If you think you have been sexually assaulted, it may be hard to know what to do or how to feel. What happened was not your fault. What you do next is your choice.
- Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
- Finding a safe space. If possible, try and find somewhere you feel safe. If this isn't possible and you are on campus you can call security on 01772 892068.
- The AAA Taxis ‘Take Me Home’ scheme allows you to use your UCLan ID Card as a deposit for journeys of £8 and under around Preston City Centre and the university area and pay later. You can reclaim your Card later from the Student Union Finance Office. The number for AAA Taxis is 01772 555444.
- What is sexual assault This section describes the different types of sexual assault that a person can experience.
- Ask For Angela The ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme is nationwide and encourages anyone who may feel uncomfortable, unsafe or vulnerable while out in the city centre to ‘Ask for Angela’. Those situations could range from people meeting in person for the first time, predominantly, after making contact through online dating websites and apps; feeling unsafe due to excessive alcohol consumption or concerned about being followed while walking through the city centre.
If people do not feel comfortable or have received unwelcome advances, they can approach a member of staff at one of the 52 establishments in Preston and ask if ‘Angela’ is in. Trained staff will then take them into to a safe area where they can explain their issue and get a taxi, friend or family member to pick them up. The employee can then tell the other person to leave or call police if they believe a criminal offence has occurred.
- To a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help.
- To a Wellbeing Advisor. A Wellbeing advisor can provide wellbeing support for a range of issues that affect students, including sexual assault and harassment. Our team of advisors have received Women’s Aid training and have extensive experience in supporting students who have been a victim of a sexual assault.
- To Human Resources who can provide advice, guidance and signposting for staff.
- Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). The Safe Centre, Trust House and Lancashire Victim Services all have ISVAs who are trained to look after the needs of a survivor of rape or sexual violence to ensure they receive the best possible care and understanding. Contact them and ask to speak to an advisor. ISVAs are there to provide information to ensure an individual can make a decision that is right for them.
- UCLan Students' Union Advice and Representation Centre. This is a free, confidential, impartial service where students can get advice and information on academic and personal issues, including advice on procedures and representation at hearings.
- Reporting to the police If you're thinking of reporting to the police, rape crisis have produced a useful list of things to think about. If the incident occurred outside of Lancashire you can ring the Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing team on 01772 893020 to discuss how to contact your local Police force if you are unsure.
- UCLan Burnley students can contact Burnley Police Station directly
- UCLan Westlakes Campus students can view the Cumbria Police site for information on how the Police can offer support.
- Reporting the incident anonymously. You can call crime stoppers at any point on 0800 555 111 or use their online form.
- Report and Support. Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can request support from an advisor. If you choose to talk to an advisor they will be able to talk through the options and support available to you, in confidence.
If you're not ready to report to the Police
If you are unsure about what you want to do, you can go to a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). At the SARC you can get advice, make a statement, have forensic samples taken, get medical support (including tests for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy) without having to report the matter to the police.
The forensic evidence is stored at the SARC in case you want to report the rape to the police in the future.
The SAFE Centre is the SARC for Lancashire. More details about their service and how to access them is available on their website.
If you want to go to a SARC, you should try to go as soon as you can so important evidence can be preserved. You can also get help from an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) who can provide specialist advice and support. You can find an ISVAs by speaking to your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre, or Rape Crisis Centre.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
1 in 4 people is affected by a mental health problem in any year and it is estimated that around 1 in 5 people has contemplated suicide or self-harm. Experiencing sexual assault can have detrimental effect on a person’s mental wellbeing. If you are worried or concerned about the impact on your mental wellbeing, find out more about support available.
Take care of yourself.
It’s important that you take care of yourself. If you’ve heard something distressing or if something is troubling you, the University's Student Wellbeing Service offers confidential help to students. If you are a member of staff, you can email the Staff Counselling service to request an appointment.