Sexual Violence Support & Resources
Content warning: this page includes discussion of sexual violence and some options available to sexual violence survivors.
Sexual violence is what happens when someone does not consent to a sexual act. There are many different kinds of sexual violence, including sexual assault and rape. It can happen to anyone, and the university offers support to all student victims of sexual violence.
What to do after a rape or assault
Everyone reacts differently to sexual assault or rape and it is not unusual for feelings to change from day to day. It is important to trust and validate individual feelings and do whatever is needed to recover. This may entail telling a friend, going to a place of safety, having a bath or shower, or crying.
It can be difficult to talk about the assault to friends or family, but it is important to have understanding and support. In order to cope with the trauma of the event, some students try to carry on as normal and don’t tell anyone for a long time. However, often distress can surface a considerable time after the event. No matter how much later, you can always seek help from the University’s Counselling and Psychological Service, your GP, voluntary sector agencies and the police. No one need feel they have to cope on their own simply because they did not report the incident soon after it happened.
If you have just been raped or sexually assaulted:
- Try to be somewhere that feels safe.
- Keep warm and drink plenty of fluids.
- If possible, see if a friend or someone you trust can be with you.
- Have any injuries treated by your doctor or at a hospital.
- If you think you would like to report the assault, contact the police so they can arrange a forensic examination as soon as possible. They will want to get as much evidence as possible, so try not to wash, eat or drink, without compromising your wellbeing.
- If you change your clothes, put them in a bag to give to the police.
- Tell the police if you think you may have been drugged or your drink spiked. They will arrange for blood and urine tests.
- You might not feel like reporting now, but you might in time. So keep the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault, don’t wash them and put them in a plastic bag.
- If you wash, use safe products, not household cleaning products as they can be harmful.
Many people who have been raped or sexually assaulted are understandably concerned about their health. Hospitals and GPs must see you on a confidential basis and not report the assault to the police unless you request/consent to this.
A student may decide to be tested for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection as appropriate. If you prefer not to use your GP there are many clinics which offer free and confidential advice. The closest clinic to the University is the Archway sexual assault referral centre.
If there is a possibility of pregnancy you may want to take the morning after pill (up to 72 hours after) or have a coil fitted (up to 5 days after). You can get emergency contraception at a pharmacy.
Bruising and other injuries that need immediate attention are best dealt with in the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital which is located on 1345 Govan Road, Glasgow, G51 4TF.
Reporting to the police
Sexual violence is a criminal offence and a student can report the perpetrator to the police with a view to prosecution. It is your choice. This can be done later, but the reason for reporting a sexual assault immediately is so that forensic evidence can be taken. Evidence will be collected by means of a medical examination by a police surgeon, who will be a GP employed part-time by the police.
If the attack was physically violent the police forensic team may also wish to visit the scene of the crime to collect more evidence.
When going to the police station you can take someone with you, such as a friend, family member or professional worker. Ask for an officer who has had special training (this would usually be a woman). Today the police are trained to use tact and sensitivity. No one, even the police, has the right to ask for disclosure of any personal details about previous relationships and sexual life.
The police may require clothing to be left for forensic examination. The police station can provide other clothing, but it is a good idea to take a change of clothes along to the station.
If you feel unable to provide the statement immediately after the assault, you may arrange another time for this to be taken. If English is not your first language, the police can arrange for an interpreter to be present. The police officer will explain police procedures and give advice and information on the next stages, including the court process.
Where to get help
Rape Crisis Glasgow
Rape Crisis Glasgow provides a free and confidential support service to women and girls who have experienced rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse.
The service offers:
- A free telephone helpline which is open seven days a week
- An instant message facility
- Email support
- Face-to-face support with trained support workers
- Group support
- A drop-in service each Wednesday
- Evening and weekend appointments
Address:Rape Crisis Centre
30 Bell Street
Glasgow G1 1LG
South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre (Dumfries)
South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre provides support to women, men and children.
The service offers:
- Telephone support
- Face-to-face support
Address:South West Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre
9 George Street Meuse
Dumfries DG1 1HH
Telephone: +44 (0) 138 725 3133
Rape Crisis Scotland
Rape Crisis Scotland provides crisis support for anyone in Scotland affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives. They also provide the Rape Crisis Scotland National Helpline. The Helpline offers free and confidential support and information by phone or email. The service is available to women and men affected by sexual violence. The helpline can also put you in touch with local rape crisis centres or other services if you need longer-term support.
SRC Advice Centre
The SRC Advice Centre offers free and confidential advice on a wide range of subjects and is a Third Party Reporting Centre for Hate Crime.
If the perpetrator of the assault is a student of the University, the Advice Centre team can also assist you with reporting them to the University under the Code of Student Conduct. This process normally requires that you submit a written statement to the University providing details of the assault and can result in disciplinary action being taken against the offending student.
The Advice Centre is located on the ground floor of the McIntyre Building (next to the University Main Gate) and is staffed by professional and experienced advisers.
Counselling & Psychological Services
Counselling & Psychological Services support students and staff to overcome concerns and difficulties, aid mental health and wellbeing, and to thrive at Glasgow. You can register for an appointment to speak with a counsellor or drop in for a 50-minute consultation on the day of your booking.
Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. The service provides expert training, qualifications and consultancy to a range of agencies. This includes professionals working with survivors or those commissioning domestic abuse services.
Women’s Aid campaigns achieve change in policy, practice and awareness, encouraging healthy relationship and helping to build a future where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.