Concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour

Examples of behaviour that undermines RMIT’s capacity to provide a safe environment for students and staff.

Concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour may or may not be face to face and can include emails, letters, and other similar mediums.

Concerning and inappropriate behaviour

Includes unwanted attention, unusually persistent complaining, intentional theft, sexual harassment, and unreasonable demands.

Threatening behaviour

Includes angry, aggressive communications; threats to kill or harm another person; stalking, bullying; threats of self-harm or suicide; sexual assault; acts of physical violence; threats of or actual property damage; producing a weapon; and, causing a violent critical incident on campus.

Definitions of terms


Bullying is a pattern of repeated physical, verbal, psychological or social aggression that is directed towards a person by someone more powerful and is intended to cause harm, distress and/or fear.

Bullying might involve repeatedly:

  • hurting someone physically
  • leaving someone out
  • abusing someone verbally or in writing
  • insulting, belittling or intimidating someone
  • using offensive language
  • spreading nasty rumours or cruel teasing
  • displaying offensive material
  • threatening to commit violence
  • committing harmful or offensive initiation practices
  • behaving hostilely regarding someone’s gender or sexuality
  • teasing or making someone the brunt of pranks or practical jokes
  • encouraging others to participate in bullying behaviour
  • interfering with someone’s materials, equipment or personal property.

Bullying may be perpetrated by a student towards a University staff member or vice versa. It can also occur between staff members or between students.

A person can be bullied about their:

  • look
  • home or family
  • schoolwork
  • popularity
  • achievements
  • race or culture
  • gender
  • physical and mental state
  • sexuality.

What is not bullying?

Bullying is not:

  • single incidents
  • providing constructive criticism
  • mutual conflict
  • social rejection or dislike
  • differences of opinion
  • interpersonal conflicts.

Support is available, find out more

Bullying (cyber)

Cyber bullying can take many forms, including:

  • posting hurtful comments and embarrassing photos on social media
  • sending abusive messages or images through mobile phones and on the internet
  • sending emails that vilify, demean or cause humiliation to a person or group
  • setting up hate websites and blogs to vilify someone
  • using chat rooms, instant messaging and gaming areas to harass someone.

Support is available, find out more

Sexual assault

Sexual assault is sexual activity that a person has not consented to. It can refer to a broad range of sexual behaviours that make someone feel:

  • uncomfortable
  • frightened
  • threatened.

Sexual assault can include:

  • rape
  • incest
  • indecent assault
  • child sexual assault
  • sexual molestation.

What is consent?

Consent is an agreement freely and voluntarily given by a person with the cognitive capacity to do so. Consent is not freely and voluntarily given if you:

  • are being forced
  • are unconscious or asleep
  • are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • are under threat or intimidation
  • are in fear of bodily harm
  • have a mistaken belief that the offender was your sexual partner.

Silence does not mean consent.

If a person does not protest, physically resist, or suffer injuries, this does not mean they freely agreed to sexual activity. Find out more about sexual consent.

Support is available, find out more

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behaviour of a sexual nature, which makes a person feel:

  • humiliated
  • intimidated
  • offended.

Sexual harassment can include:

  • staring or leering
  • unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against someone or unwelcome touching
  • suggestive comments or jokes
  • insults or taunts of a sexual nature
  • indiscreet questions or statements about your private life
  • displaying images of a sexual nature
  • sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
  • inappropriate advances on social media
  • accessing sexually explicit internet sites
  • requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates.

It’s not ok to behave this way. It’s not ok to be treated this way.

Support is available, find out more


Stalking is when a person does something repeatedly that causes another person harm or to fear for their safety. A person can stalk someone by:

  • following them
  • repeatedly contacting them
  • posting things about them on the internet
  • hanging around outside their home or work
  • acting offensively towards them, their family or friends.

The Stalking Risk Identification Checklist developed by Laura Richards can help you understand what risk there might be to you or if you believe you are at risk. This can be used if you know your stalker, as well as if you do not. For information on cyber stalking and harassment visit the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria website.

Support is available, find out more

Unlawful discrimination

Unlawful discrimination is treating, or proposing to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic.

In Victoria, it is against the law for someone to discriminate against you because of a characteristic that you have, or that someone assumes you have. These personal characteristics include:

  • age
  • carer and parental status
  • disability (including physical, sensory and intellectual disability, work related injury, medical conditions, and mental, psychological and learning disabilities)
  • employment activity
  • gender identity, lawful sexual activity and sexual orientation
  • industrial activity
  • marital status
  • physical features
  • political belief or activity
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • race (including colour, nationality, ethnicity and ethnic origin)
  • religious belief or activity
  • sex
  • personal association with particular people.

Support is available, find out more


Victimisation is subjecting, or threatening to subject, someone to something detrimental because they have:

  • asserted their rights under equal opportunity law
  • made a complaint
  • helped someone else to make a complaint
  • refused to do something because it would be discrimination, sexual harassment or victimisation.

Support is available, find out more

If you or someone you know has been assaulted, or has experienced concerning, threatening or inappropriate behaviour, support and advice is available from Safer Community.