First Responder Network

Our University community has a network of volunteers (opens in a new window) who are trained in supporting survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Research indicates that person's early disclosure experiences may affect their healing journey. Specifically, a positive disclosure experience may assist in survivors understand that while something happened to them, it does not define them. For more, see here (opens in a new window).


The next training session will be held online via Zoom during August 2021.

Please click here to register your interest (opens in a new window) or email the team at

We are developing training with Western's Sexualities and Genders Research (opens in a new window).

As part of Western’s ongoing commitment to fairer, safer, and more respectful communities, the Respectful Relationships team are providing free training for all students and staff members who wish to become skilled in effectively responding to disclosures of sexual or gendered violence.

Research points to multiple benefits of taking a survivor-centric approach at the point of disclosure.

What you will learn: Effective disclosure response requires empathic listening, safety assessment and knowledge of support and reporting pathways.

While these skills are relatively easy to implement, understanding why takes reflection and learning in a supportive environment.

What is in the training? 

  • Pre-workshop readings and resources to build knowledge and encourage reflection.
  • A one-hour face to face workshop (online) for facilitated reflection and exploration of skills.
  • Post-workshop resources including an opportunity to join Western's First Responders Network.

This training is part of the Respect.Now.Always initiative, an ongoing commitment from Australian universities to prevent gender-based violence and support those who experience it.

In 2018, training was provided by the Gendered Violence Research Network (UNSW) (opens in a new window)