Sexual Harassment and Violence
Guidance for staff supporting students who have experienced sexual harassment and/or violence.
The Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service is an award-winning service that provides professional support to students who have experienced sexual harassment and/or sexual violence. It works with all students whether the experience of sexual harassment or violence happened in Oxford or elsewhere, and whether it was recent or in the past.
Its advisors are specially trained in responding to incidents of sexual harassment and violence, including domestic abuse.
Responding to disclosures
Disclosures of sexual violence are both difficult to hear and carry significant risk. It is very important that in all cases the student is referred for specialist support and that staff don’t provide this themselves.
If a student discloses that something has happened to them remain calm and listen to what is being said. You should not ask questions or try to make sense of what has happened to the student.
You are encouraged to tell the student that the Support Service is available to them and encourage them to make an appointment. Further information on the provision is available for students on the website www.ox.ac.uk/supportservice. You can also refer a student (with their permission) and the Support Service will get in touch with them.
If the incident was recent (less than seven days ago) please telephone for guidance on 01865 (2)89815 as there may be time factors to consider.
All student survivors can access support via firstname.lastname@example.org. The Support Service has female and male team members and students can indicate a preference.
Students who indicate that they would like to make a report to the police should be referred to the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA).
Students can refer themselves via this self-referral form. Staff can also refer via the third-party referral form with the student’s consent.
Advice for staff
If you are a working with a student and have a concern, or would like some advice or reassurance, the staff at the Support Service would be more than happy to have a no-name confidential conversation with you. You can contact the Support Service on 01865 (2)89815 during office hours.
Support is also available separately for students accused of perpetrating sexual harassment or violence. Accused students can be signposted to email@example.com for confidential advice.
Student Welfare and Support Services
3 Worcester Street
Oxford, OX1 2BX