I think I know someone who has been sexually assaulted
If you think someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are lots of ways in which you can help them.
If someone has been sexually assaulted their reactions can vary, they may be afraid, angry or have no outward reaction at all. They might even act in ways that seem unusual to you.
Disclosures can come in many forms; it could be something said jokingly, a story that someone starts to tell then stops and says it doesn't matter, or it could be a question. You are not expected to be a professional counsellor; however how someone responds to a first disclosure can be really important. It can take time for a person to decide what they want to do and how they want to move forward.
· Is the person in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999.
· Finding a safe space. If possible, try and find somewhere the person feels safe. If this isn't possible and you are on campus you can call security 07885201182 / 01904 876444 . The Security Team can provide assistance and are able to be contacted 24 hours a day.
What is Sexual Assault? You can read more about what sexual assault is here.
· Sexual assault is a crime of power and control. The most important thing is to respond in a way that maximizes their choice and control over what happens next. You can simply ask them what they need or want. They might not make the same decision you would; however, only they can decide what is best for them. You can help them explore options but avoid telling them what they should do.We have produced a Sexual Assault Information Guide which details reporting options and support infromation.
· Listen. Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them.Published on Oct 4, 2015 Based on the Samaritans guidelines for active listening
· Give options. When they have finished talking ask them if they are ok to talk through some possible options and next steps. Remember, it is important that they decide what they want to do.
· University Welfare Advisers can tell you more about the support available both within and outside of the University, as well as reporting options. You can contact the Welfare Advisers by email or telephone: firstname.lastname@example.org 01904 876477
· Report and Support. You can report any incident of Sexual Assault on behalf of someone else, anonymously or you can report with your details by clicking on ‘report with contact details’ which will put you in touch with a University Welfare Adviser.
· If the person is on public transport, unwanted sexual behaviour unwanted sexual behaviour can be reported to the British Transport Police by texting 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency, dial 999.