If you think you or someone you know has experienced an incident of sexual misconduct and violence, there is a variety of support options available to students and staff.
Regardless of whether you would like to report an incident of sexual misconduct and violence, we highly recommend contacting a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (The Meadows) where you can access a range of confidential support including advice, counselling, sexual health screening referrals, a forensic medical examination and/or the support of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).
Support at Durham University
(Note: Please click on the headings for further information)
You can disclose incidents of sexual misconduct and violence 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).
Sexual Assault Referral Centre
Sexual Assault Referral Centres offer advice, support, counselling, sexual health screening referrals, confidential forensic medical examination and the support of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). You can approach them in confidence, whether or not you wish to make a formal report to the Police or University. They can collect and store forensic evidence and support you if you later choose to report the incident to the Police. It is also possible to pass on anonymous information about the sexual assault, which may help agencies identify offending patterns / behaviour or serial offenders.
- The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre can be contacted on the 24 hour crisis support service at 03333 448283 (Option 2)
Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (for women)
Offers counselling and support to women who have experienced rape, sexual violence, and/or domestic abuse in County Durham and Darlington. It offers a helpline service and ongoing face-to-face and telephone-based counselling and support. They can be contacted at 01325 369 933.
Students and staff of all gender identities can access Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre counsellors on campus through the Counselling Service following the referral information explained in the Counselling Service section.
They provide confidential information and support. Open Monday to Thursday 6.30pm to 9.00pm. They can be contacted at 01325 369 933.
Survivors UK (for men)
Survivors UK offers web chat helpline support to men who have experienced sexual violence, and their families and carers. The web chat is open daily from 12pm to 8pm.
They offer confidential advice and support to individuals who have had intimate photos and/or videos distributed off/online. Open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm. They can be contacted at 0345 6000 459.
They offer support to individuals affected by rape or childhood sexual abuse.
National Male Survivor Helpline (for men)
They offer support to men affected by rape or childhood sexual abuse. They can be contacted at 0808 800 5005.
They provide guidance on what to do if you get sexually assaulted whilst abroad, including how the local Embassy can help.
They offer information, advice and guidance to individuals who are victims of stalking. Open weekdays 9.30am to 4pm and Wednesdays 1pm to 4pm. They can be contacted at 0808 802 0300.
They provide support to victims of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse. They can be contacted at 0800 5999 247 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Resources for Self Help
Free E-learning course with unlimited access
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.