Support for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse
The University of Warwick recognises the need for specialist bespoke support to be available for survivors of either recent or historic sexual and/or domestic abuse.
This webpage is designed to provide you with information about where you can get support or guidance about reporting and/or accessing support to cope with your experience. Which support services you access is entirely up to you.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and there is help and support available. Support is available both on and off campus and you can access either or both whatever you feel best suits your needs. These services will provide you with all the information you need to make a decision about whether you report or not, please be reassured that you decide the best way forward for you.
If you need urgent medical care or attention, call 999 (or 112 from a mobile) and ask for an ambulance, or go straight to your nearest Accident & Emergency department.
Meet the people who are here to help:
If you have been affected by sexual and/or domestic abuse, either personally or are supporting a friend or family member, we can help you.
There are a range of options and support available to you:
We have a Sexual and Domestic Abuse Adviser who is here to provide specialist practical and emotional support and advise on other services are available to you. This link provides all information that relates to sexual and domestic abuse and external services.
- Wellbeing and Student Support - You can book an appointment with one of our Wellbeing Advisers. They provide practical help and guidance, including referral to our Counselling and Psychology Interventions Team and other specialist services. If you require this support please contact Wellbeing and Student Support via the Wellbeing Portal, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 02476 57750.
- Counselling and Psychology Interventions Team – provides therapeutic counselling for all students. If you wish to access their services, please get in touch via the Wellbeing Portal at wellbeing.warwick.ac.uk
- SU Advice Centre (Top floor of SU HQ) They offer a 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 - https://www.warwicksu.com/help-support/contact/
- Report and Support – you can report any form of sexual or domestic abuse via our online reporting service, which allows you to speak to an adviser or disclose anonymously.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Our Wellbeing and Student Support offer non-judgemental, compassionate, and confidential support to all members of the University community. We believe that every individual should be treated with dignity and respect and be part of a working and learning environment that is free from barriers, regardless of age, disability, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex/gender, or sexual orientation.
Our services within Wellbeing Support are confidential which means that the information you share with us is kept securely and will not be shared with any third parties unless you explicitly wish for us to do so. There are some circumstances, in which staff may have to pass on personal information, including if there is a concern of serious risk/harm, or if we are required to do so by law, but we will always discuss this with you and ask for your consent wherever possible. We may at times, in order to best support you, share information about your individual support needs with internal and external parties in order to ensure you are offered appropriate support. We will always ask for your permission to do this. Your information is securely held by Wellbeing and Student Support and will be treated confidentially and appropriately for the purposes of carrying out the ongoing business of Wellbeing Support Services under the terms of the 1998 Data Protection Act and the University’s Data Protection Policy. Records are destroyed following the academic year in which a student finishes their registration with the institution + 6 years. For more information about our confidentiality policy please see https://warwick.ac.uk/services/wss/about/confidentiality
In line with the Wellbeing Strategy 2020-24, the Sexual and Domestic Abuse Adviser (SDAA) at the University of Warwick is a specialist adviser providing confidential, emotional, and practical support to anyone within the Warwick community who has been affected by sexual violence or domestic abuse. The support is provided whether the incident occurred at the University or not and is there to support you to access other available support services. The SDAA service offers emotional support such as
- Understanding and dealing with the impact of sexual violence and domestic abuse.
- Support to develop positive coping strategies.
- Assess your psychological and emotional needs to identify the most appropriate support.
- Provides impartial information/support around your options to report both within the University and externally.
- Support you through your chosen reporting process
- Signposting and referring you to appropriate support services both within the University and externally
Sexual Violence (SV)
Sexual violence and abuse is defined as any behaviour thought to be of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent.
Sexual violence and abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal or online. It can include rape, assault by penetration, childhood sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, sexual assault including groping, unwelcome sexual advances, sexual harassment including catcalling and wolf-whistling, making sexualised comments (including jokes). It also includes posting pornographic material in shared spaces (physical or virtual), sending sexually explicit e-mails, texts or other communications and includes stalking in person or online.
Any behaviour of a sexual nature that causes you distress is considered sexual violence or abuse.
Sexual violence can happen to anyone at any time in their lives regardless of race, sexuality, gender and age.
If you have experienced any form of sexual assault, know that it was not your fault, you did not deserve it and we are here to help you get the right support.
You can also contact an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor directly, who can support you to report to the police and can further support you through the criminal justice system. ISVA service is available via Safeline, CRASAC or RoSA, see details below:
- Blue Sky Centre SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) Provides immediate support, medical care and optional police intervention. If you are not sure whether to report, or think you might at some point, forensic samples can be taken and stored so that evidence is available if you choose to report at a later date. Call 0800 970 0370 or email email@example.com
- Safeline is a specialist sexual violence and abuse charity led by the needs of its clients. Services include specialist counselling, ISVA, helplines including male specifics support, prevention & early intervention & specialist training. Call 01926 402 498
- 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. Call 024 7627 7777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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. Call 01788 551151
- National Rape Crisis Helpline. Freephone: 0808 802 9999 available 24/7 everyday of the year.
- Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse
- Information on reporting sexual violence to the police
Domestic Abuse (DA)
Domestic Abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse is usually characterised by the misuse of power or exercise of control and can encompass, but is not limited to
- Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial and Economic abuse
- Stalking and surveillance
- Online or digital abuse eg: 'revenge porn'
Anyone can be subjected to domestic abuse; it is not your fault. These behaviours are unacceptable and if you have experienced any of these forms of abuse, we are here to help you. You are not alone.
You can contact an Independent Domestic Violence Adviser via Coventry Haven Women’s Aid.
- Coventry Haven is a specialist domestic abuse service, delivering services to women and their children experiencing all forms of domestic abuse including forced marriage, honour-based violence, and Female genital Mutilation (FGM). They provide refuge, advice and support including group work, counselling services, legal clinic, IDVA service, helpline, face to face support, and specialist FM and FGM services. Call 0800 111 4998 or 02476 444 077 ((Monday - Friday 9am-4.30pm)
- Refuge’s Domestic Violence and Abuse Service Warwickshire can support adults and their children to keep safe. Refuge Domestic Violence and Abuse Service Warwickshire is a county-wide service which provides support to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire. Call 0808 2000 247
- Valley House offers a full support package including practical / emotional support and also wide range of activities for victims of domestic abuse, helping them to live in a safe place free from abuse. They also have support services aimed at survivors of domestic abuse to help get their lives back on track. Call 02476 266 280
- Safe to talk – Coventry’s City Council domestic abuse helpline 0800 111 4998. (Monday-Friday 8.30am - 5pm and Saturday-Sunday 10am - 1pm)
- Harbour- provides support, help and information to women and men experiencing domestic violence. Call 0300 20 25 25
- Worst Kept Secret- Domestic Violence project for anyone affected by domestic abuse. Tel: 0800 028 3398. The phone call will not show up on land line bills.
- Relate Birmingham – Service to support people and their family during this challenging and uncertain time
- National Women’s Aid Domestic abuse charity support women and children
- West Midlands Police information on Domestic Abuse
Specific Support and Resources
Sexual and Domestic Abuse can affect anyone irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation or the perception of these characteristics. Here are specific resources for males and other ethnic and minority groups.
- Safeline's National Male Helpline Offers support to men affected by rape or childhood sexual abuse. Call 0808 800 5005
- Men’s Advice Line (for men) Provides support, help and information to men experiencing domestic violence. Call 0808 801 0327
- ManKind Initiative- Helping men escape domestic abuse. Call 01823 334244 to speak confidentially.
- Survivors UK - for men who have experienced sexual violence. Call 0845 1221201
- Galop - Provides specialist support for LGBT people who have experienced abuse including sexual violence within a relationship. Call 0800 999 5428
- Panahghar provides free dedicated BAME multilingual support, advice and advocacy and access to safe refuge for victims and their families of domestic abuse, sexual abuse or gendered abuse in Coventry and Leicester. Call 0800 055 6519
- Karma Nirvana - supporting victims of honour crimes and forced marriages. Call 0800 5999 247
- Stalking Helpline
- Paladin – National Stalking Advocacy Service
- Revenge Porn Helpline - Offers confidential advice and support to individuals who have had intimate photos/videos distributed off/online without their consent. Call 0345 6000 459
Disclosure and Support
If you have experienced any form of sexual or domestic abuse, it is entirely up to you whether or not you choose to report it to the police or to the University. No-one else can or should make that decision for you.
Dealing with Disclosures
- Believe them and validate how they are feeling
- Reassure them that they are not to blame and do not judge their actions or responses.
- Ask if they would like to have someone with them
- Assess the situation - Are they safe now or is thereany 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.
- Reduce number of questions as this could affect future police investigation
- Don’t assume they will want to report it to the police
- It must be their decision so don’t pressurise them into reporting
- They can decide what they do next and the best way for them to be supported.
Reporting to the police:
- If you do choose to report sexual to the police, you should try to do this as soon as possible by contacting the police directly. If you have experienced sexual violence you can alternatively contact the Blue Sky Centre SARC as soon as you can so that forensic evidence can be collected.
- If you are unsure but want to at some point, you can have a medical examination at the Blue Sky Centre SARC, and they will talk to you confidentially about your options around reporting and support your health needs.
- 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.
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.
- Psychology Tools - CBT based self-help tools on trauma and PTSD
- Survivors UK Self Help Guidance
- HelpGuide to dealing with emotional and psychological trauma
- Guide for family and friends to support survivors of sexual assault
- Guide for family and friends to support someone experiencing domestic abuse
To book an appointment, email email@example.com
If existing accommodation is unsafe, contact the Residential Community Team on 024 7652 4704 or out of hours Community Safety, on 024 7652 2083.
If your studies are affected, we would advise contacting Wellbeing and Student Support, the SU Advice Centre, or your personal tutor to get advice on the options available to you e.g. mitigating circumstances, or taking temporary withdrawal.
"It’s been so great working with you too, have learned a lot and I’m so grateful for all the support you have been giving me! Thank you so much."
Student from WBS