Students - reporting an incident of sexual violence

Reporting an incidence of sexual violence

Believe, Report, Support

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all members of our university community, and to responding appropriately to any incidents affecting our students and staff. These webpages provide information for students who have been sexually assaulted or raped. They give information on the things you might want to consider to enable you to make an informed choice about what to do.

You may have very mixed feelings about what happened, and whether to tell anyone. People can react very differently and there is no easy answer on whether to report or not.

There is a wide range of support available to you and LJMU works in close partnership with local specialist support agencies to provide appropriate and timely support to you.

You can report an incidence of sexual violence in a number of ways. Whether you choose to report immediately or take some time to consider your options, both LJMU and our partner organisations are available to provide information, advice and support.

Some steps to consider

Are you in a safe environment?

If the assault has just occurred, you might want to consider whether you feel safe where you are.

If you or others feel at risk or consider the situation to be an emergency, you can call the Police or an ambulance on 999. If you are in University accommodation, you can alert the reception desk or the residential adviser. For incidents on other University premises you can call the University Security Office on 0151 231 2222.

Do you want to take some time to talk things through?

If the situation is not an emergency, you may want to take some time to think things through or to talk to someone you trust. You might want to contact a friend or a member of staff for support. Staff within Student Advice and Wellbeing Services are able to advise you on your options and assist with any referrals you might wish to make.

Each person’s reaction to sexual assault or rape can differ as will the effect that it has on you.

You might be in shock so trying to be somewhere that feels safe and comfortable might help.

Time Limits to be aware of

  • If you suspect you were given any type of drug, it is best to be tested within 24 hours.
  • If you want emergency contraception, the medication should be started within 72 hours.
  • If you would like HIV prophylaxis, (PEPSE- a combination of drugs that can prevent HIV infection) the medication should ideally be started within 12 hours. It must be taken within 72 hours
  • Any forensic evidence collected can be stored whilst you decide what to do next. Please see section below on the collection of forensic evidence.
It is up to you to choose what kind of support you want to access, but you might want to consider getting medical attention even if you do not want to report the assault to the Police.

Police Procedures

  • See the police website for more information on reporting: http://www.merseyside.police.uk/advice-and-protection/crimes-against-people/sexual-violence-exploitation/
  • Reporting at a police station or attending a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) such as Safe Place can be a lengthy process that can take a few hours. So bringing a supportive friend or relative along might be helpful. It might be worth bringing a set of spare clothes if you have not changed since the assault, as the Police might need to keep them as evidence.