At the University we are committed to ensuring we do everything we can to provide a safe and supportive environment for all our students.
Sexual violence is the general term used to describe any kind of unwanted sexual act or activity, including rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, stalking, image-based sexual abuse or "Revenge Porn".
What support is available for students?
- A student may present themselves wishing to discuss an incident of sexual violence. If a student appears to be in distress and states that they have been subjected to a recent incident of sexual violence, it is necessary to immediately assess whether there is an immediate risk to the student or others and whether the student has any injuries which require immediate attention.
- If the alleged perpetrator is still in the vicinity and an immediate risk to others, and you consider the situation to be an emergency call the police on 999 and University Security Services on 0121 414 4444.
- The University has members of staff, Responders, who are trained to have discussions with students about such matters. If you would like to contact a member of trained staff, please complete the disclosure form after consent is obtained, once the form is submitted the student will be contacted by the end of the next working day. It is important that the student is treated with respect, not judged and is not asked to repeat themselves unnecessarily as this may cause distress.
What are the out-of-hours support options?
- If a student asks to discuss an incident with you outside of normal office hours, refer the student to this information so they know what support is available and know how to contact external agencies that can offer support.
- They can complete the disclosure form, which will prompt a Responder to contact the student but this will not be until the following working day so it is important that the student is directed to the West Midlands Horizon Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and/or the police in case they wish to contact either in the meantime.
What does the student need to know?
If the incident has occurred recently, it is important that the student understands that there are time limits that they may need to be aware of and a need to preserve forensic evidence in case they wish to report the matter to the police. You are not expected to give the student these details but should direct them to this information.
What if the student asks me to call the Police or the Sexual Assault Referral Centre?
- If the student states that they wish to report the incident to the police immediately you could ask the student if they feel they are able to go to the police station themselves and if they want to contact a friend to accompany them.
- We would advise you not accompany the student to the police station or the hospital. Alternatively, you can ask the student if they would like you to contact the police to arrange for them to attend the University. Where possible find the student a quiet safe space where they can sit and wait for the police to arrive.
- You should then ask the student if they want to call the police themselves or for you to make the call. It is important to allow the student to make a choice here, individuals can often feel a loss of control, both during the assault but this can also stay with them afterwards.
- It is important that control is given back and make their own decisions about what to do. The police can be called on 101 or by using the Live Chat function. You should also ask them whether they want you to contact a friend to wait with them.
- If the student does not want to report the incident to the police they can contact SARC for advice and support. If the student would like you to contact SARC on their behalf you can do so through their 24/7 freephone self-referral number on 0800 970 0375.
Recording student disclosures of sexual misconduct and violence
In order to collect all available data on the prevalence of sexual violence, and to ensure students are signposted to the most appropriate support, we request that you centrally record disclosures of sexual violence using our disclosure form. Two types of disclosures are available:
- Identified Disclosures: If the student gives consent you can complete the online form and a Responder will contact the student directly.
- Anonymous Disclosures: Staff can make an anonymous disclosure on behalf of a student, but the student will not be contacted by a Responder. The information will be used for statistical purposes, to better understand the scope of the sexual violence on campus, and to develop and implement preventative efforts.
If you require any advice after receiving a disclosure please email firstname.lastname@example.org.