If you experience any form of sexual violence, it is not your fault, you are not alone, and help and support is available.
Living our values
At the University of Westminster, we believe that everyone has the right to live and learn in a safe environment. We are all part of the Westminster community. This means that we treat each other with respect.
This information is intended to help you if you have experienced sexual violence – rape, sexual assault or harassment.
Deciding whether to report
If you think that you may be at risk of immediate harm, contact the police on 999.
If you have been significantly physically injured or are having suicidal thoughts, seek help from the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital. In non-emergency situations, contact your doctor.
It can be difficult to make decisions when you have just been raped or sexually assaulted. You might want to talk through your options with someone you trust, like a family member or friend. You may also need some time to decide what to do.
If you wish to report your rape or sexual assault to the police or may wish to do so in the future, contact the Havens on 020 3299 6900. They are a specialist service providing advice and support for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted.
Support with your studies
If your studies are being affected as a result of your experience, then it would be helpful to let your personal tutor or a member of your course staff know. You can decide how much information to share with them about your experience. However, it is important to let them know that your studies are being affected so they can help with the adjustments you need to continue with your course, or to take a break from studies if that would be more helpful to you.
You do not have to make a formal complaint (if the alleged perpetrator is a member of the University community) in order to have adjustments made to your academic work. Academic staff can still help you by making timetable changes or arranging deadline extensions.
Support within the University
If you have experienced rape or sexual assault and wish to access psychological support at the University, you can contact the Counselling Service. You can make a same day or next day appointment through the duty system. Email the counselling service at [email protected] and say that you need a ‘trauma related fast track appointment’.
You will be able to access counselling that may include help to relax, cope and make sense of your experience in a way that is empowering for you.
Green Dot Active Bystander Initiative
Green Dot is an active bystander training programme for staff and students. It equips them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to identify, intervene and report sexual assault.
Support outside the University
- London Survivor’s Gateway: offers survivors of sexual violence access to specialist services in London. The Gateway is a partnership between the four London Rape Crisis Centres, Galop, SurvivorsUK and the Havens and is run by the Women and Girls Network. www.survivorsgateway.london
- Women and Girls Network – a range of emotional and practical support services for women of all ethnicities who have experienced sexual violence. T: 0808 801 0660, E: [email protected]
- Rape Crisis: T: 0808 802 9999 (between 12–2.30pm and 7–9.30pm)
- 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline: 0808 2000 247
- The Havens – a sexual assault referral unit: 020 3299 6900
- The Samaritans: T: 116 123 or E: [email protected]
- SurvivorsUK website (a specialist service for men who have been raped or sexually assaulted). T: 020 3598 3898
- Switchboard LGBT+ helpline: 0300 330 0630 (10am to 10pm everyday)
- Stonewall website – information and support around hate crime and discrimination for LGBT+. T: 020 7593 1850 (Mon–Fri 9am–5pm) or E: [email protected]
- Victim Support: confidential support for those affected by crime. T: 0808 1689 111 (dial 141 beforehand to hide your number). Next Generation Text 18001 08 08 16 89
- Rights of Women – free and confidential legal advice for women. Criminal law advice line: 020 7251 8887 (Tues 7–9pm)