Rape, sexual harassment and domestic abuse
If you have experienced rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, physical violence and/or domestic violence, remember:
You are not alone. 1 in 7 women students experience a serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student, 12% are subjected to stalking and over two thirds of women students have experienced some kind of verbal or non-verbal harassment in and around the institution. In the UK 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 annually.
Please see the Hidden Marks report for full details on the level of violence in the student population -
It is not your fault. The responsibility for violence, harassment and stalking always lies with the perpetrator, and no woman deserves such violence no matter where she was, what she was doing, what she was wearing, what she was saying, whether she was drunk or under the influence of drugs.
There is support available. There are both local and national support services available to you that are designed to give you the advice and practical help you need. The NUS Hidden Marks website (www.hiddenmarks.org.uk) brings together information about the key national support services. See below for information on local support services.
The Hidden Marks website
In light of the findings of the Hidden Marks report, which NUS released in March 2010, NUS has recently launched a victim support website especially designed for women students who have been subjected to rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, physical violence and/or domestic violence.
To visit the website, click on the link below:
The Hidden Marks website is comprised of three main sections:
• Support(link to relevant section of the Hidden Marks website)
This section provides information about national support services for rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, physical violence and domestic violence including helplines, websites and drop-in centres.
• Supporting a friend (link to relevant section of the Hidden Marks
This section provides information and advice about what to do if a friend of yours has experienced/is experiencing violence, harassment or stalking.
• Rights and reporting (link to relevant section of the Hidden Marks
This section includes information about the law related to the different types of offences addressed by the Hidden Marks survey; how to access free legal advice; pros and cons of reporting an incident to the police or your institution; what happens when you report and incident to the police; how to contact the police.
Your local support services
Provide contact details for the services listed below as well as any other general support services you think may be relevant
• Police – 999 and local police station
• Ambulance - 999
• Hospital/ medical practice – local hospital (closest to campus), medical
practice closest to campus
• Student Union - relevant officers (Women’s Officer/Welfare
• Student Advice Services
• University Counselling Service
• Victim Support service
• Local Rape Crisis centre & Local Sexual Assault Referral Centre
• Local domestic violence refuge
• PLUS any other relevant local support services
Guide to finding local support services
Domestic violence service directory for locating services in your area:
Rape crisis & Sexual Assault Referral Centres
Rape Crisis Centres are frontline services providing crucial support and
independent advocacy for all women and girls of all ages who have experienced any form of sexual violence. Rape Crisis centres aim to offer specialist support, advocacy, counselling and information to women and girls, free of charge and in confidence, in a safe and non-threatening environment. To find a centre near you, visit this site:
Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) SARCs are specialist 24/7 services for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. They aim to be one-stop services, providing the following under one roof: medical care and forensic examination following assault/rape, counselling and – in some locations – sexual health services. Services are free of charge and provided to men, women, young people and children (although not all centres may currently be able to assist children). SARCs are mostly able to assist in the immediate aftermath of an assault but do not offer long term services that are provided by Rape Crisis Centres. To find the SARC nearest to you, visit one of the
Finding your local police force
Victim Support is the only independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. Victim Support works closely with the police and other criminal justice agencies and has a special arrangement with the police so that the police give them the contact details of all victims after a crime is reported.
There may be other local support services that you will also want to list. Just spend a bit of time googling, or perhaps call up your local violence refuge and ask for their help.