Cardiff University is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for students. The Disclosure Response Team is here to support you.
We strongly advise that you read through all the information available to you by searching ‘Violence and Abuse’ on the Intranet before submitting a report. This will ensure that you are aware of your options and all the different sources of support available to you.
Any student can report an incident of sexual assault
If you decide to tell the university about your experience you can do this 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 decide you would like to speak with a member of the Disclosure Response Team, you will be asked for your contact information and your preferred mode of communication.
It is your choice who you tell and whether you decide to report to the police and/or the University. We understand that confidentiality and privacy is important and if you choose to report we will aim to offer a confidential service. However with all confidential services, there are some limits to the confidentiality we can provide. It may be necessary to disclose information about you in order to protect you or other people from risk or serious harm. In situations where there is no immediate concern to your safety or the safety of others but we believe that sharing information with other agencies, such as your GP, can allow the University to respond more effectively and provide the best possible level of care, we will ask for your consent.
Can I report an incident of sexual assault and remain anonymous?
If you wish to remain anonymous, please select the option to remain anonymous. Please be aware that if you decide to remain anonymous, the university will be unable to take any specific action regarding your report. However, your report would still be very valuable and the information will be utilised to better understand the volume, type and any patterns or trends with respect to sexual assault on campus, and to develop and implement targeted preventative efforts. If you choose to submit an anonymised disclosure we are unable to action the information you share. However, the university can use the information to look at trends of violence and abuse on and off campus, which helps inform how we educate students about these incidents and helps us to take precautions to increase safety on campus.
You can choose whether or not to report what has happened to the police. For some people, telling the police is not something they wish to consider, whereas for others seeking justice and reporting what happened is an important part of their experience. Whatever you choose, you have the right to decide what to say, who to tell, whether to access support and you have the right to take your time over your decision.
There are many barriers for students wishing to report, some of which include:
- I was under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- I might not be taken seriously or believed
- What if I was doing something illegal at the time – I might get in to trouble
In making your decision, it may be helpful to think about the following. If you report:
- This may stop the perpetrator from harming you again or from harming someone else
- You may feel empowered by doing what you can to ensure this perpetrator is reported
- You may be able to claim compensation for any injury
If you choose not to report:
- It is not your fault if your attacker harms someone else
- The attacker is responsible for what they do
- They always have a choice
No victim of crime is to blame for what has happened to them. However, we want Cardiff University students to be safety aware and alert, which can help reduce the likelihood of being targeted. To find out more about protecting yourself and others, please read our ‘Personal Safety’ blog post.
Immediately after an incident it is normal to feel shock, pain, anger, numbness and denial. Some students will want to keep themselves busy, some will want to talk about their experience, others will want to keep it to themselves. There is not a right or wrong way to respond. If you’ve experienced violence or abuse, please continue reading about your options following the incident. As a team, we understand it can feel difficult to disclose incidents of a serious, personal nature. For all students who have experienced violence and abuse, or any other form of unacceptable behaviour, we want to offer you practical guidance and support. Be assured every disclosure is taken seriously and blame is not attributed to any survivor.
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.
YOU CAN HELP
As an individual, you have the power to affect real change by leading by example. You can play your part by:
- Recognise the signs of violence and abuse and signpost the survivor onto support services.
- Practice being a good listener if someone discloses an incident of violence or abuse to you.
- 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.