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Support for sexual violence


Support & guidance or students who have reported sexual harassment or violence

Royal Holloway is committed to providing a safe and support campus enviromment for every member of our community.  Whether you have experienced sexual harassment or violence yourself, or you are supporting a friend or peer who has, you will find information about the support options for all.  These include university wellbeing support and signposting to specialist external services. 

 

Emergency help for sexual violence 

Have you recently been assaulted? Are you safe?

If you feel that you are still at risk or that others may be at risk:

  • On campus - Call the police immediately on 999 (or 112 on a mobile) and alert Security on 01784 443888 or go to the 24 hr Security service at Founder’s East Reception. 
  • Security need to know that the emergency services have been called so that they can direct the Police to the right place on campus when they arrive.
  • Off campus - Call the Police immediately on 999 (or 112 on a mobile).

If you need urgent medical assistance or treatment, call for an ambulance:

  • On campus - Call for an ambulance immediately on 999 (or 112 on a mobile) and alert Security on 01784 443888 or go to the 24 hr Security service at Founder’s East Reception.
  • Security need to know that the emergency services have been called so that they can direct the ambulance to the right place on campus when it arrives.
  • Off campus - Call for an ambulance immediately on 999 (or 112 on a mobile).

If you do not require emergency treatment, it is best not to call an ambulance. You may decide to go to:

  • Emergency Department at St. Peter’s Hospital, Guildford Road, Chertsey KT16 0PZ by taxi
  • The nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre which is Surrey Solace SARC at Cobham Community Hospital, 168 Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1HT. However, before going to Surrey Solace SARC you must contact them on 01932 867581 to make an appointment.  Please read through your options explained in Deciding what to do next before you make a decision.

If you are not at further risk...

  • Find somewhere safe and warm as you may be in shock.
  • If you can, phone a friend to come to you.
  • Don’t drink, eat, wash, smoke, clean your teeth, go to the toilet or change your clothes until you decide what you want to do next.
  • Keep any used condom or bedding in a clean plastic bag.
  • Where possible, try not to disturb the scene where the incident took place.
  • Consider the options you would like to take including reporting this incident.

Deciding what to do next 

It is your decision whether or not to report the incident to the Police and this will be respected. Support is available to you whether or not you choose to make an immediate report. You can seek help from a number of agencies at any time after the incident, even years later.

Reporting an incident to the Police

If you choose to report the incident to the Police, the University can provide you with support when making the report if you would like it.

You can report an incident to the Police at any time. You can call the Police by dialling 999 (emergency) or 101 (non- emergency).  If you are on campus, please alert Security by calling 01784 443888 (emergency) or 01784 443063 (non-emergency) so that they can direct the Police to the right place on campus when they arrive.

If you report an incident of sexual violence to the Police, a specially trained officer from the SOIT (Sexual Offences Investigation Team) is likely to be contacted. A SOIT officer will be able to take mouth and urine samples immediately so that forensic evidence can be preserved and you will then be able to eat, drink and go to the toilet without fear of losing such evidence.

A statement will be taken from you and you may be taken to the nearest SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) which is Surrey Solace SARC at Cobham Community Hospital, 168 Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1HT. There you will be looked after by a Crisis Support Worker and Forensic Medical Officer. They will provide you with medical care and a doctor to collect forensic evidence. They recommend that you take a supportive friend with you. If possible, you should also take a change of clothes as they will need the clothes you are wearing and any bedding or used condom, if relevant.

You should be offered a referral to an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) at RASASC, Guildford whose role is to offer you support and independent advice.

You should be aware that if you decide to call the Police, you can opt out of the reporting process at any point without losing the support of the SARC or the ISVA.

Delaying your report to the Police

You may be unsure whether to make a report to the Police, but would like to retain forensic evidence. This can be done by a self-referral to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).  The nearest is Surrey Solace SARC. For self-referrals, you need to phone 01932 867581 between 8.00-18.00 on weekdays and you will be offered an appointment 09.00-15.30 on week days and sometimes on Saturday in special circumstances. Outside these hours, you can also phone 01932 867581 for advice from the on-call team. You can ask a member of University staff to telephone on your behalf if you prefer. 

You can also contact Surrey Solace SARC by email on surrey.sarc@nhs.net. These emails are checked during their office hours.

The forensic evidence will be kept for up to 6 months to allow you time to decide whether or not you wish to make a report to the Police.

If there are signs of a disturbance at the scene, it would be useful for you to take photographs in case you decide to report it to the Police at a later date. Remember to keep any relevant evidence.

You can also contact an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) at RASASC, Guildford for  confidential, independent advice on deciding whether or not to make a report to the Police.  You can call their office number 01483 568000 during office hours or email admin@rasasc-guildford.org. Their helpline numbers are 01483 546400 or 0800 0288 022 Sunday to Friday 7.30pm - 9.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays). (See www.rasasc.org for information about RASASC and the services it offers.)  

Not reporting to the Police

If you are sure you do not want to report the incident to the Police at any time, you can still access the support of the SARC services at the Surrey Solace SARC during office hours on a week day. You need to phone 01932 867581 between 8.00-18.00 on weekdays and you will be offered an appointment 09.00-15.30 on week days and sometimes on Saturday in special circumstances. Outside these hours, you can phone 01932 867581 for advice from the on-call team. You can ask a member of University staff to telephone on your behalf if you prefer. 

You can still receive specialist medical support and be referred to an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) if you choose not to provide forensic evidence. You can call their office number 01483 568000 during office hours to find out information about their services or email admin@rasasc-guildford.org. Their helpline numbers are 01483 546400 or 0800 0288 022 Sunday to Friday 7.30pm - 9.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays). (See www.rasasc.org for information about RASASC and the services it offers.)  

Alternatively, and especially at the weekend or evenings, you can get 24 hr access to the Accident and Emergency department at the St. Peter’s Hospital, Guildford Rd, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 0PZ for the treatment of any injuries.

Help and support available 

Finding help during week day office hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm)

Whether you live on or off campus, you can get expert support and information from our teams:

Staff within these teams are trained to deal with incidents of sexual violence and you will be given a priority appointment.

  • GP Surgery (Clarence Medical) on 01784 443131
  • Police – If you decide to make a report to the Police you or (if you prefer) any of the contacts listed above can call them for you on 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency).
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – The nearest is Surrey Solace SARC at Cobham Hospital, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 1HT. You can self-refer here during week day office hours for specialist medical and emotional help, forensics and referral to counselling. You will need to phone 01932 867581 or email surrey.sarc@nhs.net to make an appointment.
  • RASASC, Guildford (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) - You can call their office number 01483 568000 during office hours to find out information about their services or email admin@rasasc-guildford.org.

Finding help at night and at the weekend

You can get support from trained staff on campus even if it is in the middle of the night, whether or not you want the Police to get involved.

  • The Security team is available 24 hours a day at Founders East Reception 01784 443063
  • Wellbeing – a member of the Wellbeing department is on call every night and can be contacted by Security.
  • Police – If you decide to make a report to the Police, you or (if you prefer) any of the contacts listed above can call them for you on 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency). You can access the services of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) through the Police or directly.
  • The Surrey Solace SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) - You can call 01932 867581 for advice from the on-call team.
  • RASASC, Guildford (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) - You can call their helpline on 01483 546400 or 0800 0288 022 Sunday to Friday 7.30pm - 9.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays).

Help and support by phone

  • Samaritans available 24 hours a day to support you through any trauma including sexual assault  - 116 123
  • Nightline offer a confidential listening, support and information service from 6pm – 8am every night of term available – 020 7631 0101

Continuing support 

Specialists in the local community who can provide continuing support, advice and counselling

Surrey Solace SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) at Cobham Hospital provides support not only for recent assaults, but also for those that have happened in the past (historical incidents). You will need to phone 01293 600469 to make an appointment or email surrey.sarc@nhs.net.

RASASC, Guildford Independent Sexual Violence Advisor - provide advice, advocacy, practical and emotional support (see www.rasasc.org for information). You can call their office number 01483 568000 during office hours to find out information about their services or email admin@rasasc-guildford.org. Their helpline numbers are 01483 546400 or 0800 0288 022 Sunday to Friday 7.30pm - 9.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays). The ISVA for this area is Susan and she can be contacted on 07412 222249 or susan.isva@rasasc-guildford.org.

Help & support available by phone

Samaritans: 116 123

Support and advice available 24hrs a day.

Nightline: 020 7631 0101

Confidential advice for students available 6pm – 8am every night of term.

Rape Crisis: 0808 802 9999

Support for females who experience sexual violence available12pm-2.30pm, 7pm -9.30pm any day and also 3.30pm – 5.30pm on weekdays.

Survivors UK: 0845 122 1201

Support for males who experience sexual violence available Monday and Tuesday 7pm to 9.30pm and Thursday 12pm to 2.30pm or webchat Monday to Friday 10.30am to 9pm, Sat – Sun 10am to 6pm.

Victim Support:  0845 30 30 900

Practical and emotional help and support for victims / survivors of crime available weekdays 8am - 8pm and Saturday 8pm - Monday 8am.