Sexual assault advice
The University of Roehampton is committed to addressing the issue of sexual violence and enforcing a zero-tolerance approach. Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act (including rape and sexual assault). If you have experienced sexual violence there is help available to you.
In an emergency
If you feel threatened or uncomfortable, you can call campus security on 3333, available 24/7, 365 days a year.
If you need urgent medical assistance, call 999. If possible, please then let security know on 3333 so they can direct emergency services.
Call the emergency services on 999.
Support at Roehampton
Each of our four Colleges has a dedicated Student Wellbeing Officer (SWO) who is able to provide you with confidential emotional and practical support for any difficulty you may have, including sexual assault. SWOs are trained to provide confidential advice and guidance about your options whether or not you want to report the incident to the police or University. You can book an appointment with your SWO, or alternatively visit the daily drop session.
You can also report an incident to your tutor, Head of College, Flat Rep or someone from the Students’ Union. They can act as a first port of call, and will be able to point you in the direct of your SWO who can provide specialised support. During the initial conversation they can write a summary of what you’ve told them so that you do not have to tell your story again.
Your Student Wellbeing Officer will be able to advise and support you through the next steps. If you decide to report it, Student Wellbeing Officers can provide a safe space on campus for the police interview to take place and can support you through the reporting process. If you decide to formally report it to the University, the Student Wellbeing Officer will provide support and advocacy during this process. The Student Wellbeing Officer can also refer you to relevant organisations for additional expertise support; fast-track a referral to Counselling Services; assist you in making alternative arrangements for your accommodation or academic surroundings. A same-day appointment can be arranged if you let us know what it is regarding.
You can also submit your concern through a form on the Student Portal, located on the 'Welfare support and general advice' page. A Student Wellbeing Officer will respond to you within the same day Monday to Friday or on Monday if received over the weekend.
The Bystander Intervention Team
If you are attending an event organised by the Students’ Union you can access support from The Bystander Intervention Team. The Bystander Intervention Team are responsible for reinforcing the University’s zero tolerance stance on sexual harassment/assault, providing a safe environment for all. The team are present at Students’ Union events, both on and off campus, and can offer support and intervention with incidents of sexual violence. You will see the team wearing fluorescent blue tops and stationed at various places across the event. If you are in need of support, do speak to one of the Team or ask a member of staff from behind the bar or Security. For any further information, please do contact the Wellbeing Team.
What to do next
Reporting to the police
If you report the incident to Police what happens next will vary, depending on when the sexual violence occurred, but may include:
- an officer attending and taking an initial account – your SWO can support you through this process, as outlined above;
- possibly being taken to a SARC for a forensic medical examination.
Later on, the police investigation will begin and you will give a full statement (which is sometimes video-recorded).
You may also be assigned a Specially Trained Officer (STO). The STO will facilitate your care from initial report, through medical examination, interview and subsequent investigation. They will then identify and engage the most appropriate methods of support.
Retain and preserve evidence
In the event of a recent assault, it is recommended that you do not:
- use the lavatory or discard underwear or sanitary products;
- wash, shower, bathe or shave;
- wash your hands;
- remove, wash, discard or destroy clothing worn or bedding and towels used at the time of the incident or subsequent to it;
- drink or eat anything, including non-essential medication;
- clean your teeth;
- disturb the scene or allow other people or animals to enter area where the incident took place, where possible.
Where possible you should preserve non-physical evidence, such as relevant texts, social media messages and emails.
If you attend a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) or police station, it is important to take any underwear or clothing worn at the time of the incident in a plastic bag, if not being worn for the journey. The place of the incident should be made secure if possible.