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Durham University

Counselling Service

Advice for Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence

If someone has disclosed an episode of sexual violence to you they are demonstrating a great deal of trust in you, but it does not mean that you have to deal with the disclosure on your own. You should seek advice, in confidence, from support staff in your College, the Counselling Service or from the external agencies listed on the pages above.

Specialist services are available, but it is important that the victim is able to come to a decision in their own time about what kind of support they would like, and if/when to access it. In the first instance the most important thing that you can do is to listen with your full attention, whilst taking care of yourself and making sure that you have appropriate support. Know your own limits. You are not expected to be an expert on what to do and how to react. It is important that you do not give advice other than to signpost towards professional support. External agencies such as the Police may be involved at a later date so do not share any information about the disclosure with fellow students.

Contact us

Durham University Counselling & Mental Health Service

Palatine Centre
Stockton Road
Durham, DH1 3LE

Tel.: 0191 334 2200

The Counselling team is