but where possible will continue to support you and provide counselling or referrals to external service providers as appropriate.

Informal request for support

You may, if you choose, disclose details about the assault, but request that no action be taken. Under these circumstances it is recommended that you speak with the Principal, Equity Officers or Senior Tutor. Your confidentiality will be respected and support and assistance provided, and no investigation or disciplinary action will be taken without your assent.

Note that many students who initially report under these circumstances go on to make a formal report in time, on a timeline which feels right for them.

Formal report

You may disclose details of an assault and ask that an investigation take place. Under these circumstances, you will receive support and assistance throughout the process, and can expect that the College will respond to your report promptly and in a way which cares for your safety, health and wellbeing.

Procedural fairness will apply to parties throughout the report and investigation process.

The College will conduct an initial assessment, which may include taking steps to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory environment for you within the College community. The College may also employ appropriate interim protective measures for the individuals involved.

Following a report of sexual assault the College will assess whether there is a risk of further harm to any member of the community and implement reasonable Interim Protective Measures. This assessment will be undertaken by a member of staff trained in risk assessments or referred to an external expert where advisable. Protective measures are not a penalty or sanction and are not indicative of any conclusion on the part of the College. Interim Protective Measures may include:

  • Moving the Responding Party to an alternate room
  • Making arrangements for the Reporting Party to have access to communal College facilities (e.g. the Dining Room) at a time when the Responding Party will not be there
  • Suspending the Responding Party from College until an investigation can be completed.

The scope and timing of further investigation and/or action will depend on a number of other factors, including:

  • Whether you want to report the matter to Police, the University, or other external agencies
  • Whether you wish to make a disciplinary complaint under this Policy (i.e., a formal complaint that may lead to internal sanctions and disciplinary action) and
  • Whether you request confidentiality or discontinuation of the investigation.

Both the Reporting Party and the Responding Party will be notified of applicable policies and processes, of investigation outcomes and of any further action the College proposes to take. Both parties will be offered individual counselling and support.

College sanctions and disciplinary action, if requested to be pursued by the Reporting Party, are at the discretion of the Principal and Discipline Committee, considering all the information provided by both parties and all the circumstances. The Reporting Party will be advised of the sanctions that the Principal plans to impose and will have a right of reasonable veto over those sanctions where desired.

Possible sanctions may include:

  • Exclusion from College
  • Withdrawal of re-admission to College
  • Suspension from College
  • Written Admonition/Formal Written Warning
  • Change of Allocated Room
  • Counselling
  • Probation

Criminal reporting

The College encourages any student of the College who has been a victim of crime, to report it to the SA Police. College staff will support you in making a report should you wish to do so.  In the case of reporting a sexual assault, students are strongly encouraged to communicate with Yarrow Place Rape Crisis Centre about the process of making a report to the Police, what to expect and how the investigation is likely to proceed.

Criminal investigation, prosecution and penalties are a matter for State authorities. As sexual and indecent assault is a criminal offence, SA Police may investigate allegations of sexual assault at their own discretion.

What if I don’t want to make a formal report or Police report?

The College will support you, no matter what you wish to do. As the Reporting Party you maintain control of the process throughout and your wishes will be respected.

Throughout the process, we will discuss the importance of acting on reports of sexual assault to prevent further danger to the College community. In the past, students who have initially not been comfortable about disclosing the name of the person who sexually assaulted them, have moved through a process of recovery to the extent that they have felt comfortable about naming a Responding Party and beginning a disciplinary process against them. However, this process happens on the timeline of the Reporting Party and the College will be sure to give first priority to the needs of the individual who was assaulted.

What if I want to make a report on behalf of somebody else?

If you as a support person or bystander wish to make a report, the College encourages you to do so in person to the Principal, or in writing, and the circumstances will be investigated as far as possible. You should encourage those involved to seek support, and report matters as described above, but their wishes should be respected if confidentiality is requested. The College will offer support and advice to any student or staff member affected by sexual assault. Some of the steps in “Protocol for Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Assault” may be useful in offering support to a friend who has been sexually assaulted but does not wish to report the matter to the College.

Standards of Evidence

Formal rules of evidence are not applicable. If a student denies responsibility for an alleged breach of the Respectful Relationships Policy, the Sexual Misconduct Policy or the St Ann’s College Code of Conduct, the Principal or Discipline Committee will make a decision based on the balance of probabilities.

In a case where the facts are contested, the Principal or Discipline Committee will, after following the principles of procedural fairness and considering all the evidence available, give greater credence to evidence which produces the stronger impression and is more convincing.

This standard is not the same as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ which is a more rigorous requirement demanded by the courts in criminal cases. The Principal or Discipline Committee need not reach the degree of certainty that is required to justify a criminal conviction.

Review questions

To ensure your understanding of the St Ann’s College Sexual Misconduct Policy and the topics covered within it, after reading the policy in full you are required to answer the following questions correctly before clicking the SUBMIT button at the bottom of this page.

Thanks to Deakin University

Thanks to Sancta Sophia College

Thanks to Lincoln College

PROTOCOL FOR RESPONDING TO AN ALLEGATION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

The information in the protocol guides St Ann’s College staff and student leaders through the process they are required to follow when a St Ann’s student reports that they been sexually assaulted or indecently assaulted. Other forms of unwanted sexual behaviour, such as sexual harassment, are dealt with under other policies and procedures.

The term ‘sexual assault’ as used in this document includes indecent assault, rape, sexual abuse or other forms of sexual violence. ‘Sexual assault’ is the broadly accepted term within the community to refer to unwanted physical sexual activity. In the criminal law this term has a more specific meaning which varies across States and Territories. In SA, it principally refers to an actual or threatened assault with the intent to engage in sexual intercourse, or engaging in sexual intercourse without consent.

St Ann’s strives to provide a safe, supportive and caring environment free from all forms of unwanted sexual attention. It provides “Responding to reports of sexual assault” training and support to key staff and to student leaders within the College. St Ann’s supports campaigns aimed at preventing sexual assault and promoting safe and respectful relationships within the student community.

When an allegation of sexual assault is reported, the College will be active in providing support and information, including facilitating access to relevant counselling, medical, Police or legal services. Initially, the primary concern of the College is to ensure the safety of the student making the allegation.

St Ann’s College respects the right of all survivors of sexual assault to be in control of the decisions affecting them, especially the student’s right to decide whether to seek counselling or medical services or Police or legal intervention.

Step 1 – Establish immediate safety

If you or another person are in immediate danger call 000 now.

Immediate risks to the student’s safety might include an imminent danger from the alleged perpetrator or an immediate medical or physical emergency:

  • Call 000 and report the incident to emergency services
  • then call the Tutor on Duty on 0407 711 247, and/or the Principal on 0410 636 247
  • then follow the steps outlined in the Critical Incident Policy. (Appendix 1)
Step 2 – If a student tells you they have been sexually assaulted

Be calm and provide an empathic response. If you are in a public place where privacy may be compromised, secure a private area to discuss the matter further. You may need to ask the Principal, Senior Tutor, Equity Officer, Tutor or other staff member for help. Contact Yarrow Place for advice on 8226 8777. After hours contact 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 7328 for advice 24/7.

Remember, sexual assault is an abuse of power and control by one or more people using sexual means over another person. It is a traumatic incident that can overwhelm a person’s capacity to cope. Restoring power to the person who has been assaulted is an important part of recovery, and so ensure that the person who has been assaulted is supported to make their own decisions about the process – provide information, options, and allow them to choose, including choosing to do nothing for the time being.

In asking questions about the incident, focus on ensuring that the student is physically and medically safe and on collecting only what information is needed to facilitate access to medical, counselling or legal support as outlined in step 3.

Speaking clearly, calmly and compassionately can assist the student to begin to feel safe which will help them to begin the process of working out what they want to have happen next.

Supporting a student who discloses a sexual assault can have a major influence on their recovery and on their willingness to seek medical and counselling services and to proceed with legal action.

Step 3 – Provide information and facilitate access to counselling, medical and legal support

Counselling

Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service has expertise in working with people who have made allegations of sexual assault. This includes providing crisis and ongoing counselling support, as well as information about medical options, legal options, and victim’s compensation through to court preparation and court support. The student can use the services at Yarrow Place without reporting the allegations to the Police. The services are free and confidential.

Ask the student if they want immediate assistance from Yarrow Place and assist them to make contact on 8226 8777. Direct referral to Yarrow Place is possible 24 hours, seven days per week. After hours the phone will be routed to the 1800 RESPECT service on 1800 737 7328. This service can arrange for crisis medical or forensic assessment according to the wishes of the person who has been assaulted. The person may also wish to report directly to the Police (steps outlined later in this document).

If the student does not want immediate contact with Yarrow Place, provide printed information and contact details of the service.

It is preferable that students are supported to access Yarrow Place as it is the specialist service within SA funded to support people who have experienced sexual violence. It is conveniently located 300m from the College.  It provides support for female and male survivors of sexual assault. Yarrow Place also provides culturally appropriate counselling for Indigenous people who have experienced sexual assault.

The University of Adelaide, UniSA and Flinders also provide on-campus counselling and referral for students who have experienced sexual assault. This can be complementary to counselling provided by Yarrow Place, or an alternative if the student prefers to seek counselling at their university. If a student attends the Counselling Centre the counsellor will:

  • provide a safe, supportive environment for the student to discuss any concerns
  • raise the student’s awareness of their options for support
  • provide information as required
  • facilitate access to other services according to the student’s decisions
  • provide ongoing counselling if preferred by the student (within the guidelines of service).

University of Adelaide counselling centre  – 8313 5663

UniSA Counselling Centre – 1300 301 703

Flinders University Counselling Centre – email your full name, phone number and student ID to counselling@flinders.edu.au and a counselor will contact you by phone.

Medical support

Communicate the importance of medical attention to the student and discuss whether assistance is needed at this time.

Medical attention for sexual assault victims is vital for detecting and treating a range of medical concerns, including sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and both visible and internal injuries. Ideally people who have alleged sexual assault should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible to address these health concerns.

Yarrow Place or the Police can arrange for forensic and medical sexual assault care to people who have been sexually assaulted. A forensic medical examination may be conducted up to 1 week after a sexual assault, but is most useful if conducted within 72 hours.

Emergency contraception is extremely effective if given within 48 hours of unprotected sex. It may be given up to 120 hours after unprotected sex.

Medical examination is offered to all Yarrow Place clients. In addition, forensic examination can be arranged if the client presents within the appropriate time frame. Forensic specimens may be collected and stored by Yarrow Place for up to 12 months after their collection. This gives the client time to make a decision about whether to proceed with the legal pathway.

Ideally people who have experienced sexual assault should be seen as soon as possible after a sexual assault to address these health matters.

Yarrow Place provides a 24 hour, 365 days a year on-call service for reports of sexual assault.

If the student does not want assistance at this time, provide printed referral information from this SA Health page.

Making a complaint to the College

The decision to proceed with making a complaint to the College is the decision of the student who has alleged the sexual assault. The Sexual Misconduct Policy provides guidance on what a student can expect when making a complaint of sexual assault. Residents who make a complaint to the College will be encouraged but not required to report the incident to the Police.

Police and legal support

The decision to proceed with making a complaint to the Police is the decision of the student who has alleged the sexual assault.

Yarrow Place (8226 8777) can provide information for students considering reporting the sexual assault to the Police. Some students may prefer to go directly to the Police if they are clear that they wish to make a report. If this is the case contact the South Australian Police on 131 444.

A report of misconduct can also be made by a student of St Ann’s College, under this policy. However, where a report is made to the Police any action under the Sexual Misconduct Policy may be suspended, as the Police are the appropriate body to deal with what would then be an allegation of criminal conduct.

Step 4 – Provide printed information containing referral numbers for assistance

Even if the student does not want assistance at this time, provide printed referral information whenever possible.

Step 5 – Proceed to St Ann’s College Critical Incident Policy

Advise the student that you are required to report the anonymous details of the incident to the Principal. Request permission from the student to release their name and contact details to the Principal. This will allow the College to follow up with the student regarding their support needs. If the student does not give their permission you must not release their name and contact details unless there is a serious threat to the life, health or safety of the individual or others. There are many reasons why a student may not give their permission:  they may be worried about not being believed, fear of reprisals, not wanting family or others to know, humiliation, shame and lack of faith in the Police and justice system, or they may have made a positive decision to protect their own privacy. In any case, no judgment should be made where a student does not give permission to release their details.

If there are no serious health or safety issues and you do not have permission to release their personal details, then inform the student that you will report the incident to the Principal with no contact or personal identification details. The report will be used for statistical purposes and will contain only the nature of the incident and the location and date of occurrence. If there is a threat to the safety of the individual or others dial 000, call the Tutor on Duty on 0407 711 247 and/or the Principal on 0410 636 247, and then proceed as outlined in the Critical Incident Policy. (Appendix 2)

Step 6 – Debriefing

Debriefing for any staff member or student leader responding to an allegation of sexual assault is available through their university counselling centre or through Neaves and Menne Clinical Psychologists 08 8267 3313.

Other sources of support following sexual assault

Review questions

To ensure your understanding of the St Ann’s College Protocol for Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Assault and the topics covered within it, after reading the policy in full you are required to answer the following questions correctly before clicking the SUBMIT button at the bottom of this page.

With thanks to ANU for input to this document

Review – This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis in January of each year, prior to publication of the student Handbook, to ensure that it is compliant with best practice management and the College’s legal obligations.  It will be emailed to every resident student so they have an electronic copy.