Health and Wellbeing

Deciding what to do next

The choices you have in terms of expert support and advice can vary according to the time and place at which the incident occurred. However, you can seek advice from a number of agencies at any time after the incident, even years later - support is not limited to those who choose to make an immediate report. Any decisions made will be yours alone and will be respected.

1. Reporting an incident to the Police

You can report an incident to the police at any time. If you are on campus call 3333  (internal phone) or 01273 873333. If you are off campus you can call the police by dialling either 999 in an emergency or 101 (non- emergency).

If you choose to report an incident of sexual violence to the Police, a specially trained officer called a SOLO (Sexual Offence Liaison officer) is likely to be contacted. A SOLO will be able to take mouth and urine samples immediately so that forensic evidence can be preserved and you will be able to eat, drink and go to the toilet without fear of losing such evidence.

A statement will be taken from you at some point and you may be taken to the nearest SARC – The Saturn Centre at Crawley Hospital. There you will be looked after by a Crisis Support Worker and Forensic Medical Officer (doctor who can collect forensic evidence). They recommend that you take a supportive friend with you. Take a change of clothes as they will need the clothes you are wearing. Also take any bedding or used condom if relevant.

You should be aware that although you have called the Police, you can opt out of the reporting process at any point without losing the support of the SARC. You should  be offered a referral to an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) and  a referral for free counselling from a specialist service in Brighton & Hove.

2. Delaying your report to the Police

You may be unsure about making a report to the Police, but would like to be able to retain forensic evidence for a future decision. This can be done by a self-referral to our nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) The Saturn Centre at Crawley Hospital, West Green Drive, Crawley, West Sussex RH11 7DH.

For self-referrals between 9am and 5pm on weekdays, it is necessary to make an appointment by phoning 01293 600469.You can ask a member of staff to telephone on your behalf if you prefer.

For self-referrals outside these hours, you will need to phone 0330 223 0058 for advice from the on-call team. Again, you can ask a member of staff to telephone on your behalf if you prefer. 

If there are signs of a disturbance at the scene, it would be useful if you could take photographs in case you decide to report it to the Police at a later date. Remember to keep any relevant clothes, bedding used condom, text messages or emails.

 You can contact an Independent Sexual Advisor (ISVA)  in Brighton at any time for support through this process and independent advice. They can be reached on 01273 203380 ext 103 Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm or on referrals@survivorsnetwork.org.uk

3. Not reporting to the Police

If you are sure you do not want to report the incident to the Police at any time, then you can still access the support of the SARC services at the Saturn Centre in Crawley Hospital, but you must wait until office hours on a week day (see above). You can choose not to provide forensic evidence but can still receive specialist medical support and be referred to an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) and also for free counselling in Brighton and Hove.

Alternatively, or first of all – especially at the weekend or evenings, you can get 24 hr access to the Accident and Emergency department at the Royal Sussex Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton for the treatment of any injuries.

If you’d like to go somewhere nearer than Crawley, you can access expert support from the SOLAR clinic at SHAC East (formerly the Claude Nicol Centre) in the Out Patients’ department at our local Royal Sussex Hospital. The SOLAR  clinic offers a confidential, non-judgemental service dedicated to men and women who have experienced sexual assault both recently and historically. The Solar Clinic offers booked appointments on Tuesday mornings from 09.30 offering support, advice, STI testing and medical treatment as necessary. Individuals are welcome to attend SHAC services for support at other times of the week if Tuesday mornings are not convenient. Those who disclose sexual assault are fast tracked through the clinic and are treated with respect and dignity. To book an appointment for The Solar Clinic or for more information please call The Health Advisers on 01273 523388 (opt 2) Monday to Friday 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 4:30pm.

To report an incident to the University see an overview of our disciplinary procedures