Reporting and support
Everyone has the right to feel safe and to enjoy their experience at University.
We know that many people do not report sexual harassment. They might feel that it’s just a part of everyday life; that it’s somehow their fault they were harassed; or that they won’t be taken seriously. Edinburgh University Students’ Association, Edinburgh University Sports Union, and the University of Edinburgh believe that noone should have to put up with sexual harassment, that the only person responsible for harassment is the perpetrator, and that all incidents should be taken seriously.
If you have experienced harassment you can report it and get support through the Students’ Association’s Advice Place.
If you would like to report harassment or sexual violence to the police then you can contact them on 101. If you feel you or someone else are in immediate danger, dial 999.
What constitutes sexual harassment?
As a general rule, if you feel you have experienced harassment, then you have. Any behaviour that makes you feel threatened, abused, or humiliated is harassment.
Some examples of sexual harassment include:
- Unwanted or unsolicited sexual comments made to or about you
- Sexual gestures made to, or in reference to you
- Being repeatedly approached or propositioned by someone after you have made it clear you are not interested
- Unwanted or unsolicited comments about your appearance
- Being touched in any way that you do not consent to
Advice about harassment
You can talk to an adviser in the Students’ Association’s Advice Place about sexual harassment. Any information you give them will be kept confidential and the advice you receive will be completely impartial.
They can advise on formally reporting harassment to the Students’ Association, the University and Police. They can also signpost you to further support.
Ways to report harassment
You can report sexual harassment to any member of Students’ Association staff, and where applicable they may take immediate action, for example, by removing the perpetrator from the venue.
If you would like to make a formal complaint about the behaviour of another student you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on how your complaint will be handled, please see our Disciplinary Process.
If you would like to report sexual harassment which you have witnessed or experienced anonymously then you can do so via the form on the Advice Place’s website. Information submitted via the form will be looked at by a member of Advice Place staff, and where possible, acted on. As all reports received through this form are anonymous you will not be contacted regarding your report.
If you would like to report an incident of sexual harassment or violence to the police, you can talk to the Advice Place in confidence. They can support you in making a report yourself, or can report an incident on your behalf without you needing to be in contact with the police, depending on your preference.
Other sexual harassment support services
If you have experienced sexual harassment or violence, there are many places you can turn to for support and advice.
Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre: Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre is open to women and all members of the transgender community who have experienced sexual violence. They can offer support over the phone, face-to-face, via email, and in groups.
Edinburgh Nightline: Edinburgh Nightline is a confidential advice line run by Edinburgh students for Edinburgh students. Their trained listeners can offer support and signpost other services.
LGBT Health and Wellbeing: LGBT Health and Wellbeing is an Edinburgh-based charity that offers support and counselling to members of the LGBT community.
Residence Life: If you are currently living in University of Edinburgh accommodation and would like to speak with someone regarding either your experience of sexual harassment or how sexual harassment is affecting you either within or out-with your living situation you can contact the Residence Life team.
Samaritans: The Samaritans is a confidential advice service that can help you explore your options, understand your problems better, or just listen. You can contact them by phone or email.
Trans and Non-Binary Survivors’ Hotline: The Trans and Non-Binary Survivors’ Hotline is open every Sunday 1-5pm. They offer specialist support for trans survivors, and are sex worker affirmative, LGBT affirmative, and skilled in working with people in vulnerable situations.
Survivors UK: SurvivorsUK is a charity that specifically supports men who have experienced sexual violence. They offer web and text chats, and are trialling telephone counselling.
University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy: You can speak to one of the University’s Chaplains on any matter and in confidence.
University of Edinburgh Student Counselling Service: The Student Counselling Service offers a range of counselling options for matriculated students at the University.