Sexual misconduct

We're committed to keeping our students, staff and visitors safe

The values of respect and integrity are foundational to the University community. This is reflected in the codes of conduct that set the standards for students and staff, stipulating tolerance, honesty and respect as the hallmarks of relationships throughout the University community.

Annual report on sexual misconduct

The University of Sydney is committed to publishing a report on sexual misconduct annually. This report forms part of our University’s pledge to improving transparency for victim-survivors. It is our hope that this will be a step towards reducing some of the barriers to reporting that they face.

Roadmap to prevention of sexual misconduct 

The University is wholly committed to strengthening a framework of safety and support that operates with compassion and confidentiality. In March 2022, the University launched a roadmap to the prevention of sexual misconduct (pdf, 127KB). The roadmap document is a response to the concerns highlighted in the 2021 National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) below, and is routinely updated as part of the University's ongoing work in this area.

This roadmap includes targeted action to create a safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for the University community. The Roadmap is led by the University's Safer communities Office and involves consultation with our key stakeholders such as our students, whom are at the heart of what we do.

The proposed initiatives, as part of the roadmap, were endorsed by the University Executive's People and Culture Committee in August 2022.

2021 National Student Safety Survey

In 2021, the University partnered with Universities Australia and other Australian universities for the National Student Safety Survey (NSSS), as part of the Respect. Now. Always. campaign. The NSSS was conducted online with a representative sample of students and ran across the sector from Monday 6 September through to Sunday 3 October 2021.

National survey results were released by Universities Australia, and the University of Sydney has also released a summary of its students’ survey responses (pdf, 316KB) prepared by the Social Research Centre, which conducted the survey and prepared the reports for Universities Australia and its member institutions. 

Safer Communities Office

The Safer Communities Office is a team of specialist staff who can provide trauma informed case management and support to student and staff survivors of sexual misconduct (including sexual assault and sexual harassment, both recent and historical). They provide one-on-one services tailored to each survivor’s needs to ensure they receive appropriate support.

This office can be contacted by telephone on +61 2 8627 6808 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm AEST/AEDT), by email to or through the University’s online reporting forms.

See this page for sexual misconduct help and support.

Dedicated helpline service

The 1800 SYD HLP (1800 793 457) phone service was implemented in 2017 to improve accessibility of key support units across the University in the event of an incident. Students can be immediately connected to Protective Services, Safer Communities Office, complaints handling staff and Support Services.

There is a dedicated option for students to speak to specialist staff at the Safer Communities Office about any incident of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment they may have experienced. It also enables staff members to connect with staff support services and specialist advice to assist student in distress.

The University of Sydney acknowledges the vulnerable position of survivors of sexual abuse and recognises that making a claim of historical sexual abuse involves disclosing highly personal information and has the potential to be a traumatic experience.

The University is committed to resolving claims of historical sexual abuse in a compassionate, transparent and fair manner, in an environment that promotes respect and dignity for claimants and which treats people accused of sexual abuse fairly. Please refer to the University’s Guiding Principles for Responding to Claims of Historical Sexual Abuse (pdf, 179KB) for further information.

The University is able to provide support to survivors of historical sexual abuse (connected with the University) through its Safer Communities Office. 

The amended policies allow the University to disclose information about interim measures and investigation outcomes to affiliated external entities such as student accomodation, residential colleges, student organisations, USU and SUSF clubs and societies to ensure a consistent approach to managing safety for our community.

Staff and Affiliates Code of Conduct 2021 (pdf, 304KB)

Staff Sexual Misconduct Policy 2020 (pdf, 369KB)

Staff Sexual Misconduct Response Procedures 2020 (pdf, 276KB)

Student Sexual Misconduct Policy 2018 (pdf, 2.1MB)

Student Sexual Misconduct Response Procedures 2018 (pdf, 255KB)