Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment
The University of Portsmouth is committed to providing a positive experience for all students and staff. We believe that bullying, harassment, assault and discrimination are never acceptable.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual actions or behaviour by individuals or groups which violates a person’s dignity and creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Sexual harassment can be a single incident or a string of persistent behaviour. You don't need to have objected to a certain kind of behaviour in the past for it to be unwanted and constitute harassment.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is any sexual touching that a person does not consent to. It involves all unwanted sexual contact including kissing, groping, rape and enforced sexual acts.
Anyone can be sexually assaulted, regardless of gender or sexuality. It does not matter if you have previously consented to sexual acts with that person, or with others. Whatever the circumstances, nobody has the right to force you to have sex or touch you without your consent. If this happens to you, it’s important to remember it’s not your fault.
● Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
● Find a safe space. If an incident has just happened, try to find somewhere you feel safe. If you are at the University, you can call University Security on 3333 or 3418 or go to your nearest University building and ask someone to phone Security for you.
Support for students
● You can use the Report and Support system to report your concerns
● Speak with one of the following for advice and guidance:
o Personal Tutor
o Student Union Advice Service
o Student Wellbeing Service
o A member of the Residence Life Team/Residence Life Assistant
o Student Housing
o Harassment and Bullying Advisor
o Equality and Diversity
● Talk to the police. You can do so by contacting the University Liaison Officer, Police Constable Clare Parry either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phoning her on 023 9284 5989 or 07793 369 726 or you can report to the Police by calling 101 or in person at the Police station: Winston Churchhill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DG, 8am-8pm everyday, Bank Holidays 10am-6pm
● The University offers a range of health and wellbeing support through the Student Wellbeing Service. details of the services available and to book an appointment can be found here
● Access the Student Advice Service, Sort It Out
, which tries to resolve disputes between students informally.
Support for staff members
● Talk to your line manager. Particularly if your work has been/is being affected. If it is your line managers behaviour that is affecting you talk to their line manager
● Have an informal conversation with
o Harassment Advisor
o Equality and Diversity
o HR Employment Practice Team
o Your Trade Union representative
● Make a report to the police. You can report to the Police by calling 101 or in person at the Police station: Winston Churchhill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DG, 8am-8pm everyday, Bank Holidays 10am-6pm
Other sources of support
● Survivors UK
offers helpline services and online advice for male survivors of sexual assault and rape.
supports LGBT+ people affected by sexual abuse, assault or violence.
● Rape Crisis
for support around experiences of sexual harassment.
● Revenge Porn Helpline
for practical help with removing online content and advice about reporting revenge porn. Call 0345 600 0459, 11am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Reporting for students and staff members
● Report and Support. Staff and students can report an incident anonymously, or with contact details for support, using the University’s Report and Support system.
● To the police. You can report a crime using the non-emergency number, 101. Rape Crisis
have produced a list of things to think about if you’re considering reporting to the police. PARCS
can also provide advice and information about reporting to the police.