Reporting an Incident
Following an incident of sexual misconduct and violence - which can take many forms, including but not limited to rape and harassment - you have options. You may choose to disclose the incident to a member of staff so as to seek support only. This is not the same as making a formal report to the University for the purposes of initiating the procedures within the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy. College Student Support Staff can discuss your reporting options (listed below) with you so that you can make an informed decision of what you wish to do.
Report to Police
The police have specially trained officers, who are very experienced in helping survivors of sexual violence. 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.
Report to the University
You can choose to report an incident of sexual violence and misconduct to the University to initiate the process within the Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policy. This is separate from disclosing an incident to a member of staff.
You may submit a report under the Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policy by completing the Sexual Violence & Misconduct Reporting Form.
The University may only consider if there was a breach of the Sexual Violence & Misconduct Policy. The University uses the balance of probabilities as its standard of proof. 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.
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.
The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre (Durham)
- 0191 301 8554
Helen Britton House Sexual Assault Referral Centre Teesside (Queen’s)
- 01642 516888
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.
During the 2019/20 academic year, the University will introduce an online tool which provides a pathway for students and staff to request to speak to a Bullying & Harassment Advisor or College Support Officer, make anonymous (no action requested) and named (requesting university action) reports on incidents under the Respect at Study and Respect at Work policies as well as the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy. Additionally, the tool contains resources on internal and external support for bullying and harassment, hate crime, sexual violence and misconduct and relationship abuse.