What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is any sexual conduct that a person does not consent to. It involves all unwanted sexual contact including kissing, groping, rape and enforced sexual acts.  

Consent must be freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific.


Sexual violence occurs in all genders and sexualities and most commonly occurs between people who know each other in some way.

Within the realms of sexual violence are terms such as sexual harassment and misconduct. These refer to a broader range of inappropriate, unwelcome behaviours of a sexual nature. See the sexual harassment pages for more information.  

Did you know:

 Almost two thirds (62%) of students and graduates have experienced sexual violence at UK universities! 

Only 1 in 10 reported their experiences to the university or police; only 6% of respondents reported their experience of sexual violence to the university!
70% of female students and recent graduates have experienced sexual assault, as well as 26% of male students, 61% of non-binary students, and 73% of disabled students!

At UCLan we believe the victim is NEVER to blame. 

Our students should have the right to feel safe wherever they are, whatever they wear and how ever they act. 

What is Consent?

A person consents if they agree by choice, and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice.

Freedom means not being constrained or manipulated in any way to agree to sexual activity.

Having capacity means the person can make and communicate a decision, understand the consequences and know they have a choice.

It is ok to consent to one form of sexual activity but not to another and it can be withdrawn at any time.

You can find out more on sexual offences and support for victims of crime at Police UK.

Tea and sex aren't quite the same thing but we like the analogy for those who struggle to grasp it! 

It’s happened to me!

If you have experienced sexual assault or rape, remember it is not your fault and you are not alone. See below for how to get support or visit our support pages on sexual assault and rape for further advice.  

It’s happened to someone I know!

Supporting a survivor of sexual assault or rape can be daunting. You don't have to be an expert to support someone but there are some things you can do that will help. Visit 'The Havens' for advice and guidance on how to support a friend or loved one. 

How to access support:

If you have been affected by sexual violence and would like to seek support, you can contact the wellbeing team on 01772 893020 or email us at wellbeing@uclan.ac.uk
You can also use the University’s Report and Support system. This allows you to either report something anonymously, or, report and get confidential support from a wellbeing advisor. Please be reassured that this is purely a supportive measure and aims for you to feel supported when making a disclosure.

There are two ways you can tell us what happened