If you know someone who has been affected by sexual misconduct, it may be hard to know what to do or how to feel. That’s okay. There are some really simple things you can do that will help. 
Whether their experience was recent or a long time ago, there is support available. 


  • Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can contact the emergency services on 999.
  • Find a safe space. If an incident has just happened, try and find somewhere they feel safe. 
  • Take care of yourself. Hearing about sexual violence can be difficult; particularly when it has happened to someone you care about. It is important that while you are supporting someone you are also taking care of your own physical and mental health.
  • Text support. If you feel you need to talk to someone immediately you can contact Shout, a free 24/7 text service for anyone struggling to cope. TEXT Shout to 85258.


  • Listen - Listening is the most valuable thing you can do at first. Find a private place to talk, and tell them you are glad they are telling you. 
  • Believe - Rather than asking a lot of questions, let them know that you believe them and will support them as best as you can. Try not to skip ahead to what to do practically without first validating what you have heard and listening to what they have to say.
  • Reassure - Remind them no one has the right to hurt them, no matter what the situation is and it is not their fault.
  • Choice - Someone who has experienced sexual assault will feel that control and power have been taken away from them. Therefore, it is important that they feel that they have control over what happens next. They might not make the same decisions you would; only they can decide what is best for them. You can help them explore options but avoid telling them what they should do.


  • If the person you are supporting is a UCA student or a member of staff, then you should signpost them to Report and Support
  • Report and Support is the University's single online reporting platform for direct, confidential help. Making a report does not automatically trigger a formal complaint. However, making a named report means that an SVLO will contact the reporting party to discuss support and explain the options available to them, which would include a formal complaint. 
  • You can support someone in reporting the incident to the University. The online form allows you to select if you are helping someone to input a report at this time. It will then guide you through the process step by step.  
  • Never pressure someone into reporting. Regardless of whether you believe it is the right thing to do. Let them work at their own pace. This is about them and their choices, not yours.

Mental health and wellbeing

Take care of yourself - it will enable you to support others.
Togetherall - Togetherall is a digital mental health support service, available online 24/7, and completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Sign up with your UCA email address.
Health and Wellbeing at UCA - For students. The service includes free short term counselling which can be accessed face to face, online or remotely.

EAP - For staff. The Employee Assistance Programme offers proactive, practical information and emotional support to help you to manage and reduce the impact of all of life’s events, both at home and at work. The service is available 24/7 and is completely free and confidential.

Rape Crisis - Providing frontline specialist, independent and confidential services including information for supporters of survivors.

Survivors UK - A service for male survivors, including information on how you can support a male survivor of sexual violence.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened