University of Nottingham Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) Service
The University of Nottingham is committed to promoting and providing a safe and respectful environment for every member of its community.
We understand that seeking advice and support for a sexual assault can be a very difficult and personal decision. This is why we have established a specialised support service for students who have experienced sexual violence. The university has a dedicated team of qualified sexual violence liaison officers (SVLO’s) to support students who have experienced sexual harassment and or violence either recently or in the past. .
What is sexual abuse and violence?
In the UK, sexual abuse and violence is the term we use to describe any kind of unwanted sexual contact, act or activity. It includes rape and sexual assaults. “Unwanted” means that you have not consented, or agreed by choice.
What is a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer and how can they help?
SVLOs are university staff who have undergone specific, specialist training to enable them to support students who have experienced sexual violence.
SVLOs listen empathically without judgement. They will inform you about support available and discuss reporting options. SVLOs can also liaise with external organisations and other university staff on your behalf.
If you are not sure what has happened to you, or how it might be viewed (for example, have I been sexually assaulted?) it can be very helpful to access the service and talk to an SVLO. You can also access support even if it wasn’t you that was directly affected.
Who are our SVLOs?
We currently have 20 members of staff who are trained SVLOs from a variety of departments across the university.
The service is being administered by a member of the Student and Campus Life Wellbeing team who is also an SVLO.
How do I contact the service?
Submit a report through Report and Support and one of the team will get back to you as soon as possible. Please note Report and Support is not a helpline and if you need to speak to someone urgently please contact the Police, Topaz or University Security (informtion below).
How confidential is the service?
The service will keep information you disclose confidential, however, if you share information that suggests that you or someone else is at risk of significant harm, we may have to report to the university safeguarding officer or the police. We will discuss this with you further at the beginning of the SVLO appointment.
Your information is stored on a database and, if required, with your consent, we will share the information with university staff or police investigating any report you might decide to make.
What happens when I access the SVLO service (currently online)?
- Submit a report through Report and Support and you will be contacted within 5 working days.
- You are contacted by the university who will ask you if you would like to talk to a SVLO. They will book you an appointment and send you an invite to attend a meeting with an SVLO. This will be either in person via MS teams.
- Your SVLO will discuss support available to you (University and external specialist services). They will also explain the reporting options available to you both within the university and externally. Support will be offered regardless of whether you chose to report or not.
- If there are concerns about your safety, these will be considered carefully, and safeguarding measures will be discussed with you.
- The SVLO will produce written documentation of the disclosure, which will be stored confidentially.
- A follow up appointment will be made if required.
Reporting a member of staff?
If you are reporting a staff member, details will be passed onto Human Resources who are the lead department in relation to staff disciplinary investigations. HR will then designate an investigating officer to deal with the case. The investigation is conducted following the staff discipline procedures.
We have separate provision to support and advise students who have been accused or reported of sexual misconduct.
Accused or reported students can still access the SVLO service for support, however, they will be referred to the conduct and investigations team. They will advise you of the disciplinary process and signpost you to the appropriate support services.
Where can I go for help?
The Topaz Centre (Sexual Assault Referral Centre): Support to anyone over 18 who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse.
Topaz provides a crisis response and supports clients to access medical care and provides a secure and safe location to gather forensic evidence.
Juniper Lodge provides its comprehensive service to anyone aged 18 and over living in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland who has been raped or sexually assaulted either recently or at any time in the past.
The SARC provides discreet services by experienced professionals and offers forensic medical examinations, which includes access to emergency medication and contraception, referral to other specialist agencies, one to one support sessions and access to an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor.
Nottinghamshire Police: If you are in danger call 999. In a non-emergency call 101.
Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (NSVSS): Provides a range of support services to meet various needs including counselling.
East Midlands Children and Young People’s Sexual Assault Service: support children and young people aged 17 and under.
Campus Security: Campus security aim to ensure the University of Nottingham is a safe and secure place for students, staff and visitors. They can help with crime prevention, reporting and investigation.
University Counselling Service: Offers free confidential support to students and staff.
Support and Wellbeing Service: Work alongside your personal tutor, supervisor, and other University support services. They can provide practical advice, help and support on a wide range of issues.
University Off Campus Affairs Team: Offers support and advice to students living off campus.
Chaplaincy and Faith Support: Chaplains support students and staff of any faith or none. A confidential chat can be arranged at short notice.
Students’ Union services
Students’ Union Advice: Provides impartial advice and information to students.
Nightline: A listening service run by students for students.
More information about support can be found here