At ARU, you have access to lots of support if you have been affected by any unacceptable behaviours.
You can speak to our Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) who can support you if you have experienced sexual violence, and you contact our Harassment Support Officers (HSOs) if you have been affected by hate crime, harassment, discrimination or bullying.
Please note that by contacting the ISVA or HSOs, ARU will be able to offer you support, but a formal complaint won’t be launched.
If you are a victim or survivor of sexual violence, it is important to know that what you have experienced was not your fault. No one deserves to be treated this way, no matter the circumstances. You deserve support, and you deserve to have your voice heard.
The ARU Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) is here to support you if you have experienced sexual violence of any form. The ISVA will listen and believe. She will also offer practical support and advocacy. You can access support from the ISVA for both recent and historical sexual violence, no matter where it took place or who it was perpetrated by.
There is no pressure to access ISVA support. Support should be your choice and should be accessed when it feels right for you. If you don’t feel ready to access support yet, then that is OK.
The ISVA service sits within the Counselling and Wellbeing service, but is independent from other support services within ARU; this means if you are accessing ISVA support, you can choose to do so confidentially. You will have the choice of meeting the ISVA:
Your ISVA can support you in a range of different ways, and the service will be catered to your needs and choices. Some examples of support are listed here:
When you refer to the ISVA service you will be contacted about your referral within five working days.
The ISVA service offers 4 – 6 initial emotional support sessions. After this you will be offered ongoing advocacy support for as long as needed, which is different for each survivor. If you want further emotional support, the ISVA service can help refer you for counselling if this is something you would like.
You can disclose and refer for ISVA support on ARU’s disclosure tool, Unsilenced. You can self-refer through Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre where ARU is co-located via this form, or you can ask a member of ARU staff or a professional you are working with outside of the university to make a referral on your behalf via the above Unsilenced form.
If someone makes a referral on your behalf, the ISVA will contact you to ask if you consented to the referral for support and make sure you are aware of the referral. If you did not consent or were not aware that the referral was being made, the ISVA will not put any pressure on you to engage with the support.
If you have reported to the police, they should offer you a referral for ISVA support and can make a referral to Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre on your behalf.
Please note that if you are studying in Chelmsford or Peterborough and have reported to the police, you might be offered a referral for ISVA support from the local Rape Crisis Centre to your campus to support you with the criminal justice process. The ARU ISVA can still support you with internal ARU advocacy support needs.
If you have questions about the service and you’re not sure if you want to make a referral, you can contact the ISVA on email@example.com
Our HSOs can provide a listening and personalised signposting service to current ARU students who have experienced bullying, discrimination, harassment or hate crime.
The HSOs are comprised of existing staff from a variety of departments within the university and ARU Students’ Union. We currently have 18 trained HSOs in place across Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough.
HSOs are trained to listen to students in the event of bullying, harassment, discrimination and hate crime without making a judgement. HSOs offer personalised signposting to support (both within ARU and externally), and can signpost to the formal reporting options available (both within ARU and externally), enabling students to make informed decisions.
HSOs are not counsellors or advocates and cannot take responsibility for solving the problem, however they offer a point of contact for students to discuss their situation. The HSOs are equipped to identify and monitor any risk involved in individual cases, and protocols are in place to enable the management of any risk that may arise.
Current ARU students are able to contact the HSO service by completing the Report an incident and get support online form and a HSO will contact them within one working day.
The Counselling and Wellbeing Service is available to all ARU students and offers a free and confidential service to promote mental health and wellbeing.Find out more