By Robin Benson
The past few years have unfortunately seen a large increase in Sexual Assaults across Universities in Wales. At Swansea University, we are working with a range of partners to make sure that all students are aware of their personal safety at all times and especially when out and about at night. We have a Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment at Swansea University and the Students Union.
Sexual Harassment is any behaviour that is unwanted, of a sexual nature and either persistent or likely to cause someone to feel alarmed, harassed or distressed.
If you or a friend have been a victim of a sexual assault or harassment, we have a superb array of Help available to support you and to take action.
The Police in Swansea have a specialised team for victims of Rape and Serious Sexual Assaults headed by DI Phil Sparrow…”reporting these crimes is extremely difficult and emotive. We understand that and there are ways we can support them and help them through the investigation. Some of the cases are historic and others are immediate.
All victims will receive the same level of support from the Police and the other agencies involved” Contact the Police tel. 101 or 999
One of those agencies is New Pathways, a 3rd Sector agency who run a local Sexual Assault Referral Centre known as the SARC. SARC is available 24/7 and it carries out forensic examinations and much more: SARC Co-ordinator Sarah-Jane Thomas said: “ If someone comes directly to us we will give them the information they need to make an informed decision on whether to involve the Police. We hold the evidence for up to 7 years so they can inform the Police at any time during that time”. SARC can also provide counselling for victims and relatives. SARC tel. 01792 206885
TALK is a new service available at the University tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence…Tell, Advise, Listen, Keep Safe. The contact for the service is Julie Grady tel. 07787 508719. Julie does a surgery every week at the University at the offices of the Student Union Advice & Support Centre, just behind Costcutter in Fulton House.
We have links to a specialist set of services if you may be a victim of Revenge Porn and online harassment
You can sign up to the Universities SafeZone App and access a range of personal safety tools
You can make contact with me, Robin Benson, the University’s Community Liaison Officer, any time on tel. 07860 782004. I will help guide you through to appropriate services and ensure you’re properly supported.
You can also make contact with the incredible staff at the Union’s Advice & Support Centre (ASC) behind Costcutter by just walking in or on tel. 01792 295617
You can also walk in @ Campus Life at Student Services opposite the Library.
Folks, there is lots of sensational and dedicated professional help for anyone who suffers a sexual assault or harassment. I urge any victim please to get help and support, to report any incident and to be vigilant with your personal safety and sexual health.