All forms of sexual violence, assault, harassment or misconduct are equally unacceptable. 

If this happens to you, it’s important to remember it is not your fault. Please do not let limited definitions prevent you from seeking support. If you have an experience which is not covered by these definitions, or you are unsure of the nature of your experience, we can still support you

What is Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term for a range of behaviours that are sexual, unwanted and causes distress, or that otherwise constitutes harassment, bullying or victimisation that goes against the University’s staff and student code of behaviour. Such behaviours may also constitute a criminal offence.  
Sexual Misconduct may involve misuse of institutional power or raise issues of unequal relationships between students and staff. 
Sexual Misconduct can be reported to the University under the Dignity at Work and Study Policy 
Sexual Violence  
Sexual Violence is an umbrella term for any unwanted sexual act or activity. There are lots of different types of sexual violence, including child sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault. When people hear the word 'violence', they often think of physical acts but sexual violence doesn't have to involve any of these things. This is why you may see this referred to as sexual violence and abuse. 

Sexual Violence can be perpetrated by a complete stranger, but is often by someone known and trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner. Sexual Violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, race, sexual or other protected characteristics. 

What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is one of the many types of sexual violence. The terms rape and 'sexual assault' are used simply to differentiate between two types of criminal offence.  As well as being criminal offences sexual assault or rape is  contrary to the University Dignity at Work and Study Policy

A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent. Sexual behaviours are any acts connected with the activity of sex. In this instance, we mean any unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature e.g.  pinching, embracing, groping the body and kissing, to rape and serious sexual assault which involves penetration without consent.  
The legal definition of rape is when a person intentionally penetrates another's vagina, anus or mouth with a penis, without the other person's consent. Assault by penetration is when a person penetrates another person's vagina or anus with any part of the body other than a penis, or by using an object, without the person's consent. 

Find out more  
  • Citizens Advice. Provide information on rape and sexual assault  
  • Met. Police Provide further information on definitions of sexual assault, rape and consent.  
  • Rape Crisis. Provide information on the different types of sexual violence.  


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