Sexual assault or harassment
If you are a student who has been affected by sexual assault, harassment or rape we can advise you on how to get help and support.
If you have been affected
If you have been affected by sexual assault, sexual harassment or rape, it is not your fault. This can happen to anybody regardless of whether you are a man, woman, straight, gay, bisexual or transgendered.
You don’t have to tell anybody anything if you don’t want to. It is your choice.
We offer to advice to anybody who may have been affected by sexual assault, sexual harassment or rape. Whatever the situation we can give you advice.
If you would prefer to speak to somebody outside the University, The Bridge is a local support service which provides free and confidential advice 24 hours, seven days a week after rape and sexual assault.
What you need to know
- if you think you have been given any type of drug, it is best to be tested within 24 hours
- if you need emergency contraception, medication should be started within 72 hours
- if you would like HIV prevention drugs, medication should be started within 36 hours
Any forensic evidence collected can be stored whilst you decide what to do next.
What you can do
Everybody reacts differently to any situation. You shouldn’t feel under any pressure to respond in a particular way.
If you want to, you could:
- discuss the incident and options with a Wellbeing Adviser or a University Counsellor (all fully trained and will maintain your confidentiality unless there is a threat to health or safety). You can request an appointment online or contact the Student Services helpdesk on 01225 383838
- make a formal complaint through the Director of Student Services
- report the incident to University Security call 01225 383999, or directly to the Police.
What we can do to help
Everyone needs different types of support. We will try and give you support that is suitable for you but only if you want it.
Depending on the situation we may be able to:
- arrange transport to the police, The Bridge, or to hospital
- review your safety arrangements on campus
- rearrange your class schedule
- make a short-term change to housing arrangements
- offer funding support for extra costs such as a long-term housing change
- inform other university staff about your situation on your behalf
- make alternative exam arrangements, including location adjustments or individual mitigating circumstances
- arrange an Individual Study Programme if you are unable to return to campus
What is sexual harassment
Sexual harassment can come in many forms including: unwanted touching; stalking; degrading remarks or jokes; and sexually inappropriate or offensive communication sent via social media including the displaying of sexual inappropriate material (such as posting of images, videos, comments or links that could be regarded as offensive).
It is a criminal offence if someone touches you with sexual intent if you have not consented to such touching and if the person carrying out the offence does not reasonably believe that you consented. A person consents to something if that person ‘agrees by choice and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice’ (Sexual Offences Act 2003).
We are committed to providing an environment where all students and employees are treated with dignity and respect, free of victimisation, bullying or harassment. We will not tolerate any form of sexual assault or harassment and incidents of this nature may be dealt with via the Disciplinary Procedures for Students.
If you, or someone you know, experiences any form of sexual misconduct please contact Student Services or Security for help and advice.