Victoria University takes a strong stand against violence in any form, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence is a serious social issue driven by gender inequality and enabled by sexist behaviours and attitudes.

A core commitment of VU's Strategic Plan is making VU a thriving place to study and work. We work to build a culture of safety and respect, where students and staff are empowered to become change agents to help stop gender-based violence at the University and in the wider community.

Online training for safety, equality & respect

The Respect and Responsibility online training is part of the University’s Building Respectful Futures Together strategy. Our aim is to challenge gender stereotyping and help change behaviours and attitudes related to everyday sexism, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

Online training for students is located in Collaborate.

Please contact us for alternative access options if you or your students are not able to access Collaborate.

Please note that the training is best accessed on a desktop or laptop computer – it is not optimised for mobile devices. The training consists of:

These resources were co-designed with students and feature practical strategies, meaningful true-to-life scenarios, relevant video content and opportunities for reflection and commitment. The training has won several awards and is highly rated by students.

Online training for staff is available in VU Develop. Please contact us for alternative access options if you or your staff are not able to access VU Develop.

Staff training includes:

The Respect and Responsibility training complements the University’s Sexual Harassment Response Policy and Procedure and Sexual Assault Response Policy and Procedure, which prioritise the experiences of victims and survivors, and affirm that disclosures or formal reports of sexual harm will receive a supportive and believing response from our staff.

Face-to-face training for both student and staff groups is also available on request.

Email [email protected] if you would like to know more, or if you are having any difficulties accessing the online training.

Find Our Voices, Reclaiming Our Spaces mural painted by students and staff at Footscray Park Campus on International Women’s Day 2018.

My friend told me about a sexual assault - what should I do?

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are very common. If your friend, classmate or colleague tells you about unwanted sexual contact, there are some simple things you can do that will really help.

1. Believe them

Believing someone when they tell you about sexual assault or sexual harassment is important. It takes a lot of courage to talk about sexual assault or harassment. Let your friend know that you believe them, and tell them that it’s not their fault.

2. Listen to them

Let the person talk, and really listen. Don’t focus on your reactions. Don’t ask for details of the assault, or ask questions like “Why did you go there?” or “Were you drunk?” Just listen, and let them know you want to support them.

3. Help them find support

Getting support as soon as possible is important. See the important contacts listed on this page (below). Sexual assault or harassment of any kind is unacceptable. You can report an assault anonymously if you wish to Safer Community.

Important contacts

On campus

Other resources

  • 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732): National helpline for advice and support about sexual assault. They can connect you with appropriate services wherever you are.
    Live chat also available at
  • Western Region Centre Against Sexual Assault (WestCASA): Counselling and crisis support in the western suburbs of Melbourne.
    Call +61 3 9216 0444 (After hours: 1800 806 292)
  • inTouch: Provides services and support to migrants and refugees.
    Call 1800 755 988
  • Q Life: Provides peer support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people and their friends, families and allies.
    Call 1800 184 527
  • Djirra: Provides culturally safe and accessible services to Aboriginal people seeking support.
    Call 1800 105 303
  • Women's Information & Referral Exchange (WIRE): Any woman, any issue - free support, referral and information for all Victorian women, non-binary and gender diverse people.
    Call 1300 134 130

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign that happens every year between 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

VU has participated in 16 Days of Activism in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Read about VU's program of free events to highlight gender equality and preventing violence against women.

Contact us

For more information about Respect and Responsibility programs, initiatives and training please contact:

Email: [email protected]