Sexual Harassment and Violence

Professional support

The Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service provides professional and specialist support to students who have experienced sexual harassment and/or sexual violence. They also provide support to students who have been affected by domestic/relationship abuse and stalking. 

Specialist Caseworkers offer free, confidential advice and support to all current students, no matter where or when the incident/s took place. 

Any student who is seeking support for these issues should be signposted to the Support Service. Information on making a referral is at the bottom of this page. 

Responding to disclosures

Disclosures of sexual violence are both difficult to hear and carry significant risk. It is very important in all cases that students are given the option of a referral to specialist support. It is also important that staff do not provide this support and advice themselves. 

If a student discloses that something has happened to them, remain calm and listen to what is being said. You should not ask questions or try to gain more information about what has happened to the student, unless there is a concern of immediate risk of harm, or any safeguarding concerns. 

You are advised to tell the student that the Support Service is available to them and encourage them to make an appointment. Further information on the provision is available on the Oxford Students website.

You can also refer a student yourself (with the student’s consent) and the Support Service will get in touch with them. 

If the incident relates to sexual violence and was very recent (less than seven days ago) please contact the Support Service for guidance via as there may be time factors to consider.  

Domestic Abuse and Stalking

Domestic abuse and stalking can carry significant risk to those involved and affected. If a student discloses that they have concerns about abuse or violence, controlling and coercive behaviours, or are experiencing stalking, please ensure they are directed to the Support Service. The following includes some suggestions for how to navigate conversations regarding domestic abuse: 

  • Remain non-judgemental, reassuring the individual it is not their fault and that they are deserving of support. 

  • Validate their concerns and feelings. 

  • Do not try to mediate or speak to the other party involved about the situation. 

  • Ending a relationship can increase the risk to a victim – do not tell them to just leave or end the relationship, as this can require specialist guidance and support. 

  • Encourage the student to seek advice from the National Domestic Abuse Helpline.  

Referrals to the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service 

All student survivors are encouraged to self-refer by completing a short self-referral form. Most sections are optional.

If preferred, they can also email 

There is information about the service available on the Oxford Students website.

Students who indicate that they would like to make a report to the police should be referred to the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). 

Students referring to the ISVA service can refer themselves via this self-referral form. Staff can also refer via the third-party referral form with the student’s consent. 

Advice for staff

If you are a working with a student and have a concern or would like some advice or to discuss a disclosure you have received, the staff at the Support Service would be more than happy to have a no-name confidential conversation with you. You can contact the Support Service for guidance via

Students reported for sexual misconduct

A separate support service is also available for students who have been reported for sexual misconduct or accused of sexual harassment or violence. Reported students can receive confidential advice and support from a Specialist Caseworker. 

To refer into the service, students can complete a short self-referral form or email