Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) Service

Our Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) service is a non-emergency service that offers support to students following an incident of sexual harassment and/or violence. The service allows students to disclose a case of sexual violence or abuse in a confidential and secure manner to our specially trained SVLOs across the University.

The incident of sexual violence or abuse may have taken place recently or a long time ago – and the reported incident does not have to involve any other students or have to have happened on University premises – essentially there are no limitations on what you can report.

What is a Sexual Violence Liaison Officer and how can they help?

SVLOs are members of staff from the University who have undergone specialist training to enable them to support students who have experienced sexual violence. SVLOs listen empathetically and without judgement. They will inform you about the support available and discuss reporting options, and they can also liaise with external organisations and other University staff on your behalf.

Some examples of these support options are:

  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
  • Rape and Sexual Assault Centre (RASAC)
  • Chester Sexual Abuse Support Service (CSASS)
  • Specialist Counselling
  • Internal University Services (Wellbeing & Mental Health, Counselling, Proctor’s Office, Financial Support, Disability & Inclusion)

Who are our SVLOs?

We currently have 20 trained SVLOs from a variety of departments across the University. The service is being administered by members of the Student Services team. You can find information on our SVLOs on Portal.

How confidential is the service?

The service will keep information you disclose confidential and stored securely, however, if you share information that suggests that you or someone else is at risk of significant harm, we may have to report to a University Safeguarding Officer or the police. We will discuss this with you further at the beginning of the SVLO appointment.

When are appointments available?

There will be one appointment available on most days during working hours and we will do our best to find a date and time to suit you.

What happens when I access the SVLO service?

  1. When you ask for an appointment and you will be contacted within two working days.
  2. You will be contacted by the service coordinator. They will book you an appointment and send you an invite to attend a meeting with an SVLO. We can offer appointments via MS Teams, in-person or on the phone and will do our best to meet your preference. You can be accompanied by a supporter at your appointment if you wish.
  3. 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 to you whether you choose to report to the police or the University Proctor’s Office or not.
  4. If there are concerns about your safety, these will be considered carefully, and safeguarding measures will be discussed with you.
  5. The SVLO will produce written documentation of the disclosure, which will be stored confidentially, and a copy will be sent to you after your appointment via email.6. A follow up appointment will be made if required.

How do I contact the service?

PLEASE REMEMBER if you or someone else is in immediate danger or if emergency assistance is required call the emergency services (police and/or ambulance) on 999. If you need support out of hours and are on campus, you can contact Porters on 01244 511541.

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