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Sexual assault disclosures

Sexual violence is a term commonly used to refer to sexual assault. Sexual assault is when a person is coerced or physically forced to engage against their will, or when a person touches another person sexually without their consent. Touching can be done with any part of the body or with an object.

Sexual violence can also refer to a range of criminal offences, including non-consensual crimes such as rape or sexual assault, crimes against children including child sexual abuse or grooming, and crimes that exploit others for a sexual purpose, whether in person or online.

If the incident involves another student or member of staff, then you are obligated to report this information to Student Services who will carry out a risk assessment based on the information provided. In this instance contact the Campus Life Managers on 01695 657570 or email [email protected] to report this information.

To download a copy of the Care Pathway, visit the Student Services Staff Wiki.

Campus Life Manager Jenny Spruce outlines the steps you should take if a student discloses an incident of sexual violence to you. Detailed steps, as well as key contacts, are on the page below.

1. Assess the immediate risk
2. Provide a safe environment
3. Allow the student time to talk and make a brief record of their account 
4. Give the student the Sexual Assault: Information for Students Sheet
5. Ask the student what they want to do next

Please note that if the student does not wish to report the incident formally to the University, you are required to still provide anonymised information to the Wellbeing team who will record the information for in relation to data about sexual assaults at the University.

Contact [email protected] to pass on this information.

If the incident involves another student or member of staff, then you are obligated to report this information to Student Services who will carry out a risk assessment based on the information provided. In this instance contact Campus Life Managers on 01695 657570 to report this information.

Historical incidents of sexual violence or abuse

There is no time limit for investigating or prosecuting incidents of sexual violence. If a student discloses details of an assault which happened previous to seven days earlier or even years before, they can still be referred to SAFE Place, SAFE Centre, St Mary’s SARC or the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre for support. See resources section for contact and website information.

If the student discloses historical sexual abuse that occurred when they were a child or adolescent, it is important you find out if any children are potentially at risk for example: younger siblings, cousins, or other children who may be in contact with the alleged perpetrator. If you are aware of any potential risk to children it is not your responsibility to investigate this or provide evidence, but you do need to inform a designated safeguarding officer immediate to report this disclosure.

  • Don’t ask questions or make statements that could make the student feel they are responsible in any way for the assault
  • Don’t investigate the incident, this could prejudice a police investigation
  • Don’t take notes other than noting down some basic facts about student’s name, alleged assailant’s name, location of the incident and a brief overview of the support you have provided
  • Don’t promise to keep information confidential
  • Don’t pressure the student to report the incident to the police or to anyone else
  • Don’t deal with the disclosure on your own if you do not feel confident or comfortable, contact Wellbeing team for support
  • If the student requires IMMEDIATE medical attention due to severe injury, or the alleged assailant is believed to be in the vicinity and may pose an imminent risk to the student or others, contact emergency services on 999 and inform Campus Support (01695 584227) to advise that emergency services will be arriving on campus.
  • If the alleged incident involves another student or a member of staff then you are obligated to report this information to Student Services who will carry out a risk assessment based on the information provided. In this instance contact the Campus Life Managers on 01695 657570 or email [email protected] to report this information.
  • If the student wants to report the incident formally to the police ideally the student should report this themselves, but if they feel unable to do so and you ensure you have their consent, you can do this on their behalf by contacting the local police department on 101.
  • If the student wishes to provide forensic evidence after reading the guidance and information given to them, contact SAFE Place to arrange this.
  • If the student wants to report the incident to the University formally, contact the Campus Life Managers on 01695 657570 or email [email protected]
  • If the student needs alternative accommodation to be found, contact the Accommodation team within Student Services on 01695 650800 during office hours or Campus Support (01695 584227) out of hours.
  • If the student wants emotional and wellbeing support from the Wellbeing team, contact [email protected] or call 01695 650988 (during office hours).
  • If the disclosure was concerning historic sexual abuse and there are concerns that any children or vulnerable adults may be at risk, report this disclosure to a designated Safeguarding Officer immediately.

Useful links and information

Student Services Staff Wiki (where you can download the Care Pathway)

Guidance for Students 

Metropolitan Police guide – what is rape and sexual assault?

NHS – help after rape and sexual assault

Support agencies for students

These links are also available in the ‘Guidance for Students’ document (above). We would recommend that you print this out and a give a copy to the student.

SAFE Place (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) (Merseyside) 

SAFE Place Merseyside offers forensic medical examination services for people who have been sexually assaulted. They have a team of highly-trained healthcare professionals who are here to support you at their examination suite in Liverpool City Centre. They can also provide you with emergency contraception, preventative treatments for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) including HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and advice on screening for STI’s at a later date.

Call 0151 295 3550 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


Sexual Assault and Forensic Examination (SAFE) Centre (Lancashire)

The SAFE Centre offers medical examination, advice and support to people who have experienced sexual assault or rape. A member of the team will be available day or night by calling the telephone support and information line. If they cannot speak with you straight away, they will ring you back as soon as possible.

Call 01772 523344 any time of the day or night.


St Mary’s Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) (Manchester)

Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated forensic, counselling and aftercare service to people living in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area who have experienced rape or sexual assault, whether this has happened recently or in the past.

Call the 24 hour helpline on 0161 276 6515.

Sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse

Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre/Cheshire and Merseyside

Offer counselling, access to Independent Sexual Violence Advisors and an information line.

0330 363 0063

Lancashire Victim Services

Provide emotional support, information and practical help, regardless of whether you have reported the crime to the police or not.

0300 323 0085

Monday-Friday 8.00am-8.00pm, Saturday 9.00am-5.00pm

Survivors UK

Support for male survivors of domestic Abuse/physical violence

0845 1221201 Open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 7.00pm-10.00pm


Emotional and practical support for LGBT people experiencing domestic abuse.

0800 999 5428
[email protected]

Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service

For women and girls experiencing domestic abuse.

0151 263 7474/ Freephone 0800 084 2744


For women from black, minority ethnic and refugee communities experiencing domestic violence.Savera UK, 151 Dale Street, Liverpool, L2 2AH
0800 107 0726

National Women’s Aid

Southall Black Sisters

For black and Asian women and children experiencing domestic and sexual violence, including forced marriage and honour crimes. Languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati and Urdu.

020 85710800 10.00am-5.00pm Monday-Friday (closed Wednesday 12.30pm-1.30pm).

Sexual health clinics

Sexual Health Liverpool

Blackpool and Lancashire Sexual Health Services

Sefton Sexual Health Service

Sexual Health Wirral

Knowsley Sexual Health

The Northern – contraception, sexual health and HIV service in the Manchester area.


Stalking Helpline 

Network for surviving stalking 

Rights of Women

Rights of women is a women’s voluntary sector organisation which provides free legal advice and information to women affected by sexual violence. They publish a range of free information on areas of sexual violence law to support women through the criminal justice process, including From Report to Court: a handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence.

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