Lavender

Deciding what to do next


It is your decision whether or not to report it to the Police

It is your decision whether or not to report it 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.

1. 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.

 2. 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.)  

3. 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.