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Reporting an Incident

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What are my options?

Following an incident of sexual misconduct and violence - which can take many forms, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, image-based sexual abuse, stalking, and domestic abuse - you have options. Students and staff may choose to disclose the incident to a member of staff to seek support. This is not the same as making a formal report to the University for the purposes of initiating the procedures within the Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy.

You have the choice of what to do next and can choose to:

1) Make a report to the Police

2) Make a report to the University

3) Seek support only

If you are a student or staff, you can request to speak to an advisor through our online Report + Support tool about your options. If you are a student, you may choose to speak to your College Student Support Staff who can discuss your reporting options with you so that you can make an informed decision of what you wish to do.

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Report to the Police

The police have specially trained officers, who are very experienced in helping victim-survivors of all forms of gender-based violence including rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, stalking and image-based sexual abuse. To make a report to the Police you can call 101 or in an emergency call 999.

If you would like more information on this option, you may wish to discuss the police procedure with Durham Constabulary's Police University Liaison Officer or an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). An ISVA can provide you with impartial information to enable you to make choices by providing you with an overview of the police process and what to expect. You can access an ISVA through the Sexual Assault Referral Centre or the Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre

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Report to the University

You can choose to report an incident of sexual misconduct and violence to the University to initiate the process within the Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy. This is separate from disclosing an incident to a member of staff.

You may submit a report under the Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy by completing the Reporting Form. This form can be used by students and staff to make reports against students and/or staff. 

The University may only consider if there was a breach of the Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy. The University uses the civil standard of proof, i.e. the balance of probabilities. The outcome of an investigation into the report will determine if any further action will occur and, if so, the appropriate disciplinary process will be followed. The University’s disciplinary process is separate from criminal law matters, and our misconduct offences are distinct from criminal offences. 

When you make a report, you are offered a meeting with a case manager who will discuss the procedure with you and give you time to confirm your report. This allows you time to consider all of your options before the University takes action. 

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Consider Your Options

You may need time to decide what you want to do next. You may choose to seek support as you consider your options. The Sexual Assault Referral Centre offers forensic medical exams, support, counselling, and sexual health screenings. You can have an exam without police involvement and the evidence can be stored. The Sexual Assault Referral Centre can also help you consider your reporting options.

By attending the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, you can seek support, receive practical help and learn more about your reporting options while giving yourself time to consider what to do next.

North East SARC

Local Sexual Assault Referral Centres

The Meadows SARC: Covering the County Durham and Darlington area

The Teesside SARC: Covering Teesside and surrounding areas

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Choose Not to Report and Seek Support Only

You may decide that you do not want to report to the University or Police. If this is the case, the University will still offer you support through your College and the Counselling Service and will refer you to specialist services if you prefer. 

There is no time limit on when you can make a report. You can report to the Police at any time. You can report the University as long as the Responding Party is still a member of the University community. 

Further support available:

  • Report and Support

    Prefer to request support online? You can log an anonymous report, request to speak to an advisor, or make a formal report using our online Report + Support platform.

    signpost for help, support and advice
  • External Resources

    Information on how you can receive support and resources from within the Durham community.

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Report and Support

Prefer to request support online? You can log an anonymous report, request to speak to an advisor, or make a formal report using our online Report + Support platform.

signpost for help, support and advice

External Resources

Information on how you can receive support and resources from within the Durham community.

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