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Support pathway for responding to disclosures of sexual and domestic violence

Sexual violence is any incident of unwanted sexual contact.

Domestic Violence describes incidents of threatening, controlling, coercive, and/or violent behaviour which is usually committed by someone within your social and domestic network. This includes, partners, ex-partners, relatives, family friends, dependents and friends. These incidents can take the form of sexual, physical and or psychological abuse.

If you have experienced any form of sexual or domestic violence, whatever the circumstances, whenever it happened, it was not your fault and you did not deserve this treatment.

There is help and support available so you can make your own decision about what happens next.

Support is available both on and off campus and you can access either or both to suit you.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone.

On campus support
Sexual and Domestic Violence Advisor (SDVA) - Senate House

Lisa Woodhouse, our SDVA, offers emotional support and advice to anyone affected by sexual and/or domestic violence. You can contact her via 

Wellbeing and Student Support (University House)
Practical help and guidance, including referral to counselling and other specialist services.
Email: Tel: 024 7657 5570.

SU Advice Centre (Top floor of SU HQ)
Confidential, impartial advice for all students, which is independent from the University.
You can contact the Advice Centre via filling in their online enquiry form -

Off campus specialist support

Blue Sky Centre SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre)
Provides immediate support, medical care and optional police intervention. Staffed 24/7.
Email: geh-tr-theblueskycentre at nhs dot net. Tel: 01926 507 805. Location: George Elliot Hospital.

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC)
Free, independent and confidential support for anyone who has experienced sexual violence or abuse at any time in their lives. Services include Helpline, counselling and support through the reporting process.
Email: helpline at crasac dot org dot uk. Helpline: 024 7627 7777.

RoSA (Warwickshire)

Free, independent charity working with survivors of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. We offer a completely confidential service and support women, men, young people and children.

Helpline: 01788 551151 Email:

National Rape Crisis Helpline
Freephone: 0808 802 9999. Available every day 12pm-2.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm.

Accommodation support

If existing accommodation is unsafe, contact the Senior Wardens on 024 7652 4704 or out of hours Community Safety, on 024 7652 2083.

Impact on studies

WSS or SU Advice Centre can support students in relation to the impact the experience may be having on academic studies.

Further Information and support options are available on both the University WSS web pages or on the Students' Union web pages. See the Sexual violence prevention and support pages.

Additional information for those receiving a disclosure/providing support
How should I respond?

Believe them:

  • Reassure them that they are not to blame and do not judge their actions or responses.
  • Is there someone they would like to have with them?

Assess the situation:

  • Are they safe now or is there any immediate danger? If yes call the police on 999 or if on campus call Security and ask for the police to attend - 024 7652 2222.
  • If the person is accompanied by someone, is that person still welcome?
  • Do not ask lots of questions (this might have consequences for any future police investigation).
Should they report to the police?

Don’t assume they will want to report

  • Ask them if they want to report the incident to the police, it must be their decision, and they do not have to - so do not pressurise them into reporting.

If they choose to report the incident to police:

  • If on campus call Security on 024 7652 2222 and ask for the police to attend. Do not disclose the student’s identity to Security.
  • If off campus and there is an immediate danger or the incident took place in the last 7 days call 999.
  • If there's no immediate danger and the incident took place more than 7 days ago call 101.

What happens next:

  • If the police are called, they will direct how things progress.
  • If the police are not involved the person can decide what they do next and the best way for them to be supported.
Can I keep their confidentiality?

Disclosures should be kept confidential unless explicit permission has been given to share the information.

There are certain situations where confidentiality cannot be maintained, these include:

  • If the person is under 18 or a vulnerable adult and still at risk.
  • If there is ongoing risk of serious harm to the individual or to others.

Visit the University Safeguarding webpage for further information on confidentiality and safeguarding.

Further support and guidance

If possible direct the individual to Wellbeing and Student Support or SU Advice Centre who can advise on all support options available.