How to...

Get support

Where to start

  • Tell yourself: sometimes the first person survivors 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. We can help you with that process - even accompanying you to the local Sexual Assault Response Centre (SARC).
  • 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 - if and when you choose to.

If you or someone else is in danger call:

         888 from an internal phone / 01782 733004 for on-campus security or 999 for the emergency services.

You can also use our dedicated email address for reporting sexual violence. This email address inbox access is restricted to a very small number of specially-trained staff:

         studentservices.svreporting@keele.ac.uk

For more general queries, you can also contact us on:

         student.services@keele.ac.uk

Try to remember to stay 'STRONG':

Sexual violence stay STRONG acronym

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.

Although it may be discomforting to do so, if you have experienced sexual assault it is really important that you preserve any evidence which may help the police in the enquiries.  

To preserve evidence until the police have arrived 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 have experienced sexual violence, we encourage you to make contact with the University’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team which is based in the Student Services Centre. The team are able to provide initial care and support and talk through options with you. We are not here to judge or blame you. We will listen, offer support and advice. A member of the team can also accompany you to the local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) if required, and act as an ongoing supporting contact for you. 

If you want to report the incident to the police they will usually arrange for a SOLO (Sexual Offence Liason Officer) to come and see you once they have seen to your initial welfare. The SOLO will then normally take mouth swabs and urine samples as forensic evidence. They will also be your main point of contact during your case.

If you decide to attend a SARC or police station directly, 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 also be made secure if possible.

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. 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 to the police 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. 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.

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 you report an incident of sexual violence to the police they will carry out their investigation. If a suspect is charged, the case will go to court.

You are encouraged to report any incident to Student Services who have a specific team to support students who have been a victim of sexual violence. A member of the team will discuss the next steps with you in regards to supporting you and any disciplinary action that we may take. Procedures are in place to manage any risk to yourself or other members of the University community. If you have reported the incident to the police, we will not take any action that may interfere with these investigations. However, there are numerous adjustments that we may be able to make for you. These include:

Academic adjustments

Where appropriate adjustments will be made to enable you to continue with your course, these may include:

  • Submission of Exceptional Circumstances forms and letters of supporting evidence outlining that you have experienced ECs of a personal and confidential nature.

  • Delayed assessment opportunities or further opportunities for assessment as a first attempt.

  • Extensions to deadlines for the submission of written assignments.

  • In some cases, alternative modes of assessment, eg. 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

  • Staff will liaise with academic schools to explain possible absences from classes.

  • Notes for any missed lectures will be made available.

  • Changes to the timetable and alternative teaching slots should also be considered if appropriate.

Leave of Absence

  • If you feel like taking some time out from your course will be beneficial, a period of Leave of Absence will be authorised.

  • Staff will provide appropriate supporting evidence for this and will advise you of any practical and financial implications of this.
  • Staff will provide support through your period of leave, ensuring that contact is maintained following transition back into study.

Accommodation

  • For students living in University accommodation, changing to another room on campus (if appropriate).
  • For students living off campus, offer of a room on campus.
  • Financial assistance with these costs.
  • Additional security measures to be considered for existing accommodation (eg, window locks, security patrols, timing on automatic doors).

Equipment

  • A replacement mobile phone and laptop can be lent to you if they are needed by police for forensic investigations.

Security

  • You will be given appropriate telephone numbers to access out of hours support including, emergency services, campus Security, Residence Support team (if appropriate) as well as provided with details of how to access the Universities ‘SafeZone’ App.

  • 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 and information about the alleged perpetrator where appropriate.

Car parking

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

Reporting process

If the alleged perpetrator is a Keele student, some of the following actions may be taken against them under Regulations B1 / B2:

  • Internal disciplinary investigation.

  • Restricted access to campus or specified areas of campus.

  • Accommodation move.

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
  • Advice and Support at Keele (ASK): Provide support to victims of domestic violence and abuse
  • 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