Disclosure of sexual violence
If you make a disclosure of sexual violence to Student Support we will do everything we can to help you.
The University will not tolerate sexual abuse within its community. The University is committed to supporting any students who experience sexual abuse and to taking the appropriate action regarding those who commit it. If you tell the Student Support Team you have been sexually harassed or assaulted ('make a disclosure of sexual violence') we will:
- Listen sympathetically and non-judgementally
- Establish if you need immediate medical attention
- Explain your options to you and support you in whatever choices you make
- Encourage you to consult the Advice Place for further support
Anybody who comes to see us about a disclosure will be believed.
When you make a disclosure of sexual violence to Student Support we are bound by the following:
- If we need to share information with a third party, because we are significantly concerned about your safety or the safety of others, we will inform you first.
- Complete and permanent confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, as in the event of a criminal investigation, we may be required to give evidence about the conversation you have with us.
- Under the University’s Dignity & Respect Policy, staff must report disclosures of sexual assault to the University Secretary’s Office. We will inform you first, and ask if you wish the report to be made anonymously (ie. your name will not be disclosed).
Guidelines for students
Here is some guidance on what to do if you have been sexually harassed or assaulted:
In an emergency
If you are in physical danger or in need of immediate medical attention, call the emergency services on 999.
Other sources of help are listed below.
The Advice Place
The Advice Place can advise on further support including counselling, Rape Crisis referral, University conduct processes, police reporting etc.
Students do not need an appointment to access the Advice Place.
If you decide you want to contact the Advice Place, a Student Support Officer from Divinity can:
- Accompany you to the Advice Place so you don’t have to explain everything again
- Organise for the Advice Place to contact you
- Call the Advice Place with you present and ask them questions
- Make an appointment for you with an adviser at the Advice Place.
The Advice Place adviser will talk to you in a private room and listen to all you have to tell them about the situation. The adviser to whom you make the disclosure will continue to work with you wherever possible until you no longer need support from the Advice Place.
All of their advice is confidential, and if they need to share information about you with a third party (because they are significantly concerned about your safety or the safety of others), they will inform you first.
The adviser will make detailed case notes and explain all of your options to you. These case notes are available to you at any time, but they will not share them with anyone else.
These options include:
- Contacting the police (they can arrange to have the police come to them or accompany you to a police station).
- Making a complaint to the university (they can attend any meetings with you, advocate for you and support you through the complaints process).
- In some circumstances reporting the sexual violence through them to the Police.
- Organising a forensic examination, but not reporting it right away, or ever (if this is what you want).
- Seeking swift action from the University if you are concerned about contact with someone
Contact The Advice Place
Phone: 0131 650 9225
Rape Crisis Scotland
Rape Crisis Scotland provide a national rape crisis helpline and also offer email support for anyone affected by sexual violence, no matter when or how it happened. The helpline is open from 6pm to midnight, 7 days a week, and offers free and confidential initial and crisis support and information.
They publish a useful and comprehensive set of FAQ’s for victims of sexual assault.
Contact Rape Crisis
Helpline: 08088 01 03 02
NHS medical assistance is available from your GP, from your local hospital or from the NHS Lothian Sexual Health Clinic.
NHS 24 helpline, tel: 111
Other useful links
University Security tel: 0131 650 2257
Student Counselling Service tel: 0131 650 4170