Students

Investigations of sexual violence

If you make a complaint against a University student or staff member for sexual violence, including sexual assault or harassment, the University may decide to conduct an investigation into a breach of conduct.

Police investigations happen first

If a police investigation or criminal proceedings are taking place, the University will not normally carry out its own investigation until the criminal process is complete. This is because there is a high risk that a University investigation could compromise any police investigation or criminal proceedings.

In the event of a criminal investigation, University and Students’ Association staff may be required to give evidence about any conversations they have had with you or your representatives.

Once the criminal case is concluded, the University will then consider whether it is necessary to pursue its own, full investigation into misconduct. This may happen relatively quickly (for example, if no charges are brought) or it may take a significant amount of time (for example, if the case goes to court, to trial, then to appeal, and so on).

University investigation

Are there times when the University will not take action?

The University has the same responsibilities towards all of its students. Sometimes there is not enough evidence available in a case for the University to take action against another student, or a member of staff.

Where this occurs, the University will explain this to you, and try to find out whether there are other ways to support you. This may include taking steps to ensure that you do not have to come into contact with the person your complaint relates to.

Contacts

Queries on investigation procedure

If you have any queries or comments about the investigation procedure, please contact the University Secretary’s Office:

Email university.secretary@ed.ac.uk

Advice on complaint procedure

For further advice about the Complaint Handling Procedure, email:

Email complaints@ed.ac.uk

Additionally, you may consult information regarding the complaint handling procedure.

University Secretary's Group - Complaint handling procedure