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Sexual Violence

The University takes incidents of sexual violence very seriously and wants to ensure that any students affected are able to access appropriate information and support.

These webpages are designed to help you make an informed choice about what steps you might wish to take if you, or someone you know, has been the victim of sexual violence.

Sexual violence can take many forms but in general refers to unwanted sexual acts or activity, including, but not limited to: rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.  These can be committed by strangers, by someone you know, or by someone of the same sex. They can also take place within a relationship or a marriage.

Key Definitions to be aware of:


In the UK rape is the intentional penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with the penis without consent.

Serious Sexual Assault / Assault by penetration

Serious sexual assault/assault by penetration is the intentional penetration of the vagina or anus of another person with a part of the body other than the penis (e.g. finger, tongue) or with an object without their consent.’ (This carries the same maximum penalty as rape.)

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is the non-consensual touching of another person, when the touching is sexual.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature, which violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It can include:

  • 'banter', catcalling, wolf whistling
  • uninvited or unwanted kisses, groping, touching, pinching or smacking
  • sexting or using sexual images without someone's consent, for example posting photos on social media