At ARU, we have created a Harassment Support Network (HSN) of staff to be the first point of contact if you have been affected by any unacceptable behaviours and want to talk to us.
The network is currently made up of Sexual Violence Liaison Officers (SVLOs) who can support you if you have experienced sexual violence and Harassment Support Officers (HSOs) to support you if you have been affected by hate crime, harassment, discrimination or bullying. To find out more about each role, please click on the tiles below.
Please note that by contacting the network, ARU will be able to offer you support, but it won’t launch a formal complaint.
Our SVLOs can provide a pro-active support and advice service to any ARU student who has experienced sexual violence, including recent and non-recent cases. SVLOs can support you to make informed choices, and, with your explicit consent, can contact and liaise with other services on your behalf.
To contact a SVLO, please email email@example.com and a member of the network will contact you within one working day.
The Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) role was introduced to Anglia Ruskin University in response to the UUK guidelines (October 2016) - Changing the culture. This report from the Universities UK Taskforce examined violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting University students. In December 2016 the report was presented at CMT and it was agreed that a working group be established to take forward the recommendations. The Sexual Respect Working Group meets monthly and is comprised of Student Services, the Students Union, HR, Residential Services and academics.
One of the recommendations within this report focuses on achieving a University wide response to incidents of sexual violence and recognised the need for ‘Go-to People’ in universities, hence Anglia Ruskin’s introduction of 10 trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officers over the Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses.
The SVLOs are comprised of existing staff from a variety of departments within the university, who have completed an external, accredited training and are ready to support students who have experienced sexual violence. Due to staff changes we currently have 6 trained staff in place.
SVLOs provide a pro-active support and advice service to students who have experienced sexual violence, both recent and non-recent cases. The Sexual Violence Liaison Officer is there to support students in making informed choices with regards to their safety, their education and other aspects of their lives; a tailored support plan will be created with the student based on the nature of the disclosure. Survivors will be made aware of the support available to them in the community, (including specialist sexual violence support and other mainstream services) alongside our internal support services, including Counselling and Wellbeing.
The SVLOs can communicate closely with the Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy services to support the survivor in accessing local – to the student – community services. They are able to aid students in understanding criminal justice options and the importance of preserving evidence, where necessary. The SVLOs 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 self-refer to the SVLO service by completing the Report an incident and get support online form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Initial contact will be made within 1 working day.
For staff looking to refer students into the service, please contact email@example.com and copy in the referee to demonstrate their consent to be contacted or signpost the student to the Report an incident and get support online form.
The Sexual Violence Liaison officers have allocated days whereby they monitor the email inbox, this is where most referrals will be made into the service. When a case comes in on a particular day, the ‘on call’ SVLO will respond and offer support where appropriate.
Students entering the service are provided with information, electronically or hardcopy, of the confidentiality and GDPR guidelines. Students are required to sign a ‘permission to contact’ if they would like for an SVLO to liaise with a particular department, internal or external, on their behalf.
All electronic correspondence and notes taken from meetings are stored in a folder on the ARU Jdrive that is locked down to SVLOs, selected management and one administrator.
SVLO briefings have already been completed within Student Services and SVLOs will continue to brief the wider university on their role and what is entails. This enables staff to gain a greater understanding on how best to signpost their students to the appropriate support services. The SVLO service ran an awareness raising initiative in the 2017/18 academic year to boost their profile including running ‘Talk to me about SVLO’ stands. The aim of this was to encourage both staff and students to enquire about the services offered and referral pathways
In the 2017/18 academic year the SVLO service supported students with a variety of issues relating to sexual violence and assault. The SVLO team supported 18 students in Cambridge and 1 student in Chelmsford.
Our HSOs can provide a listening and personalised signposting service to current ARU students who have experienced bullying, discrimination, harassment or hate crime.
The Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) role was introduced to Anglia Ruskin University in the academic year 2017/18 to offer support to students affected by sexual violence. ARU made a successful bid to the HEFCE Safeguarding Catalyst Fund (now managed by the Office for Students) to expand our offering and train staff to be able to support students affected by hate crime and harassment too. The University of Manchester already had a successful Harassment Support Adviser network in place and offered their guidance and resources in supporting ARU to create the HSO role.
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 1 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