Sexual Assault and Harassment

Overview

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.

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.

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 to help you make informed decisions about next steps and the support available.  

Getting Support

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 

Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/ Harassment)  

A specialist member of staff is available 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) via: 

Contact us

Tel: 01227 82 3206  

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm 

University Out of Hours Support 

Support from a Sexual Assault Responder (SAR) can be accessed via Campus Security out of hours. 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 advise Canterbury and Medway students who report incidents of rape or sexual assault of normal office hours (5pm to 9am and all day at weekends/bank holidays). 

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 backgrounds, cultures, races, beliefs, sexualities, abilities and gender identities can access the support of a Sexual Assault RespondersSARs work in conjunction with the Wellbeing Adviser (Sexual Assault/Harassment) who will follow up with you after you have met with a SAR to provide any further ongoing support.

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. 


Medical Support 

If you think you may have medical issues following an assault health service information is available here on the health services guide.


Online Reporting  

Use the online reporting tool to access support for sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship abuse, harassment, bullying and hate incident. Have your voice heard. Inform Kent (inK). 

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.  

Inform Kent

Inform Kent (inK) Logo

Inform Kent (inK) Logo




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 EKRCC, please the referral form below to wellbeing@kent.ac.uk.

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, 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 are not sure about involving 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 go ahead, the police will support and guide you through the process and will assign a specialist from their Sexual Offences Investigation Team

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. 


Time frames 

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 nursing services can be found on the health services guide.

• If you think you may need HIV prophylaxis, the medication should be started within 72 hours. 

Confidentiality

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 discuss the support/information that you may need.   

Anonymous reports to the University, including those via Inform Kent (inK) will not instigate any part of an investigation process. 

Sexual Respect

Please visit our Sexual Respect page for further information regarding consent, reporting, support and more.

External Support

For a detailed list of external support agencies please visit our External Support webpage.

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