Sexual violence

There is help available if you have, or someone you know has, experienced sexual harassment, assault or violence.

No matter where you were or what you were doing, wearing and saying, whether you were drunk or under the influence of drugs – you are not to blame.

If there is no immediate threat, the most important thing is to talk to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, college team member, Security or anyone else you feel comfortable sharing with.

The University of York is committed to preventing, responding to, and investigating incidents of sexual violence. Find out more about how we're tackling sexual violence.

Deciding what to do next

There is a lot of support available both on campus and off:

During office hours

Our Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) can work with you one-to-one to talk you through your support options and reporting options, both within the University and externally. They will support you through whatever choices are right for you. You can access support from an SVLO whether something has happened recently or some time ago. Support is confidential and you will not be pressured into taking any particular course of action.

Access SVLO support

Other people on campus who can help in various ways, include:

  • Student Hub Advisers
  • College Manager
  • YUSU's Advice and Support Centre
  • GSA's Advice and Welfare Coordinator
  • Open Door Team

Help and support

Outside office hours

Security - they'll contact a trained staff member:
01904 32 3333 (or 3333 from a University extension) or use the SafeZone app.

In crisis now

Bridge House: Sexual Assault Referral Centre 
Bridge House is York’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). They offer free and confidential support and information. If something happened in the last seven days, Bridge House can collect and store medical evidence, even if you are not sure you want to involve the police at the moment.
0330 223 0362 (9am-5pm) 24 hour answer phone
Out of hours helpline: 0330 223 0099

IDAS support people who have experienced sexual violence or domestic violence. Their Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service offers practical and emotional support to anyone who has experienced sexual violence or abuse whether this is historic or current. IDAS can support people through the Criminal Justice System, but offer support whether or not you choose to report to the Police. Call 03000 110 110 or visit

Survive offer support for survivors of rape and sexual abuse in York and North Yorkshire. Support can be offered through ongoing counselling, a one-off 1:1 meeting, support groups, or through the helpline.
Helpline: Freephone 0808 145 1887 (Mondays and Tuesdays, 4-8pm)
Office: 01904 638813

York Sexual Health Centre
There are emergency appointments available for people who have been the victim of sexual assault. Please note that emergency contraception is only effective if taken within five days of an incident. York Sexual Health Centre offers a free and confidential counselling service. You can be referred by a member of the York Sexual Health staff, self-refer online or you can call them on 01904 721111.

Rape Crisis (England and Wales)
National organisation offering advice and support. Their nearest centre is in Hull.

Your doctor
Your doctor can offer you medical advice and guidance. If you are registered with Unity Health on campus you can telephone 01904 32 3290 to make an appointment.

Reporting sexual violence

Your options in reporting sexual violence:

Talking to a member of University staff (disclosing an assault) is not the same thing as making a formal report. If you wish to formally report an incident of sexual violence you can complete the online reporting form on the Report and Support page.

You can report an incident to the police at any time.

If you are fearful for your safety, call 999 and get to a safe place.

If you are not in immediate danger use the non-emergency number 101.

North Yorkshire Police treat all reports of rape and sexual assault seriously. Victims will be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.

Visit the North Yorkshire Police rape and sexual assault web page for more information.

You may decide that you do not want to report to the University or police. If so, you can still access support both from the University and outside of the University in the ways outlined above. The support is free and will not pressure you to report the sexual assault.

Reporting an assault or abuse from weeks, months or years ago 
Often attending university gives you space to reflect on past experiences and the safety to report assault or abuse for the first time. The services outlined are relevant no matter when the assault or abuse took place. All disclosures will be treated seriously.

Reporting on behalf of someone else

If someone you know has been sexually assaulted and you don’t know what to do, speak to the Student Hub or a member of your college support team. They will help you make an informed decision.