If you think someone you know has experienced any form of sexual violence there are lots of ways in which you can help them.
It's important to understand that reactions can vary; they may be afraid, angry or have no outward reaction at all. They might even act in ways that seem unusual to you, even laughing at seemingly inappropriate times.
Disclosures can come in many forms; it could be something said jokingly, a story that someone starts to tell then stops and says it doesn't matter, or it could be a question. You are not expected to be a professional counsellor; however how someone responds to a first disclosure can be really important. It can take time for a person to decide what they want to do and how they want to move forward.
- Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile). You can call 101 to report non-emergency crime in the UK. For example, if there has been prolonged bullying or a threat which does not present immediate danger. Alternatively, you can contact your local police.
- Find a safe space. If an incident has just happened try and find somewhere they feel safe. If this isn't possible and they are scared or fearful you should call the emergency services on 999.
- Listen. Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them. Published on Oct 4, 2015 Based on the Samaritans guidelines for active listening.
- Give options. When they have finished talking ask them if they are ok to talk through some possible options and next steps. Remember, it is important that they decide what they want to do.
- Report + Support: Students and staff can report incidents they have witnessed using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or with your contact details.
- Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers free Stand Up Against Harassment Training where you can learn how to safely intervene when you witness street sexual harassment
- Being an active bystander (University E-learning) Click here for joining instructions for both staff and students
- The University of Law Student Support and Wellbeing Services
- The University of Law Students' Union.
- Student Information: Your campus Student Information Team will be able book a registered taxi to ensure that students can get home safely – i.e if they don't have any cash, they can pay the fare the next day.