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Referral pathway for responding to disclosures of sexual violence

Sexual violence is any incident of unwanted sexual contact.
This pathway will assist you to create a safe environment where you can support a person, wanting to make a disclosure, enabling them to explore their options and make their own decisions about what happens next.

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

Assess the situation:

  • Are they safe now 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.
  • 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?
  • If the student is accompanied by someone, is that person still welcome?
  • Do not ask lots of questions (this might have consequences for any future police investigation).
  • Do record if possible, name of student, date and time of incident and any known details of the perpetrator.
  • There are many aspects to supporting someone and helping them access the right support, so use the information sheet to refer appropriately.
  • Give the person the information sheet about support services available to them.
  • Ask them if you can provide information anonymously to Wellbeing Support Services - if yes refer them to the confidentiality statement in the checklist and report the incident.

If the person is under 18 years old, inform the designated child safeguarding lead and complete a Safeguarding Report Form.

To report incident to police
  • 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 is 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 and advise on the options available.
  • If the police are not involved the person can decide what they do next and the best way for them to be supported.

In both cases, most people will want to access therapeutic support, but if there is any risk to their academic studies they should be guided to talk to someone who can help them navigate the University to minimise the impact on their studies.

Main places for support

On campus

  • Wellbeing Support Services (University House): Practical help and guidance, including referral to counselling and other specialist services. studentsupport at warwick dot ac dot uk 024 7657 5570.
  • SU Advice Centre (Top floor of SU HQ): Confidential, impartial advice for all students, which is independent from the University. advice at warwicksu dot com 024 7657 2824.
  • If existing accommodation is unsafe, for university emergency accommodation contact the Senior Wardens (024 7652 4704), or out of hours Campus Security, 024 7652 2083.

Off campus

  • Blue Sky SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre): 024 7686 5505. Support, medical care and optional police intervention. Staffed 24/7. Take a virtual tour of Blue Sky SARC.
  • 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. Helpline: 024 7627 7777 available Monday-Friday 10am-2pm and Monday & Thursday 6pm-8pm helpline at crasac dot org dot uk.
  • National Rape Crisis Helpline: Freephone 0808 802 9999 every day 12pm-2.30pm and 7pm-9.30pm.

For further details, see the sexual violence information leaflet.

If during helping someone it causes you distress, do make sure you access help and support for yourself.

For more information on responding appropriately to disclosures, places to get support, education and campaigns see our sexual violence prevention and support pages.