The University of Bristol is committed to providing a positive experience for all students and staff. We believe that bullying, harassment, assault and discrimination are never acceptable.
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.
Immediate help and advice
- Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
- Find a safe space. If an incident has just happened, try and find somewhere you feel safe. If you are at the University you can call University Security on 0117 3311223 or go to your nearest University building and ask someone to phone Security for you.
- The Bridge (Bristol’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre) offers medical care, emotional and psychological support, and practical help to anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. Their advisers are trained to look after the needs of a survivor of rape or sexual assault to ensure they receive the best possible care and understanding. They also offer examinations for forensic evidence if the incident was less than 8 days ago. Contact them 24/7 for free on 0117 342 6999.
Support for students
- Report and Support. You can use the Report and Support system to ask to speak to a member of the University’s Student Wellbeing Service for advice and support.
- Have an informal conversation with the Student Complaints Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 0117 394 1820) or a Bristol SU Just Ask adviser.
- University services for academic, health and wellbeing support.
- Consider submitting extenuating circumstances if your studies have been/are being affected.
Support for staff members
- Talk to your line manager. Particularly if your work has been/is being affected.
- Have an informal conversation with an Acceptable Workplace Behaviour Adviser, a Trades Union representative (UCU, UNISON, or UNITE), or ask your HR Operations team for advice.
- University support services for staff wellbeing and mental health.
Other sources of support
- SARSAS supports people in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and Somerset, who have experienced rape or any kind of sexual assault or abuse at any time in their lives. They operate confidential helplines for women and men.
- The Survivor Pathway is an online resource for anyone wanting to know more about specialist sexual violence support services in the South West.
- Survivors UK offers a helpline services and online advice for male survivors of sexual assault and rape.
- Galop supports LGBT+ people affected by sexual abuse, assault or violence.
Reporting for students and staff members
- Report and Support. Staff and students can report an incident anonymously using the University’s Report and Support system.
- To the police. You can report a crime using the non-emergency number, 101. Rape Crisis have produced a list of things to think about if you’re considering reporting to the police. The Bridge can also provide advice and information about reporting to the police.
- Make a formal complaint using the University’s Acceptable Behaviour Policy (for students) or to your HR Operations team (for staff)