The University and Students' Union have trained a group of staff as SVMLOs. This means that they are trained in taking disclosures and supporting people who have been affected by sexual violence. They will listen empathically to you without judgement. The SVMLO will provide you with information on your options if you have been affected by sexual violence in any way, even if it wasn't you that was directly affected.
You can email, call, or visit the Student Services Hub. You do not need to provide any specific information and you do not need to confirm that you are a victim/survivor of sexual violence. The only information you will need to provide is that you wish to meet with a SVMLO.
Emails sent to the SVMLO email account are strictly managed with only a small number of staff having access to them. Your email will be reviewed by a trained member of staff and allocated to a member of the SMVLO team. Your information and data will be recorded and managed confidentially and in line with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations. If you would like further information about this please contact the SVMLO Coordinator, Bridget Ferguson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Katie Perrin (email@example.com), Head of Student Guidance and Wellbeing.
Your email will potentially also be seen by a member of the Student, Academic and Corporate Services administration team who provides administrative support to the SVMLO Coordinators. They will treat your information in the strictest confidence and will only share this with the SVMLO Coordinators.
You can make an appointment with a SVMLO by calling the Student Services Hub on +44 (0) 1786 466022. You do not have to say what you want to talk about. All you have to give is your name and student number (if you have one).
You can ask to make an appointment with an SVMLO at the Student Services Hub, in Cottrell 2A1.
You can either specify you would like to speak to a male or female SVMLO, or simply ask the SVMLO coordinator to allocate a SVMLO to you.
You can ask to speak to a SVMLO on the phone or face-to-face. You will be allocated a private meeting room for face-to-face meetings.
Whichever way you choose to reach out to a SVMLO, you will be treated respectfully and sensitively.
If meeting in person the SVMLO will meet with you in a private room where you will not be disturbed. You are welcome to bring a friend, colleague, member of the Students’ Union or Trade Union with you if you wish. However, please be aware that the SVMLO cannot meet or speak with any legal representatives.
The role of the SVMLO is primarily to listen. They will be empathic, supportive and non-judgmental. They will ask you what you want to happen next and will provide you with information about your options.
The SVMLO will take a brief note of the meeting which will be saved in a password protected electronic file. The notes of the meeting will normally be seen only by you and the SVMLO you are with (unless the SVMLO identifies that you or someone else is at risk of harm). Before the end of the meeting, the SVMLO will go over the notes they have taken to ensure you are happy they are accurate. They will also confirm with you any follow up actions which were agreed between those present during the conversation.
The SVMLO will normally keep the information you disclose confidential, but it is important for you to be aware that, if they consider you or any other person to be at risk of harm, they will be obliged to escalate relevant information to the SVMLO Coordinators - Erin Russell and Katie Perrin.
You are under no obligation to name the perpetrator(s) and will be able to receive guidance on all of your options as well as access to all University and external support if you choose not to. However, if you do choose to name the perpetrator and they are either a University student or staff member, the University will be obliged to take appropriate action to safeguard you and/or members of our community. This is likely to involve speaking to the alleged perpetrator and it may involve disciplinary action being taken.
The same will apply if you name someone who is not a student or member of staff but the information you disclose indicates that you or someone else is at risk of harm. It is rare that the University would inform the Police without your explicit consent, but if the level of risk to you or others is sufficiently high, this course of action might be necessary.
If you wish to name a perpetrator but do not want the University to take action you may prefer to engage with an external support agency such as Rape Crisis Scotland or Women’s Aid. The SVMLO will be able to help with this and refer you to other agencies that can help.
If the SVMLO considers they need to refer your case to the Academic Registrar, Director of Human Resources and Organisation Development, or the Police, a discussion will normally first be held with you to make you aware that this action will be taken and what you should expect next. This conversation would normally take place between you and the SVMLO, with an SVMLO Coordinator present if necessary.
The SVMLO will endeavour to make sure you are happy with the information in your disclosure before it is submitted. They will confirm with you any follow up actions which were agreed between those present during the conversation.
If the alleged perpetrator is a student or member of staff and is deemed to be a risk to you, themselves or others, the SVMLO/SVMLO Coordinator will discuss your case with senior staff including the Head of Student Support Services, the Academic Registrar, the Director of Student, Academic and Corporate Services, or the Director of Human Resources and Organisation Development as part of the risk assessment process.
If it is agreed that the case should be investigated under student or staff disciplinary procedures, the Academic Registrar or Director of Human Resources and Organisation Development respectively will take over the case. However, the SVMLO will normally remain your key contact in terms of organisation of support and referrals to external agencies, unless another contact is specifically requested.