Guidance for students who have been sexually assaulted

Guidance for students who have been sexually assaulted

  • Are you safe?

    If the assault has just occurred, you might want to consider whether you feel safe where you are.

    If you or others feel at risk or consider the situation an emergency, please call the police on 999. If you require urgent medical help you should call for an ambulance also on 999.

    If you do not feel at further risk or the situation is not an emergency, but you wish to report the assault to the Police, call 101. 

    The University has written further information to help you in deciding what to do next.

  • Deciding what to do next

    Staff at the University are here to help and support you. If the situation is not an emergency, you may want to take some time to think things through or talk to someone you trust. You might want to contact a friend or a member of staff for support.

    University staff can provide initial support and signpost you to appropriate specialist support services in the local area and nationally, including those that support the survivors of sexual violence.

  • Time limits to be aware of

    You do not need to report the incident to the University or the Police immediately, however, please be aware of the following important time limits which may be relevant to the incident:

    • If you suspect you were given any type of drug, it is best to be tested within 24 hours.
    • If you think you may have potentially been exposed to HIV then Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) medication should be started ideally within 24 hours or within 72 hours.
    • If you want emergency contraception, the medication should be started within 72 hours.
    • Forensic evidence can be collected up to 7 days after the assault depending on circumstances.

    If you do not wish to go to the police or uncertain about reporting the crime you can consider attending a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). They can collect and store forensic evidence while you decide whether or not to report the incident to the police.

    If you want forensic evidence to be collected, you should try and go to the SARC straight away if you can, or at least within 72 hours of the rape or assault. Also try, if possible, to take these steps:

    • Do not wash
    • Do not brush your teeth
    • Do not have a cigarette
    • Do not eat or drink
    • Do not change your clothes
    • If you do change your clothes, do not wash them and put them in a clean paper bag
    • Try not to go to the toilet
    • Do not clear up anything from the area of the incident

    Don't worry if you have already done some of these things. It's possible that there is still forensic evidence to collect.

    SARCs provide a range of services to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. 

  • Reporting immediately

    If the incident has just taken place or you are in danger call 999; alternatively, call 101.

    Kent Police and Surrey Police have information on their website about reporting sexual assaults. If you decide to report, the Police will support and guide you through the process and will assign a specialist from their Sexual Offences Investigation Team (SOIT).

  • Reporting later

    You may not wish to report it immediately, however, you may decide to report it at a later date. This is perfectly acceptable and there are steps you can take to make this easier.

    If you do not wish to go to the police or uncertain about reporting the crime you can consider attending a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). 

    You will need to contact the SARC in advance to make an appointment.

    The SARCs provides a range of services to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. They can offer emotional support, advice on what services are available and they can help refer you to sexual health services.

    Your local SARC can talk you through the different options available to you. They can collect and store forensic evidence until you are ready to make a decision on whether to report to the police or not.

    Essex

    Oakwood Place          

    Oakwood Place (located in Brentwood Community Hospital) offers free support and practical help to anyone in Essex who has ​experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. The service is completely confidential, and you do not have to give any personal information in order to get help.

    Telephone helpline (24/7): +44 (0)1277 240620

    Kent

    Beech House               

    Beech House SARC offers free support and practical help to anyone in Kent and Medway who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. The service is completely confidential, and you do not have to give any personal information in order to get help.

    Telephone helpline (24/7): +44 (0)800 133 7432

    Surrey

    Surrey Solace Centre             

    The Solace Centre offers free support and practical help to anyone in Surrey who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. The service is completely confidential, and you do not have to give any personal information in order to get help.

    Telephone helpline (24/7): +44 (0)300 130 3036

    Sussex

    The Saturn Centre                  

    The Saturn Centre SARC offers free support and practical help to anyone in Sussex who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse. The service is completely confidential and you do not have to give any personal information in order to get help.

    Telephone helpline (24/7): +44 (0)800 033 7797           

    It is up to you to choose what kind of support you want to access, but you might want to consider getting medical attention even if you do not want to report the assault to the Police. 

  • Medical assistance

    You can access medical support for injuries or infections from your GP, local hospital, or local Sexual Health Clinic or GUM clinic. 

    To find your nearest Sexual Health/GUM clinic:

    However, if you intend to report the sexual assault, please be aware that there is a time window for collection of forensic evidence. The Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC), Rape Crisis or a medical professional can explain this in more detail.

  • Confidentiality

    We will respect your confidentiality and information will not be shared beyond the relevant staff without your consent unless you or others are at significant or immediate risk.

  • Getting support

    We strongly encouraged you tell someone about your experience and seek support.

    Support at University

    You can talk to any of the following people at University:

    • Your course tutor or leader
    • Students’ Union - Advice & Representation Coordinator
    • Library & Student Services (Academic Services):
      • Gateway Services Manager
      • Student Wellbeing Manager
      • Specialist Adviser
      • Counsellor

    University staff can provide initial support and signpost you to appropriate specialist support services in the local area and nationally, including those that support the survivors of sexual violence.

    Support externally

    You can find support from the following external specialist support agencies:

    SARCs (available 24/7)

    EssexOakwood Place+44 (0)1277 240620
    Kent Beech House +44 (0)800 133 7432
    Surrey Surrey Solace Centre +44 (0)300 130 3036
    Sussex The Saturn Centre +44 (0)800 033 7797


    Rape Crisis
     

    Rape Crisis offers emotional support, advice and information.

    Telephone helpline: +44 (0)808 802 9999

    Everyday between 12.00 - 14.30 and 19.00 - 21.30

     

    Survivors UK

    Survivors provide support for male survivors and anyone who identifies as male, trans, non-binary, has identified as male in the past, or anyone who feels that we are the right fit for them.

    Telephone helpline: +44 (0)845 1221201

    Mon, Tues and Thurs 19.00 - 22.00

     

    mPower

    mPower offer a confidential listening service for men.

    Telephone helpline: +44 (0)808 808 4321

    Thursday 18.00 - 20.00

     

    Samaritans               

    Samaritans offer a 24/7 confidential listening service.

    Telephone: 116 123

     

    Your local GP can also provide medical assistance and support as well as signpost you to other specialist services (such as Sexual Health Clinic or GUM clinic).

    To find your nearest Sexual Health/GUM clinic:

    You can access emergency contraception free from a number of places such as conceptions clinics, GUM clinics, most GP surgeries and most NHS walk-in clinics.  For more information on where you can get emergency contraception visit the NHS website.

Contact Us

Canterbury
Email: advicecant@uca.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0) 1227 817 307

Epsom
Email: adviceeps@uca.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0) 1372 202441

Farnham
Email: advicefarn@uca.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 892612

Rochester
Email: adviceroch@uca.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0) 1634 888644