Talking to someone and seeking support following abuse can be difficult. If you think you or someone you know has experienced an incident of domestic abuse, there is a variety of support options available to students and staff to help you decide on the next steps.

Support at Durham University

(Note: Please click on the headings for further information)

You can disclose incidents of domestic abuse to your College Student Support Office. They will provide you with support and refer to you specialist help as appropriate. They can help you consider your reporting options including reporting to the University to initiate the process within the Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy.

All of the Durham University Counselling Service counsellors have the skills to support you. Our self-referral mechanism for all students with any issue is to send out a Self-Referral Questionnaire. The information provided on the form will direct you towards the more appropriate support. If you indicate ‘sexual misconduct and violence’ on the form you will be offered an appointment with a short timescale with one of our counsellors. If you do not want to indicate sexual misconduct and violence you can write ‘Prefer not to say but need to see a counsellor’ on the form and we will arrange a session for you.

This session will be a 50 minute initial consultation with one of our counsellors. You may be offered the choice of a referral to a counsellor from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (RSACC) within the Counselling Service if you have experienced a recent incident(s) and/or there are ongoing investigations or criminal procedures. If you would like a same-day appointment, please telephone the Service and ask for a same-day appointment. You will need to tell us the reason why you need a same-day appointment. The words ‘for issues relating to sexual misconduct and violence’ would be very helpful to us in prioritising your appointment.

A same-day appointment is typically a shorter assessment session to plan your immediate support needs. If you contact us for a same-day appointment with regard to a recent incident we will discuss with you whether it is more appropriate for you to attend the local Sexual Assault Referral Centre. The Counselling Service can be contacted at 0191 33 42200.

Nightline is a confidential, non-advisory, non-directive listening service, run by students, for students from 9pm to 7am in term-time. Students are trained in general listening skills; they are not trained in specialist support. They can be contacted at 0191 344 6444.

Independent support is also available to students through the Help and Advice Service at the Students’ Union.

Chaplains are an integral part of the welfare provision and pastoral support that the University offers both to staff and students. Chaplains at Durham are either based in Colleges where their care is for all members of College, or they work across the University where the Chaplain usually represents a particular denomination or faith community (though they are still available to everyone).

External Support

Harbour provides support, help and information to women and men experiencing domestic violence. They can be contacted at 0300 20 25 25.

They provide support, help and information to women experiencing domestic violence. They can be contacted at 0808 2000 247.

They provide specialist support for LGBT people who have experienced abuse, including sexual violence within a relationship. They can be contacted at 0800 999 5428.

They provide support, help and information to men experiencing domestic violence. They can be contacted at 0808 801 0327.

Resources for Self Help

A practical support and information guide for women experiencing domestic abuse.

A self help guide for survivors who want to understand and process their own personal reactions to their experience

A list of resources for survivors and supporters including self-help guides, videos, galleries and more.


Need to contact the Police?

If you are in immediate danger or are seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile). For non-emergency calls, dial 101.  To find out more information about how the Durham Constabulary can support you, please click here.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened