skip to content

Student Support

 

What is the Harassment and Violence Support Service (HVSS)?

The HVSS can provide support to both those who have been subjected to any form of sexual harassment or violence and/or intimate partner abuse, and those who have been impacted by religious or racial discrimination or violence.  

We can support you whether this happened in a university context or not and we can help whether it happened recently or in the past.  

Arranging an appointment

To arrange an appointment please complete a self-referral form on our secure website. You do not need to give long answers; you can also put "I would prefer to talk about this in person" or “Prefer not to say”, if it is difficult to write about. 

You can also contact the service by email: HVSS@studentsupport.cam.ac.uk

Do I have to report if I receive support from the HVSS?

You do not have to report your experience to the police or the University to access support from the HVSS. If you would like, the HVSS can support you to explore your options for reporting what has happened. It can also support you throughout this process if you do choose to go ahead. 

Can I still use the service if I am not sure about what has happened?

If you are unsure about something that has happened and think it might be sexual harassment, violence or intimate partner abuse or religious or racial discrimination or violence then you are welcome to access the service and explore this with our advisors.  

Everyone frames their experiences differently. Please do not worry if the language we have used on this page does not fit with how you are choosing to label your experience.  

Will it be confidential?

The 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 this rule apply only if there are legal or statutory obligations to disclose, or if there is a risk of serious harm to the client or to others. For more information about this please see our Confidentiality Policy

Does the SHVA support those who are in/were in abusive relationships?

Yes, we provide support to students who have experienced or are experiencing intimate partner abuse. This is regardless of whether you consider there to be a sexual abuse element to the abuse. 

We can also support you to access other specialist services within the community if appropriate to your circumstances. 

What is a Sexual Harassment and Violence Adviser (SHVA)?

Sexual Harassment and Violence Advisers (within HVSS) can provide the following:  

Trauma-informed emotional support: 

  • Supporting you to manage the impacts of sexual violence and/or intimate partner abuse. 
  • Helping you to understand better how trauma can impact you. 
  • Enabling you to develop positive coping strategies. 
  • Supporting you to re-build your self-esteem. 

Practical support: 

  • Providing you with impartial information around your options for reporting both within the University and externally. 
  • Support to manage any difficulties/issues that have arisen due to the incident/s. 
  • Supporting you through any reporting process you choose to engage with. 
  • Signposting and referring you to appropriate support services both within the University and externally. 
What is a Racial & Religious Discrimination Adviser (RRDA)?

The Racial & Religious Discrimination Adviser (within HVSS) can provide the following: 

Emotional Support: 

  • A safe space to discuss your experience of religious or racial discrimination or violence. 
  • Helping you to explore the impacts and supporting you to manage these. 

Practical Support: 

  • Providing you with impartial information around your reporting options. We can advise you on how to raise your case formally either through a college procedure, with the University, or with the police. 
  • Support to manage any difficulties/issues that have arisen due to the incident/s. 
  • Supporting you through any reporting process you choose to engage with. 
  • Signposting and referring you to appropriate support services both within the University and externally. 
 Who can access the HVSS service?

This service is available to any registered student at the University of Cambridge. It does not matter when the incident/incidents occurred. We support people who have been subjected to these forms of harassment and violence at any time in their lives.  

Contact the team