What can you do to help?
If someone you know has been affected, you can: 

  • Show you care - Let them know you are worried and that you are here to listen to them. 
  • Be an active listener - Remember to ask them what would be helpful to them. Don’t just assume you know what they need. (Here is a quick video on how to be a good active listener). 
  • Stay in touch – Keep in contact with them regularly and ensure they know you are there for them. 
  • Help them to get support 

Remember, your friend might not want to report the assault to the police or the University. There are a lot of reasons why someone may choose not to report the incident such as: 

  • In most cases of sexual assault, the offender is known to the victim 
  • They might be concerned that people won’t believe them 
  • They may be concerned who else might be informed 
  • They may be afraid of or have confusion about the criminal justice system or what happens if you report it to the University 
  • If drugs or alcohol were involved, they may choose not to report because they are worried they will get in trouble as well 
Ultimately, it is up to them to decide what they want to disclose and to whom. 

If they do want to get support, you can encourage them to make a report online. Alternatively, you make an anonymous disclosure which will allow us to investigate if there are multiple instances in one area. 

You can also refer to our ‘what support is available to me’ page and show this to your friend. 

How to get support for yourself

The responsibility for keeping someone safe and happy ultimately falls on the individual, but here are some ways to be able to support your friends effectively. 

  • Be honest with what your time limits are and set some boundaries
  • Encourage your friend to build up a support network to include other friends and family

Finally, look after yourself. Make sure you are taking your own wellbeing into consideration and if you need support, ask for it. Here are some useful services around the University that could help. 


There are two ways you can tell us what happened