If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual violence or harassment, there are several things you can do.
Firstly, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or the threat is ongoing, please contact emergency services/the police on 999 immediately. If you are in university halls or on campus, your wardens and Brookes security will also be able to help you. Brookes Campus Security can be contacted 24/7 on 01865 483060.
If you want forensic evidence to be collected, time is an important factor; you should try and go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) or report to the police straight away if you can, or at least within 72 hours of the rape or assault.
Also, if possible, try to take these steps:
Do not wash
Do not brush your teeth
Do not have a cigarette
Do not eat or drink
Do not change your clothes
If you do change your clothes, do not wash them but put them in a clean plastic bag
Try not to go to the toilet
Do not clear up anything from the area of the incident
Don't worry if you have already done some of these things. It's possible that there is still forensic evidence to collect. Anyone can self-refer to a SARC. This means that you can go to the SARC independently and do not have to involve the police, or anyone else if you do not want to. If you self-report in this way, it is up to you whether any evidence which is collected is passed on to the police. If you do decide to report, the evidence will still be at the SARC. In the Thames Valley, SARCS can be found in Bicester, Slough and if you are in Swindon/Wiltshire - Swindon. If you are outside these areas, you can find your nearest SARC here.
The following resources can be used in isolation or in conjunction with each other. If you have any questions about this page or any of the information on it, you can contact the Student Union Women’s Officer at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
The University Wellbeing Services include a specialist Student Welfare Team comprised of individuals experienced with handling issues of sexual violence, amongst other welfare issues. If you would like to speak to someone from the team, they can be contacted in confidence at email@example.com and you can find out more about Wellbeing at https://www.brookes.ac.uk/students/wellbeing/
The Thames Valley Independent Sexual Violence Advisory service supports anyone of any gender identity living in the Thames Valley area who has experienced, or is at risk of experiencing, sexual assault or rape. ISVAs can support you in a variety of ways and are able to personalise their approach when dealing with a wide variety of cases.
SurvivorsUK offer a free and confidential service to anyone who identifies as male, trans, non-binary, has identified as male in the past who are dealing with effects of sexual violence, and to anyone who is supporting them. This includes but is not limited to counselling, therapy, online helpline services (Chat to trained professional, one to one, using their web, SCS or WhatsApp chat services).
OSARCC offer a free and confidential service to self-identifying women who are dealing with the effects of sexual violence, and to anyone who is supporting them. This includes but is not limited to phone helplines, email advice, support groups and their own dedicated ISVA who works with self-identifying women throughout Oxfordshire.
If you do choose to report to the police, a forensic medical examination will be carried out so that forensic evidence can be collected. If you report to the police, you will also be asked to make a statement. It's important not to leave any information or details out of your statement, even if you find them upsetting or embarrassing. If there are things you can't remember, tell the police that, rather than trying to imagine or speculate about what might have happened. And be honest with the police even about things that you might be worried will reflect badly on you, like how much alcohol you'd had to drink or if you'd taken illegal drugs; remember that none of these factors make what happened to you your fault and you are not to blame.
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