Sexual Violence


Sexual Violence


We want all of our students to be able to work, study, and live in a safe and supportive environment. If you become a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence whilst studying we want you to know that it’s ok to talk to us.

These pages are here to help you to make an informed choice about what to do if you, or someone you know, has experienced sexual assault or domestic violence.

Sexual Violence

Domestic Violence

I want to report something

Who can help me?


Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is defined as any unwanted sexual act or activity, including rape and sexual assault. It includes rape within marriages and relationships, forced marriage and sexual exploitation.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, however recent, we are here to support you. Whether you experienced an incident recently or historically, we're here to support you in your recovery.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, class, or background. It can be perpetrated by a complete stranger, or by someone known or in a position of trust.

Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault. But no-one ever deserves or asks for it to happen.

Everyone is affected differently by other’s behavior. We may feel differently about these issues but it’s important to remember where to draw the line and when something can be considered a serious offence.

To find out more about the options available to you if you want to get support on a matter, or wish to report it to someone in a position to take action go to “I want to report something”.


Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is defined as an incident or pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Online or digital abuse


Did you know?

Women are more likely than men to experience multiple incidents of abuse, different types of domestic abuse (intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking) and in particular sexual violence.

Any woman can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class, or disability, but some women who experience other forms of oppression and discrimination may face further barriers to disclosing abuse and finding help.

Domestic violence is patterned, repeated behaviour intended to assert power and control over the victim. Of those who experience 4 or more incidents of domestic violence, 89% are women.

Four times as many women as men are killed by a current or former partner. Two women a week are killed as a result of domestic violence in England and Wales.

Anyone can be victims of domestic violence, regardless of their gender. Sexual Violence can occur in both heterosexual and gay relationships. We believe that everyone has the right to live in safety.


I want to report something

It's important to tell someone that you trust. Feeling safe and supported in your decision to speak out is key.


Who can help me?

These services are available to help:


University Staff who are trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLO)

Here at Anglia Ruskin we have ten SVLOs, including 2 staff from the Students’ Union. These are members of staff who, in addition to their role at the University, can provide you with specialist support if you have been sexually assaulted. However recent your experiences, this team can give you the support and information to help you decide about your next steps. They can refer you to specialist support or outline what will happen if you wish to progress a serious incident by making a student complaint.

You can contact the SVLO team by emailing if you have any concerns about the behaviour of others. We care about your safety. This means we will listen to, acknowledge and address disclosures of sexual misconduct and abusive behaviour we receive from our students.


Local Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)

There are SARCs in both the Cambridgeshire and Essex areas. They have dedicated and trained staff who are there to support anybody that has experienced sexual violence. They can talk you through your options and refer you to other appropriate services.

Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA)

A Rape Crisis advocacy worker's or ISVA's main role is to provide practical and emotional support and information to survivors who have reported to the police or are considering reporting to the police.

If you do choose to report, your Rape Crisis ISVA will work with other partners and agencies to try and keep you informed throughout the criminal justice process, supporting you to have your voice heard, helping you feel empowered to make the choices that feel right to you, and accompanying you to important appointments and court if that's what you want. An ISVA can support you with your next steps after the legal process is over, regardless of the outcome of your case, and will be there for you even if you choose to withdraw from the criminal justice process at any point. You can see what support they provide and get in touch through the website

An ISVA can help in accessing statutory services like housing, education or health. They will provide support in a non-judgemental way and also help to ensure that other organisations also provide you with the right kind of support.



How will the police deal with rape, sexual assault or reports of sexual violence?

After you have reported a sexually related offence to the police, they will take the appropriate actions, depending on the type of offense and of course, considering how you wish to take the report forward.

Please see the links below for further details on Cambridgeshire and Essex Police departments.


ARU Counselling and Wellbeing

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all core students at Anglia Ruskin University and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing.

You can talk in confidence to a professional Counsellor or Mental Health Adviser about any personal or university-related issues that are worrying you.

The Counselling and Wellbeing service can offer you:

  • One to one support
  • Group support and workshops
  • Online support with SilverCloud
  • Out of hours support
  • Self-help guides

The Counselling and Wellbeing team run drop-ins from Monday-Friday between 11-12pm in Helmore 341 (Cambridge) and Tindal 2nd floor (Chelmsford). Cambridge offers an additional 2-3pm drop-in during teaching weeks.

If you would like to contact the Counselling and Wellbeing team email or call 01245 68 6700


Students’ Union Advice Service

The SU Advice Service can provide free, confidential advice and support if you have been affected by sexual violence whilst at University, they can refer you to one of the SVLO’s for practical support including what to do next. They will be able to help you through the complaints process if you feel you want to complain about what’s happened to you at university. They will also talk to you about your studies to ensure you have the right academic support in place, which may also include you being referred to the university Money Advisers and /or Student Advisers

Please visit the main SU reception to book and appointment with a SU Adviser or click here to request an appointment online.


A person of trust: friends, family, or Personal Tutor.

You may choose to confide in someone you know for their advice, thoughts or help. It is not always easy to decide what to do but often sharing your experience with someone you know and trust can help ease the load and help you make a decision.


Charities and Helplines

There are a number of local and national charities and helplines that are here to support people that are in a similar position. For more information, click here