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 tutor, 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.

Deciding what to do next

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

Support from the University

We will listen to you, support you in making a decision and where possible take practical steps to assist you.

During office hours

See help and support for people who can help, including:

  • Student Hub
  • College teams
  • YUSU
  • GSA
  • Open Door

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.

Nightline (8pm to 8am)
01904 323735

In crisis now

Support outside the University

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 (Independent Domestic Abuse Services)
IDAS provide the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service across North Yorkshire and run a rape support helpline which is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays on 0300 111 0777. ISVAs provide practical support, information and advice to those going through the Criminal Justice System.
03000 110 110

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: 01904 642830 (Wednesdays 1pm to 3.30pm)
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.

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:

Reporting to the University

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 incident reporting form on the Student misconduct page.

Reporting to the police

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 assualt web page for more information.

Choosing not to report

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.