In an emergency? Find out more info here.

The Counselling, Mental Health and Wellbeing team at UCLan are available to support you on 01772 893020 or Wellbeing@uclan.ac.uk 

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or contact that you do not consent to. Sexual assault can happen through physical force or threats of force or if the attacker gave the victim drugs or alcohol as part of the assault. Sexual assault includes rape and sexual coercion. 

A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent. It involves all unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature and ranges from pinching, embracing, groping and kissing, to rape and serious sexual assault which involves penetration without consent. 


A person must have the capacity to give free agreement. Capacity is based on the person: 

  • Being the right age
  • Being sober
  • Having the mental and physical ability to freely agree
  • Not being threatened or afraid of harm
  • Not being detained against their will

Tea and Consent

Thames Valley Police put together a video to highlight the issue of consent by comparing sex to drinking a cup of tea. The video is simple, effective and at times quite funny and provides clear instructions as to what constitutes sexual consent. Have a look at the video below:


I’ve been affected by sexual assault- what can I do?

If 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.
  • 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 Millers Taxis ‘Take Me Home’ scheme allows you to use your UCLan ID Card as a deposit for journeys of £10 and under around Preston City Centre, and the university area, and pay later. You will then be emailed and instructed on how to collect your card. The number for Millers Taxis is 01772 884000. 
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Where can I get support:

  • The Student Wellbeing Service can help students experiencing a range of difficulties that are affecting their mental health and wellbeing. They offer a confidential, professional service, ensuring that students receive personal support, recognising people as individuals, all with different needs.

  • 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.

  • If you are a student in Halls, all of the residences have a team of Residence Officers and Assistant Residences Officer. The team can provide you with assistance and support to make your time with us an enjoyable one. Contact the Accommodation team on studentaccommodation@uclan.ac.uk

  • Mitigating Circumstances. If you feel your studies have been affected by what has happened you can consider applying for mitigating circumstances.
  • Human Resource Contacts. If you are a member of staff or manager your HR partner will be able to identify the support that’s available for you.

  • Trade Unions. There are three trade unions that represent staff at the University: Unison, Unite and UCU.
  • Staff Network Groups. The University has a number of staff network groups which you can view on the staff Intranet through clicking the link. These groups provide a forum for staff to discuss issues of mutual interest and the ability to raise issues in a safe environment. They can help new staff settle in, provide networking opportunities across departments and increase staff knowledge of the University's activities.
  • Counselling. It’s important that you take care of yourself. The Staff Counselling Service offers a confidential, accessible counselling service to all its employees, in line with the University's mission statement and policies. If you are a member of staff, you can email the Staff Counselling service or call 01772 892329 to request an appointment.

  • Lancashire Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Centre provides forensic examinations, advice and comprehensive support services for women, men and children of all ages who make a complaint of rape or sexual assault.

  • 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 in confidence. ISVAs are there to provide information to ensure an individual can make a decision that is right for them.

  • Galop is a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and queer people affected by sexual violence.

  • The National Stalking Helpline is run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and can give you information and advice on support and options available to you. Call them on 0808 802 0300.

  • Paladin is the National Stalking Advocacy service which assists high risk victims of stalking in England and Wales. You can call them on 020 3866 4107 between 9am and 3pm on weekdays except for Wednesdays when it is open 10am to 5pm. You can also email: info@paladinservice.co.uk.
  • MALE is an advice line for male victims of domestic abuse.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened