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Guidance for staff if a student reports sexual assault or harassment

Advice and guidance for staff if a student tells you they have been sexually assaulted or harassed

Our commitment to dignity and respect

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. This includes sexual violence (including rape); 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 reasonably be regarded as offensive).

If a student reports being sexually assaulted or harassed

  • call the Student Support Staff Advice Line 4321 or Security 666 for guidance
  • encourage the student to use the online reporting tool
  • reassure the student that they are safe and provide them with privacy, water etc
  • believe the student and do not ask any detailed questions
  • give the student time and space to think, settle down and make decisions
  • listen carefully to what they want to do and respect those decisions. This is crucial in re-establishing a sense of autonomy
  • if there are any serious injuries, contact Security who will call an ambulance or take the student to A&E for medical treatment
  • encourage the student to contact Student Support or Security for help and advice and help them to do so if they agree
  • show the student the advice for students on sexual assault and harassment
  • ask the student if they know whether or not they want to report to the police
    • if yes, make contact with Security and together call 101/999
    • if no, or they are unsure, suggest they call The Bridge on 0117 342 6999 or look at The Bridge website for medical, emotional and practical support. You can also call The Bridge on their behalf
  • ask about social support
    • does the individual have friends and family, have they disclosed to them or do they intend to disclose to them?
    • is there anyone they would like you to contact for them?
    • provide contact details for The Bridge (phone answered 24 hours 7 days a week), SARSAS specialist helpline, and The Samaritans.

Support for staff

Human Resources and University’s Health, Safety and Environment Service provide:


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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