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If you've chosen to hide the content as you are finding the topics being discussed difficult or triggering, please give yourself time and take as long of a break as needed. For sources of support, please go to the dedicated 'Support resources' screen.

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For future sessions, you may choose to skip this screen entirely if you do not wish to view the material covered.

Why am I taking this course?

Why am I taking this course?

Would you know what to do if someone told you that they had been sexually abused or assaulted? If they came to you and told you about an uncomfortable situation, are you confident that you could recognise sexual harassment?

An illustration of a student reporting an incident to a faculty member in their office at university.

If you work within a higher education institution, you have a duty of care to both students and colleagues. If someone discloses to you, you want to make sure that you recognise that it is a disclosure and that you respond in the most supportive and effective way possible (whether those involved are students or staff). It is also important to look after yourself, as the disclosure process may affect you personally.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify barriers to disclosing an incident of sexual violence
  • Understand the challenges associated with seeking support
  • Demonstrate awareness of the short- and long-term impacts of sexual violence on the survivor, including potentially harmful coping strategies
  • Respond appropriately to a disclosure, demonstrating empathy and understanding
  • Know a range of non-directive, non-invasive and non-judgemental questions, that maintain appropriate boundaries
  • Demonstrate best practices for responding to a disclosure of sexual violence.

Content warning

Content warning

This module covers some sensitive topics relating to sexual violence, which will be discussed explicitly. These topics include:

  • Gender-based violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Rape
  • Technology-facilitated abuse

The module does not include explicit graphics or images, but it does include hypothetical scenarios exploring sexual violence and the impact of sexual violence.

If you are affected by any of the topics discussed in the module, please refer to the 'Support' pods on screen that offer links to support and advice, the dedicated Support resources screen or the Looking after yourself screen in Module 3.


Hide content

If you find the content of the module to be difficult or triggering at any point, a 'Hide content' button will be accessible at all times. When selected, this will hide the content of the screen you are on. You may also operate the 'Hide content' function by pressing the 'esc' key on your keyboard. If you'd like to continue working on the module, you can then safely navigate to another screen without the content reappearing.

Using the module

Accessibility

We strive to make our content accessible to the widest possible audience. While the module is largely compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, there are some interactive objects that we can't make fully accessible. To address this, we provide a full text/print version of the module. This version can be accessed by selecting the 'Text/print version' option available at the top of each screen.


Content

  • The centre of each screen contains the core content for the module, presented either as text, interactive activities, graphics, videos or animations.
  • Text highlighted in a box preceded by an arrow contains instructions on how to navigate the activities that follow.
  • Responses to the note-making and text-entry activities (where you type responses in the space provided) can be printed and used as part of your ongoing work.
  • Please note that screen times only account for the approximate time it takes to complete the core content. They do not include additional information, such as content provided in 'pods.'

Pods

Throughout this module, there are additional learning opportunities in 'pods.' Exploring the information provided in the pods will enrich the learning experience.

  • The 'Support' pod iconSupport: Provides helpful strategies for self-care and information on sources of support.
  • The 'Consider this' pod iconConsider this: Contains extra content to expand or emphasise key points from the main screen, including links to useful external resources.
  • The 'Your context' pod iconYour context: Contains links and information about topics specific to your context and/or institution.
  • The 'Glossary' pod iconGlossary: Contains definitions of relevant key terms. It will be made accessible on each screen as you navigate through the module.

Quiz

At the very end of the course when you complete Module 3, you have the opportunity to test your learning further with a multiple-choice quiz. This consists of ten questions and can be taken more than once (in which case, a new set of questions will appear).


Confidentiality and anonymity

Please note that questions to all activities, including poll questions, are anonymous. Any responses provided for non-poll activities are not saved or collected and are only for your use.

The poll questions are designed to help you think about your own situation and attitudes, and to compare your responses to those of others taking the module. Your responses are anonymous and confidential.


Note on terminology

Survivor is the term we have chosen to talk about the person who has experienced sexual violence. You are likely to also encounter the term, 'victim' or 'victim-survivor'. Different people will identify with different words; you should always take the lead from the person disclosing as to which term to use.

Sexual violence is the most commonly used term in this course because it refers to a range of violent and harmful sexual behaviours including 'sexual harassment', 'sexual assault', 'sexual intercourse without consent', 'sexual penetration without consent', or 'rape'.

LGBTQI+ is the acronym we have chosen to use in this course. You may come across some uses of alternative acronyms. This is because when an organisation being referenced or cited does not use LGBTQI+, we use the arrangement used in its work when referring to it.

In this course we adopt the social model of disability and use identity-first language when discussing or referring to disabled people. We acknowledge that there are different opinions on whether identity-first or person-first language should be used, and respect everyone's right to choose the language that they prefer. While previously person-first language was considered the preferred model, there has been a movement towards identity-first language within the disabled community. It is for this reason that we have adopted identity-first language.


Blended learning material

In addition to the online materials provided in this course, we have provided workshop activities to support a blended learning experience. These activities have been developed by the author and are suitable for in-person and online delivery. They are available in the Instructor Manual provided with this programme.

Expert panel

Lead advisor

Nicola Henry

Dr Nicola Henry

Nicola Henry (she/her) is a Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Social and Global Studies Centre at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia). Her research investigates the nature and impacts of sexual violence, including legal and non-legal responses to these harms. Her current research focuses on technology-facilitated abuse and image-based sexual abuse.


Author

Rachel Loney-Howes

Dr Rachel Loney-Howes

Rachel Loney-Howes (she/her) is a criminologist at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Rachel is a co-investigator on a foundational study exploring alternative and informal reporting options for survivors of sexual assault. She is the author of Online anti-rape activism: Exploring the politics of the personal in the age of digital media (2020, Emerald Press) available for free via Open Access. She is also the co-editor of #MeToo and the politics of social change (2019, Palgrave MacMillan) with Dr Bianca Fileborn.


Expert panel

The programme was developed in collaboration with a range of experts.

Georgina Heydon

Georgina Heydon

Georgina Heydon (she/her) is an Associate Professor in Criminology and Justice Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. She is a forensic linguist and leads a research team investigating the reporting of sexual assault to police and alternative pathways for survivors of sexual violence to disclose their experiences.

Marika Kontellis

Marika Kontellis

Marika Kontellis (she/her) is the Training and Professional Services Manager at Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. She is also the Director of Zakumi Consulting and the Executive Director of WINGS of Hope. Marika has extensive experience in health and social care and is known for her work in suicide prevention and postvention, disability inclusion and aged care rights.

Briony Leonard

Briony Leonard

Briony Leonard (she/her) is the Student Safety Support and Wellbeing Coordinator at Southern Cross University. She coordinates a broad range of activities and projects designed to improve and enhance the student experience at Southern Cross University in relation to student safety and wellbeing. Briony leads university-wide prevention and response initiatives, which seek to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment and improve support for those affected by sexual violence.

Tarn Felton

Tarn Felton

Tarn Felton (she/her) is Kaiwhakahaere (Manager) for the University of Otago, Te Whare Tāwharau Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Centre (NZ). Tarn ensures that best practice is implemented for all students and staff who access the support and services that Te Whare Tāwharau provides, whilst continuing her own studies MINDS (Master of Indigenous Development).

Hahna Briggs

Hahna Briggs

Hahna Briggs (she/they) is the Training and Development Coordinator for the University of Otago, Te Whare Tāwharau Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Centre (NZ). They train and supervise the centre's peer facilitators and volunteers, and support the development and delivery of sexual violence prevention programmes across campus to students and staff. Hahna is also able to provide support for survivors and responders who utilise Te Whare Tāwharau services.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis (she/her) is the Manager, Safer Community at Deakin University; a central point of contact for staff and students who have experienced, witnessed or perpetrated problem behaviour, sexual harm and/or family violence. Michelle has over 14 years of clinical and leadership experience in adult prisons, universities, community, disability and youth services in Australia. Michelle is a current committee member with the Asia-Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP).

Dr Kyllie Cripps

Dr Kyllie Cripps

Dr Kyllie Cripps (she/her) is a Palawa woman, Scientia Fellow and Associate Professor in Law & Justice at UNSW Sydney. She has worked extensively with Indigenous communities over the last 20 years in the areas of family violence, sexual assault and child abuse. She has contributed to the evidence base through empirical studies that have defined violence on Indigenous terms, identified the factors contributing to violence, as well as examined Indigenous peoples' access and availability to services in the aftermath of violence. Her work has also been responsive to providing solutions to support policy and practise change, and to support community-based initiatives responsive to violence.

Cam Young

Cam Young

Cam Young (he/him) is a Pacific Navigator for the University of Otago, Te Whare Tāwharau Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Centre (NZ). He researches sexual and reproductive wellbeing within Pacific Islands environments, critiquing and creating ethnic-specific community prevention programmes.

Angelo Libeau

Angelo Libeau

Angelo Libeau (they/he) is a transmasculine non-binary person of Filipino, Pākehā, and Māori descent (Ngāti Rangatihi & Ngāti Maniapoto). Angelo has been working in the sexual violence sector over recent years as a crisis support worker, primary prevention programme facilitator, and development and IT coordinator. Angelo co-established the Aotearoa-based Rainbow Violence Prevention Network (RVPN) – an intersectoral community-based network working to improve outcomes, services and programmes for rainbow people. They are the Rainbow Portfolio holder on the Tauiwi Caucus of Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAH-NNEST), an Executive Committee member of the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA), and the Community Liaison and Rainbow Community Lead for HELP Auckland.


Accessibility advisor

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander

Wilma Alexander is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with Master's degrees in Human-Computer Interaction, Linguistics and Information Science. She has over 15 years of experience as a manager with the online learning team at the University of Edinburgh, where she specialised in usable and accessible digital practice, tutored on the groundbreaking Master's degree in Digital Education and developed online staff training on accessible e-learning and online tutoring skills. Since retiring from the University at the end of 2015, Wilma has provided consultancy services on all aspects of online learning, with a special focus on accessibility and usability issues.