Cardiff University is aware of how violence and abuse affects students, and is committed to addressing these issues.
A violent crime is when someone physically hurts or threatens to hurt someone, and also includes crimes where a weapon is used. The police will record a crime as violent if the offender clearly intended or intends to physically harm you, regardless of whether or not it results in a physical injury.
Violent crimes can include:
- gun and knife crime
- sexual violence (such as rape or sexual assault)
- alcohol and drug-related violence
- gang violence
- domestic violence
- hate crimes (disability, faith, gender, gender identity, race or sexual orientation)
- murder or manslaughter
Violent crimes can happen in public spaces such as in the street, clubs and pubs, as well as at home or in the workplace, and often the victim knows the person who attacks them. The important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault – you haven’t done anything wrong, and it’s the person who has been violent that is to blame. No-one has the right to hurt you.
How violence can affect you…
It can be extremely frightening to experience violence. As well as possibly being hurt or injured physically, you can be very seriously affected emotionally.
Many people find it hard to deal with the feeling of being powerless when they are threatened. Other common feelings include:
- finding it hard to believe what has happened, and feeling numb
- feeling deeply upset
- feeling that your life is completely out of control
- physical symptoms such as ‘the shakes’, sleeplessness or crying all the time
- extreme anger towards your attacker
- self-blame for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All of these reactions, and more, are completely normal responses to experiencing violence.
However you react, you can talk to one of the Disclosure Response Team. We have specially trained staff to help you if you’ve been affected by violence. If you decide to tell us about your experience you can do so through the brief online disclosure tool. Your disclosure can remain anonymous or you can choose to identify yourself so we can contact you and offer support. If you would like to make an identified disclosure a member of our Disclosure Response Team will get in touch to offer advice and guidance. They can talk you through the various support and report options available and signpost you to specialist support if you choose.
If you’ve been hurt or abused by someone you know or love, the effects may be even greater. As well as the experience itself, you’ve had your trust broken, which can affect your relationships with other people. It can also feel more difficult to speak out against people you know or love. You might feel guilty or ashamed about what has happened, but it’s important to remember that you haven’t done anything wrong, and that we can help.
Remember, if you have experienced any form of violence or abuse, it is not your fault and we are here to support you. Reaching out to the Disclosure Response Team may feel like a difficult step. Please know we can help, we will offer a non-judgmental and listening ear, and we will believe you.
WE KNOW, violence and abuse affects our students. IT’S NOT ON, and we are addressing it. WE CAN HELP, our Disclosure Response Team offer practical support. YOU CAN HELP, recognise the signs, tell us if you know a student is at risk.
WE CAN HELP
If you have experienced violence or abuse of any kind, you are entitled to free, non-judgmental support. Please don’t be afraid to reach out to us.
The Disclosure Response Team:
Let us know using the online disclosure tool.
hours: Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 16:30
phone: 029 2087 4844
out of hours: 0808 8010 800 (Live Fear Free Helpline)
search: ‘Violence and Abuse’ on the student Intranet for more.
To find out more about protecting yourself and others, please read our ‘Personal Safety’ blog post. You can also view our Personal and Online Safety pages on the student Intranet. Please know, we provide this information to our students to ensure students are well informed on how to improve their personal and online safety. However, we absolutely would like to emphasise that someone who has experienced an incident of violence and abuse is not to blame.
YOU CAN HELP
As an individual, you have the power to affect real change by leading by example. You can play your part by:
- Understanding the power of your words
- Be sensitive and careful even when ‘joking’
- Consciously challenge your stereotypical beliefs on sex, gender, and traditional roles associated with both
- Speak up for what you believe in!
- Become an empowered bystander. The Bystander Effect states that we are less likely to intervene and help someone when part of a crowd. As the number of people present increase, the responsibility is diffused and often this results in someone being left helpless.
Your feedback and help please
Have you found this blog post useful? Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.
We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and facebook.
Nichola (Placement Student) and Sophie (HEFCE Marketing Project Lead),
Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Team.
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and Money, Careers and Employability, Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, Disability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.