If you have been affected by any form of sexual violence, whether this has taken place while you are a Keele student or historically, there is support you can access both within the university and externally.

How can the team help?

Our services can help you with both the emotional and practical aspects of sexual violence support. We will handle your disclosure with confidentiality and discretion, and we will only share information without your consent in serious circumstances where we are required to take safeguarding measures to protect a child, adult at risk, or the wider campus community. We offer a survivor-led service, which means that we will listen and help you decide what you need going forwards. We won’t make you report to the police if that’s not what you want. We will listen and talk you through the different support options available. 

You have access to our support regardless of whether the sexual violence happened on- or off-campus, or if you were subjected to sexual violence before you came to Keele. 

With your consent, we can help you with:

  • Referrals to counselling and medical services
  • Academic and accommodation adjustments 
  • Understanding the reporting options available to you
  • Navigating systems and resources within the University
  • Signposting support in the local area and online

Please note that the sexual violence support service is available during university opening hours and does not operate as a crisis provision. If you need immediate support outside of office hours, you are advised to contact the Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0800 970 0372.

If you are in immediate danger on campus, please contact Campus Safety on 01782 733999.

If you or someone else is in danger call:

01782 733999 for the Campus Safety Team or 999 for the emergency services.

For non-emergency matters, please email and your case will be passed through to the sexual violence support team to triage your query.

Please note our expected response times:

  • Acute forensic incident (within 72 hours): the same working day
  • Extended forensic incident (within 10 days): 1 working day
  • Recent incident (within 3 months): 2 working days
  • Historic incident: (over 3 months): 2 working days

If you have experienced an incident within the acute forensic timescales, you are advised to contact the Sexual Assault Referral Centre. You can contact the centre on 0800 970 0372 any time 24/7. A Crisis Worker will listen to what has happened to you and explain how they can help and what options are available to you. You can visit the SARC whether you wish to make a report to the police or not. 

Student Experience and Support Officer

If you wish to access university support in relation to a sexual violence incident, in the first instance you should contact your Student Experience and Support Officer, who is trained to take disclosures of sexual violence, assess and triage your case, and provide some aspects of support. The support provided by your SESO will generally be in relation to academic adjustments and your overall university experience, such as ECs, absence management and class changes, as well as signposting to external specialist services. If you need a higher level of support, they will refer you on to a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer. 

Sexual Violence Liaison Officer

If you need additional support, we also have a team of specially trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLOs). The team can help you with understanding the reporting options available, referrals to counselling and medical services, accommodation adjustments and implementing safety measures to help you feel more comfortable on campus. They can act as a liaison point of contact for any external services that you are accessing. 

Support Options

A trained member of staff from Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Team will provide appropriate advice and support throughout the process and be a listening ear for your concerns. 

The support officer will ensure that appropriate referrals for specialist support are made. This may include referral to the following services: 

  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) 
  • Police 
  • Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) 
  • Counselling and Mental Health (Keele) 
  • Specialist counselling services (external to Keele) 
  • Appropriate specialist medical services 

Where possible appropriate adjustments will be made to enable you to continue with your course. These may include: 

  • Liaison with the academic school regarding timetabling and attendance
  • Support with exceptional circumstances claims
  • In some cases, alternative modes of assessment, e.g. written work to replace group work or presentations, will be considered
  • In person exams in an individual or smaller room
  • Extra time or rest breaks

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

Your support officer will provide appropriate supporting evidence for this and will advise your of any practical and financial implications of this. 

You will be offered support through the period of leave as and when you need this and with your transition back into study.

Your support officer can help you with:

  • Changing to another room on campus.
  • Support for off-campus students to move onto campus if needed.
  • Short-term emergency accommodation free of charge.

You may be eligible for financial assistance towards:

  • Additional costs incurred due to moving rooms. 
  • Replacement equipment if your devices are needed for police investigation.
  • Transport costs if there are safety concerns about your use of public transport.
  • Income lost if you are longer being able to work your part-time job.

We may also be able to prioritise your application to the hardship fund.

Depending on your case circumstances, we may be able to:

  • Inform our Out of Hours support teams about your case so that they can treat any calls from you as a priority.
  • Organise transport to take you to an emergency medical appointment or the SARC.
  • Arrange for the Campus Safety Team to conduct additional patrols at your halls for a short-term period.
  • Approve a campus parking permit for you, if not ordinarily eligible.
  • Enforcement of restrictions against perpetrator, if the incident has been reported to University Discipline.

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.
  • 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.
  • Support for Student Sex Workers: online support for students involved in the sex work industry, with access to professionals in mental health, sexual violence, sexual health and people with lived experience.