Queen Mary takes any incident of sexual harassment and/or assault seriously and recognises the need for specialist, bespoke trauma-informed support to be available for survivors of any form of sexual violence and/or abuse.
For support around Domestic & Familial Abuse, 'Honour'-based Abuse or LGBGTQ+ Abuse, see our separate web page.
Sexual violence is any incident of unwanted sexual contact. It includes rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, whatever the circumstances, whenever it happened, it was not your fault.
There is help and support available so you can make your own decision about what happens next. Support is available both on and off campus and you can access either or both to suit you.
The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and there is help and support available.
The SAHA is a specialist adviser who provides emotional and practical support to anyone who has been raped, sexually assaulted, or harassed, whether that’s happened recently or in the past. The SAHA can support you whether this happened at University or not, and can also help you to access other available support services.
The SAHA can support you to explore your options should you wish to report what has happened and can support you through this process if you do choose to go ahead – the decision to report is entirely up to you.
The SAHA service is not counselling or therapy, but the SAHA can offer you short term emotional support to look at managing the impact of what has happened. The SAHA can also provide practical support and look at ways of making you feel safe if this is something you’re worried about.
You do not have to report your experience to the University or to the police to access support from the SAHA. Everyone copes differently, and as such it is important that survivors of sexual violence decide the best way forward for themselves. The SAHA will never tell you what to do, but will discuss options available and be led by you.
These are some of the things the SAHA can support you with:
Emotional support, including:
Practical support, including:
Talking about experiences of sexual assault and harassment can be very difficult and we understand that it may feel daunting to access the service. The SAHA has a lot of experience supporting survivors of sexual violence and/or abuse and will be able to provide a safe and sensitive space for you to discuss your thoughts and feelings. The SAHA is NOT a counselling or therapy service, but will be able to provide emotional support around what has happened, and you will be able to access the counselling service as well should you wish to do so.
If you don’t wish to speak to the SAHA or don’t feel you’re quite ready yet but would still like some advice and support, you can visit the Report and Support list of resources.
The Service is free and available to any student who has experienced any form of sexual violence, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of types of behaviour that would constitute sexual violence:
If you are unsure about something that has happened and think it might be sexual assault or harassment, you are welcome to explore this with the SAHA.
The SAHA support is confidential, which means your situation will not be discussed with anyone outside the Service, unless we have your consent to do so. Exceptions to confidentiality apply only if there are legal or statutory obligations to disclose information (e.g. to the Police if there is an ongoing criminal justice investigation), or if there is a risk of serious harm to you or others. For more information about this please see our Confidentiality Policy.
To get support from our SAHA you can either:
You don’t need to give long answers; you can also write "I would prefer to talk about this in person", if it is difficult to write about or think about what happened.
The SAHA can offer face to face or online appointments via MS Teams.