What is sexual violence?
Any kind of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. You don’t have to have previously objected to someone's behaviour for it to be considered unwanted.
It is intended to or has the effect of:
- violating your dignity
- making you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated
- creating a hostile or offensive environment.
It does not always include physical contact or violence. Examples of sexual violence include:
- revenge porn
- sending emails with a sexual content
- making unwanted sexual comments or jokes
- physical behaviour including unwanted sexual advances or touching
- sexual abuse
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any sexual touching that a person does not consent to. It involves all unwanted sexual contact including kissing, groping, rape and enforced sexual acts.
Anyone can be sexually assaulted, regardless of gender or sexuality. It does not matter if you have previously consented to sexual acts with that person, or with others. Whatever the circumstances, nobody has the right to force you to have sex or touch you without your consent. If this happens to you, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault.
What is sexual harassment?
Unwanted sexual actions or behaviour by individuals or groups which violates a person’s dignity and creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Sexual harassment can be a single incident, or a string of persistent behaviour. You don't need to have objected to a certain kind of behaviour in the past for it to be unwanted and constitute harassment.
Sexual misconduct at the University
The University groups sexual violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment under the term ‘sexual misconduct’. We take any reports of sexual misconduct very seriously, and find any form of sexual misconduct to be completely unacceptable.
If you have experienced any form of sexual misconduct, you are not alone, and we are here to support you. There is further information about the support available to you at the University and through national and local services here.
There is specific support available to you at the University from our Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLOs), who are specially trained to support you, regardless of when your experience took place. You can contact the SVLO team via the Wellbeing Access form and find out more about SVLO support here.