Are you safe?
If you are in danger or need of urgent medical care or attention, please call 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance/police.
Students who report an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment against them will not be subject to disciplinary action if they breached Covid-19 restrictions at the time of the incident. It is important that students feel able to access support and reporting options without fear of disciplinary action.
The perpetrator is always to blame for sexual assault or rape. We will never ask ‘Why?’ when coming forward. We take sexual assault or rape extremely seriously.
If the incident has just happened, it is important that you try to get yourself to a safe place and keep warm as you may be in shock.
If you (or someone you know) has been (or thinks) they have been sexually assaulted or raped, please refer to the guidance detailed below. You can also download a pdf copy via the link on the right hand side of this page. The guidance is a resource to help make informed decisions about next steps and the support available.
Deciding What To Do Next
Deciding whether to report the incident to the police can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you are in a state of shock. If the incident has just taken place, and you are thinking of reporting to the police, try to go to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) or police as soon as you can and within 72 hours if possible. If you do decide to report the assault, please try not to drink, eat, wash, smoke, brush your teeth, go to the toilet or change your clothes, if possible. Please also try to keep any condoms, bedding or clothing in separate, clean plastic bags. This will all help to preserve any forensic evidence.
There is useful information on the Rape Crisis website about how you can preserve evidence yourself.
You do not have to report the incident to the police. You can take your time to think about this option. You may want to ask a trusted friend to come and be with you and talk through your decision with them.
The specialist staff at the university will never make assumptions about what you want to do, and will respect any decision that you make. The only exception to this will be if it is considered that, there is an ongoing risk to you or to members of the University Community.
Self-Referral to a SARC
If you do not want to involve the police, Beech House Kent and Medway Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) accept self-referrals. They offer a number of services including crisis support, medical examinations and counselling referrals. An examination usually takes around 3 hours depending on circumstances. They can also hold any forensic evidence for two years should you decide to report the assault later. A specialist member of University staff can accompany you to the SARC and the University will pay for any travel costs (see above for accessing support from the University).
Reporting to the police
If you do decide to report the assault to the police and it is not an immediate emergency, call 101. A member of staff can support you through this if you wish to. Please see above about how to contact support from the University. Please be assured that the reporting process will be taken at your own pace and your involvement in it is voluntary throughout. You can discuss your reporting options with both the Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/ Harassment) and/or Sexual Assault Responders (SARs).
Kent Police have information on their website about reporting
sexual assaults. If you decide to report, the police will support and guide you
through the process and will assign a specialist from their Sexual Offences
If forensic evidence is required and has not already been collected, then the Police may accompany you to Kent and Medway SARC at Maidstone. It is important for you to know that the University will respect your decision about whether or not you wish to report the incident to the Police. The only exception to this will be if it is considered that, there is an ongoing risk to you or to members of the University community.
You do not need to report the incident to the University or police immediately, but please note the following important time limits:
• If you suspect you were given any type of drug, it is best to be tested within 24 hours.
• If you are thinking of having a forensic medial examination try to go to the SARC or police as soon as you can and within 72 hours if possible.
• If you need emergency contraception, the medication should be started within 72 hours. Information about accessing a nurse can be found on the Health Services page.
• If you think you may need HIV prophylaxis, the medication should be started within 72 hours.
Your confidentiality will be respected and information will not be shared beyond the relevant staff (detailed below) without your consent unless you or others are at significant risk. We do not report incidents to the police without the consent of the reporting person unless you or others are at significant risk.
If Campus Security have been informed of an incident then the Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) will automatically be informed. The Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) will contact you to help you receive any information or support you need.
Anonymous reports to the University, including those via inK will not instigate any part of an investigation process.
If you would like to speak to someone about what has happened the following support is available from the university:
University Support available during Office Hours
Specialist Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/ Harassment)
A specialist member of staff who is able to provide practical support and advice to anyone who reports sexual assault or rape (support available at both Medway and Canterbury). You can book a specialist appointment with the Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) by emailing email@example.com, or by calling 01227 82 3158 from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Please see Confidentiality information for details on how data will be stored.
University Out of Hours Support
If you would like to speak to someone and it is out of hours, support from a Sexual Assault Responder (SAR) can be accessed via Campus Security. You can access support through campus security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can be contacted as follows:
- Canterbury Campus Security on 3333 or 01227 823333 or go to Campus Security (24 hours) located next to Santander Bank.
- Medway Campus Security on 3333 or 01227 823333
Sexual Assault Responders
Sexual Assault Responders are trained members of staff who support and advice students based at Canterbury and Medway who report incidents of rape or sexual assault of normal office hours (5pm to 9am and all day at weekends/bank holidays). A sexual assault responder will be called by campus security if the reporting student consents to them doing so.
They offer support, advice and information in a safe and confidential space (on campus) about what next steps are available. Any student who is a victim of rape or sexual assault, regardless of gender, gender identity or sexuality, can access the support of a Sexual Assault Responders. SARs work in conjunction with the Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) who will follow up with you following a meeting with a SAR.
The specialist members of staff will be able to support you in deciding what to do next. Both the Sexual Assault Responders and Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) can meet with you to offer support and guidance on the options available. Please bring a friend to accompany you for support, if needed.
If you think you may have medical issues, following an assault Health Service Information is available. Accessing medical support whether this is with the support of specialist staff, or of your own accord would be dealt with confidentially in accordance with NHS Code of Practice and would not be shared with the University.
Domestic Violence Support
If you think you are (or someone you know is) in an abusive relationship, you can go to a drop-in session with an adviser from Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service, or with the University's own specialist adviser by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 01227 82 3158 from Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm.
External Support for Sexual Assault and Harassment
There are lots of external agencies with expert professionals and charities that provide advice and care for survivors. Follow the link below to our External Support page for their contact details.
Report to the University
Making a formal report to the University
You are able to make a formal report to the university via the Student Conduct and Complaints team. You will find further information here about Non-Academic Discipline regulations and how to submit a complaint. The Specialist Wellbeing Adviser is also able to talk you through this without pressure or judgement if you are not sure yet.
We have also developed an online reporting tool which empowers students to record details of incidents such as sexual assault, harassment, relationship abuse or hate crime. The most vital use of inK is to ensure that you gain access to the support that is available to you in the aftermath of an incident.
InK also gives you the option to have your voice heard. You are given the option to record an incident and give your name, so that you can be contacted by specialist support. Or you can choose to remain anonymous. The information that you provide will help us to make continued progress in making our university the safest it can be. You are in control here. Have your voice heard. Inform Kent.
You are able to record an incident anonymously via inK; making an anonymous report informs the University that something has happened. This will not instigate any part of a formal process or complaint. If you chose to be named in the report the Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) will contact you to discuss your options for reporting formally.
NEW East Kent Rape Crisis Centre weekly virtual drop ins for support
Each Thursday afternoon from 2-4pm, East Kent Rape Crisis Centre (EKRCC) will dedicate time to supporting for University students who are survivors of sexual assault or harassment, or have been affected by their friends and family experiencing sexual violence.
To get a referral form to be put in contact with East Kent Rape Crisis Centre, please download, compl the referral form below to email@example.com.
EKRCC Thursday drop in referral form
If you are experiencing harassment (including bullying, discrimination, or sexual harassment) and wish to seek further support, you can also make use of the Harassment Contacts within the University.
The Harassment Contacts comprises of individual members of staff who have volunteered to take on the role of the Harassment Contact. The University has appointed and trained some members of staff as Harassment Contacts, who can be contacted for advice and support.
Staff/students can choose to contact any of the Harassment Contacts and may prefer to speak to someone from a different department or section.
What is consent?
Learning about consent is vital to identifying sexual assault and supporting survivors of sexual assault. Sexual activity without consent is a crime for which only the perpetrator can be to blame.
Sexual consent is where a person has the ability and freedom to agree to sexual activity
Sex without consent is rape so make sure the other person is participating freely and readily
- You can confirm if you have consent both verbally and by checking the other person's body language.
- Someone who is too drunk to make decisions does not have the mental capacity to give consent.
- If someone seems too drunk to consent, or you are not sure, STOP. Wait until they are sober and ask them again
- Somebody who is asleep or unconscious cannot give consent. Having capacity means the person can make and communicate a decision, understanding the consequences and knowing they have a choice. If they cannot do this, they cannot give consent.
- Your partner has the right to withdraw their consent at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, you must stop engaging in sexual activity immediately.
- You should not feel ashamed to reject sexual activity