Student Support & Wellbeing

Sexual Assault and Harassment

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 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. The guidance includes information about:

  • Who to contact
  • Deciding whether or not to report the incident to the Police (the University will never pressurise you to report the incident to the Police)
  • Time frames to be aware of 
  • Issues of confidentiality (who will need to be informed)
  • The support services available at the University
  • Local and national support services 

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.

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.

Are you safe?

If you have just been assaulted, are on campus and you or others are at risk, please immediately call: On campus (Canterbury):

  • Campus Security on 3333 or 01227 823333 or go to Campus Security (24 hours) located next to Santander Bank.

On campus (Medway):

  • Campus Security on 3333 or 01227 823333

For emergencies, including incidents off campus, the police should be contacted on 999 /112.

Campus Security will then contact a Sexual Assault Responder (for support out of hours) or a Specialist Wellbeing Adviser (for support during office hours).

Support During Office Hours
Specialist Wellbeing Adviser
A highly trained specialist member of staff who is able to provide practical support and advice to victims of sexual violence (Medway and Canterbury). This member of staff is able to provide practical guidance and advice in the aftermath of sexual violence. You can book a specialist appointment with the specialist Wellbeing Adviser via:
Contact us form: 
Tel: 01227 82 3206 
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Out of Hours Support
Sexual Assault Responders
Sexual Assault Responders are trained members of staff who support and look after students who have been victims of rape or sexual assault on or off campus (Canterbury and Medway) out of normal office hours (5pm to 9am and all day at weekends).
They offer support, advice and information in a safe and confidential space (on campus) about what next steps are available. Sexual Assault Responders can be accessed by any student who is a victim of rape or sexual assault, regardless of gender, gender identity or sexuality.

Deciding what to do next

University staff are here to help and support you. There is a Specialist Wellbeing Adviser in Student Support and Wellbeing who is the first point of contact for students who have experienced sexual assault or rape. They are able to meet with you to offer support and guidance on the options available. You can arrange a meeting with them via Student Support and Wellbeing (details below). If it is out of hours, we strongly encourage you to contact Campus Security, who can also assist you with obtaining support from a Sexual Assault Responder (SAR) or the University Nursing Service.  You can also seek support from your College Master or a member of staff with whom you feel comfortable. Please bring a friend to accompany you for support, if needed.

Deciding whether or not to report the incident to the police can be a difficult decision to make, especially if you are in a state of shock. 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. 


Time frames

You do not need to report the incident to the University or police immediately, but please note the following important time limits which may be relevant to the incident:
• If you suspect you were given any type of drug, it is best to be tested within 24 hours.
• If you want emergency contraception, the medication should be started within 72 hours.
• If you would like HIV prophylaxis, the medication should be started within 72 hours.

If you do not want to involve the police, Beech House SARC (the Kent and Medway Sexual Assault and Referral Centre) 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 at a later date. A member of University staff can accompany you to the SARC and the University will pay for any travel costs.

Any forensic evidence collected can be stored whilst you decide what to do next.

Reporting to the police

If you do decide to report the assault to the Police and it is not an immediate emergency, call 101. Please be assured that the reporting process will be taken at your own pace and your involvement in it is entirely voluntary throughout. Your details will not be shared with anyone and your name will not appear in any media coverage of the incident.  You can discuss your reporting options with the Specialist Wellbeing Adviser.

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 Investigation Team.

Reporting to the police could be important if the perpetrator is known, or if another case involving the same perpetrator is reported.

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.


Issues of confidentiality and who will be notified 
It is important to remember that your confidentially 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.

If the incident happened on campus and/or the alleged perpetrator is a student, the relevant College Master(s) will automatically be informed of the incident, in order to safeguard you and the University Community.  The Master’s Office has emergency accommodation available if you need to move out of your current accommodation.  Specialist staff in the Wellbeing Team will also be informed and that member of staff will contact you to ensure that you receive the help and support you need. Other members of staff (e.g. the School Support Officer in your School) may be contacted, but only with your agreement.

Getting support

Support from the University
Below are the support services that are available at the University. It is important to remember that there is no time limit for Police investigating and prosecuting incidents of sexual violence. If you are a victim of a historic sexual assault or rape, please contact the police in the first instance (dial 101).  The University’s Wellbeing Team also has a Specialist Wellbeing Advisor who can provide practical and emotional support. You can also access counselling through Student Support and Wellbeing.

College Master’s Office

Student Support and Wellbeing Team (including a Specialist Wellbeing Adviser and counselling)
Contact us form: Tel: 01227 82 3206

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm

Nursing Services  Tel: 01227 823503 or ext: 3503

Nurses are on duty in Nursing Services during term time. There is a nurse on duty from 7 am to midnight with an emergency only scheme after midnight via Campus Security. Students may drop in without an appointment. When Nursing Services is not available the Medical Centre or on-call doctor should be contacted.

Student Support and Wellbeing Team (including a Specialist Wellbeing Adviser and counselling)

The Wellbeing team is located within the Student Services Department on the Ground Floor of the Gillingham Building. There is a resources room, G0-05/06, which you are welcome to visit at any time. Appointments for specific advice can be made by e-mailing or telephoning 01634 20 2984.

Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9.15am-4.30pm. Wednesday, 9.15am- 3.00pm.

Medical Services:

Continued Support

The University’s Wellbeing Team will continue to offer you support and may refer you to other external agencies (with your consent). A list of useful organisations can also be found below:

East Kent Rape Crisis Centre: 0800 4582818, 6.30am to 9.00pm weekdays
ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Adviser) support is available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted or raped. An ISVA is associated with many agencies and services, but is independent of all of these. They can offer impartial advice from a variety of sources. The ISVA service can offer you emotional support as well as accurate and practical advice when you most need it. In Kent, the nearest ISVA is based at East Kent Rape Crisis Centre: / 01227 826900.

Kent Police:
Non- emergency: 101  Emergency: 999 / 112

Rape Crisis:
Tel: 0808 8029999, 12.00am - 2.30pm, 7.00pm - 9.30pm daily (and 3.00pm – 5.30pm on weekdays)

Telephone the Samaritan’s Canterbury branch: 01227 457777 (local call charges apply) National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)
Email Samaritans: (UK and ROI)

You can also visit the branch: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 08.00 - 20.00 and Tuesdays 12.00 - 20.00, Sundays closed. The Entrance is at the back of the building.
Address: Samaritans Canterbury, 32 Northgate, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1BL

Support and advice service for male victims of sexual abuse and rape. Tel: 02035983898 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.00pm)
Helpline Web Chat: Monday – Friday 10.30am – 9.00pm, Saturday – Sunday 10.00am – 6.00pm

Victim Support:
Tel: 08 08 16 89 111 Weeknights Monday to Friday 8.00pm to 8.00am, weekends 24-hour service.

Women’s Aid and Refuge 24-hour Line:  Tel: 0808 2000247








Student Support - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 823158, (0)1634 888969

Last Updated: 15/06/2020