This is a general term we use to describe any kind of unwanted sexual act or activity.
Examples of this could include:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment (e.g. sexual comments/jokes, unwanted sexual advances, displaying pictures/photos of a sexual nature, sending messages/e-mails of a sexual nature)
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
- Sexual abuse
A person must consent to any sexual activity that occurs to or with them which means they must have the freedom, capacity and freedom to consent to sexual activity. They must be over the age of 16, sober (from alcohol or drugs), have the mental and physical capacity to consent, not be afraid of harm or detained against their will.
What support is available within the university if I have experienced sexual abuse?
- Report & Support. Students can use this tool to report an incident involving sexual abuse/violence. This can be done anonymously, or you can request support from a university adviser.
- Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLO). Sexual Violence Liaison officers are members of staff specially trained to assist people within the university to access support following a sexual assault. A SVLO will provide a safe, private and confidential space for students to disclose sexual abuse. An SVLO can clarify options about reporting from a non-judgemental perspective without pressure. An SVLO can also provide information about support options both internally within the university and externally such as sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) or Sexual Health Services.
- The Wellbeing Service. The wellbeing advisers can support you to navigate the process following sexual abuse. An adviser can help you access sexual abuse support services, housing support, mental health support and sexual health services. The advisers can also help you to access other university services such as counselling, registry and the student union. You can get in touch with the team to organise an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Student Union. The University of Westminster Students’ Union (UWSU) is an independent organisation run alongside the university by and for students. The student union has an advice service who can provide independent advice and support on areas such as complaints about your course, the University or staff, concerns about another student’s behaviour and mitigating circumstances related to personal issues impacting your studies. You can book an appointment via the USWU webpage.
- The Counselling Service. Students can access counselling for emotional support via 1-2-1 appointments for up to six sessions. You can self-refer to the counselling service for confidential sessions via the counselling service webpage.
- Residential Assistants. If you are a student living in University of Westminster halls, all residences have a team of Residential Assistants living in house. This team can provide guidance and support for students living on campus. You can find their details in your regular halls e-mail bulletin and on the notice boards in your halls.
How do I report sexual abuse or assault?
- If you are thinking of making a police report rape crisis has a list of things that are useful to think about.
- You can report incidents anonymously via phone or online form through community organisation crime stoppers .