How to...

Get support

These web pages are here to provide you with your support options from Student Services, Keele SU and local services we can help you to access. Please remember that you can get support, even if you don't want to report it to the police or make a complaint to the University.

If you or someone else is in danger, please call +44(0)1782 733004 for on-campus security, or 999 for the emergency services.

Where to start
  • Tell yourself: No matter what, it’s not your fault. Sometimes the first person a survivor need to disclose to is themselves. Too often survivors can internalize messages that it wasn’t “so bad” or was somehow their fault.
  • Share with someone you trust: this is never easy, but consider sharing with a friend, a personal tutor, or your resident adviser if you live on-campus. Let them know what you need.
  • Seek medical care: Even if there are no obvious injuries or you don’t want to report the assault to the police, it is important to seek medical attention if the assault just happened. Student Services can help you with that process.
  • Connect with support: Contact the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team within Student Services at Keele. We are here to listen to you, and will help you access resources and make an informed decision about next steps.

What to do next

If you feel like you or someone else may still be at risk, or you are injured or need medical assistance, call:

On-campus Security: 888 from your on-campus room phone or +44(0)1782 733004

Police/Ambulance: 999

If you are not at risk, find somewhere safe and warm and call somebody you trust to support you. If you are in halls of residence this could be your RA if you do not want to contact friends or family. You do not have to disclose what has happened until you feel ready, but find someone who can be with you so you’re not alone.

You don’t have to make a report to the police, and survivors often need time before making that decision.

If you think you do want to make a report, or you might want to in the future, preserving evidence can help the police with their investigation. The Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Cobridge can help preserve evidence and store it until you have made your decision about informing the police.

To preserve evidence try not to:

  • Use the toilet 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

  • Smoke

  • Disturb the scene or allow other people or animals to enter area where the incident took place, where possible.

Non-physical evidence, such as relevant texts, social media messages and emails should be preserved.

If you decide to report the incident to the police, or think you might want to, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team can talk you through what will happen. We are not here to judge or blame you. We will listen, offer support and advice.

Outside of office hours, you can contact Out of Hours Support by contacting Keele Security.

If you decide to attend a SARC or police station directly to report a recent incident, that is, one which occurred in the last 7 days, it is important to take any clothing worn at the time of the incident, any bedding or towels which were used at the time, and where possible, keep these sealed in a clean plastic or paper bag. The Security Team can also help by securing the place where the incident took place, if this is on campus.

A Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is a special facility where recent survivors of rape or sexual assault can receive immediate help and support. This includes access to a forensic medical examination, which is carried out by an experienced and qualified doctor, and the opportunity to speak to the police about what has happened to them if they wish to do so. SARC clients also receive help and advice from a Crisis Worker who can offer to support them and stay with them throughout the process.

Grange Park is based in Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent. It is a centre providing services to men, women and children living in the Staffordshire area, who have been raped or sexually assaulted. At Grange Park you can access a range of services that are free and confidential - view more information and contact details.

If the person who committed the sexual violence is a student at Keele, you may decide you want to make a formal complaint to the University under Regulation B1: Student Discipline. When the University receives a formal complaint, an investigation is conducted, during which all relevant and available evidence will be collected.

You will be asked to submit a Serious Incident Statement and to take part in an interview with the investigating officer; your Sexual Violence Liaison Officer can support you both before and during the interview. If you are concerned about coming into contact with the accused student, temporary measures can be put in place to reduce that risk.

If your case is being investigated by the police, the University will suspend its investigation until that process has been completed. However, temporary measures can be put in place while the police conduct their investigation.

There is more information about student discipline procedures available here, or you can speak to the Serious Incident Officer before making your final decision.

You might decide not to report the incident to the police. This is completely your decision and you will be respected and supported in whatever decision you make. No one will judge or blame you. You can still speak to a member of the University’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team who will support you.

Sometimes, survivors of sexual violence change their minds about reporting to the police and/or university, once they have had some time to process what has happened.  With that in mind, it would be useful, where appropriate, to take photographs of the scene of the incident and keep any relevant clothes, bedding, text messages or emails etc as these can then be used if you decide to report what happened in the future.

If you choose not to report the incident to the police, you can still access the services of the local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). The team at the SARC can see you without police involvement and book you an appointment as a self-referral during standard office hours Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. They can collect evidence in case you later decide to report the incident and can also provide you with emergency contraception and sexual health screening.

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team are here to help. A member of the team will discuss the next steps with you in regards to supporting you. The team can also help with:

Emotional support

Trained members of staff from Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team will provide appropriate advice and support and will ensure that appropriate referrals for specialist support are made. This may include referral to the following services:

  • Referral to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre
  • Referral to counseling and mental health support on campus
  • Specialist support in the local area
  • Online support options provided by national organisations

Academic adjustments

Where possible appropriate adjustments will be made to enable the student to continue with their course. These will include:

  • Submission of Exceptional Circumstances forms - Staff will assist with the completion of ECs and provide letters of supporting evidence outlining that the student has experienced ECs of a personal and confidential nature
  • Students can request delayed assessment opportunities or further opportunities for assessment as a first attemp
  • Students can request extensions to deadlines for the submission of written assignments
  • In some cases alternative modes of assessment, e.g. written work to replace group work or presentations, should be considered

Exam arrangements

Staff will liaise with academic Schools and the Examinations Office to arrange:

  • Examinations in an individual or smaller room
  • 25% extra time

Teaching and attendance at classes

  • Staff will liaise with academic schools to explain possible absences from classes
  • Notes for any missed lectures will sought
  • Changes to the timetable and alternative teaching slots should also be considered if appropriate

Leave of Absence

  • If a student feels taking some time out from their course will be beneficial, a period of Leave of Absence will be authorised.
  • Staff will provide appropriate supporting evidence for this and will advise the student of any practical and financial implications of this.
  • Staff will provide support through the period of leave, ensuring that contact is maintained following transition back into study.


For students living in University accommodation:

  • Changing to another room on campus (if appropriate)
  • Financial assistance with any additional costs
  • Additional security measures to be considered for existing accommodation (eg, window locks, security patrols, timing on automatic doors)

For students living off campus:

  • Offer of room on campus, where appropriate
  • Financial assistance with additional costs of this

Financial support

  • If students need to move rooms, financial assistance may be provided to assist with any additional costs
  • If a student is unable to work, support will provided to apply for a hardship loan


  • Replacement mobile phones will be lent to students if their phones have been taken by police for forensic investigations


  • Students will be given appropriate telephone numbers to access out of hours support
  • SafeZone is available to all students and guidance on downloading and using the app is available
  • Students can access personal safety alarms, if required
  • Staff will ensure relevant information is shared with the University’s Security team so that additional Security measures can be introduced. This could include additional surveillance and visits to Halls, for example.

Car parking

  • If a student needs a car parking permit this will be approved

Making a formal report to the University

  • If the student wishes to make a formal report to the University, their Sexual Violence Liaison Officer will be able to make an appointment with the Serious Incident Officer who can talk the student through the process.
  • Once a formal complaint is received, temporary measures may be put in place to limit and manage the reporting student’s interaction with the accused student. These may include a no contact requirement, and/or limiting the accused student’s access to the library or the Students’ Union, for example. Find out more information.


Further support

The following organisations can offer further support to victims and supporters of sexual violence or gender-based violence:

  • Rape Crisis: A free telephone helpline which can provide advice to women and men.
  • Savana: Support for women and girls dealing with the effects of sexual violence, and can provide the Independent Sexual Violence Adviser service.
  • Staffordshire Women's Aid: Offers a free, non-judgmental and confidential service for adults, children over the age of 4, and close family members/significant others who have been affected by sexual assault or abuse at any point during their lives.
  • Advice and Support at Keele (ASK): Provide support to victims of domestic violence and abuse.
  • Grange Park: is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (sometimes known as a SARC) based near Hanley. They provide support and advice to survivors, as well as guidance for those supporting a survivor.
  • Victim support: Options for support as a victim of crime.
  • NHS Choices: Help after rape and sexual assault.
  • Support Line: Confidential telephone helpline.
  • Mind: Mental health charity.
  • The Survivors Trust: Specialist organisations throughout the UK.
  • Karma Nirvana: Charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse.
  • Survivors UK: A free and confidential telephone helpline for men and boys who are dealing with the effects of sexual violence.
  • Glow: Based in North Staffordshire and supports survivors of domestic abuse as well as those who are concerned or supporting a survivor. They also work with people who want to stop their abusive behaviour.
  • Brook: Sexual health and wellbeing services for young people. There is lots of information on their website, as well as a local service finder.
  • Disabled Survivors Unite: Provides information for survivors living with a disability.
  • Gallop: Support for survivors of sexual or domestic violence in our LGBT+ community.
  • Imkaan: Information on support services across the UK for black and minoritised women.
  • Revenge Porn Helpline: Information for those who have had intimate images shared online without consent. There is a helpline service (email only during lockdown) available Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm.
  • Safeline: Support for survivors by phone, video-call and instant messaging.
  • UK Says No More: An organisation working to end domestic abuse and sexual violence.
  • Talk to Sal: Supports people under the age of 25 in Stoke on Trent and the surrounding areas, providing a range of online support including; anonymous live chat, advice and information about healthy relationships, consent, staying safe online, peer pressure, gender and sexuality.
  • Love Respect: Resources from Women's Aid to help you to be empowered to talk about what relationship abuse is and what is healthy and unhealthy in your relationships.

Students who report an incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment against them will not be subject to disciplinary action if they breached Covid-19 restrictions at the time of the incident. It is important that students feel able to access support and reporting options without fear of disciplinary action. Please see below for more information about options for victim survivors, and guidance for those supporting a friend who is a victim survivor.

If you or someone else is in danger, please call +44(0)1782 733004 for on-campus security, or 999 for the emergency services.