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Staff Counselling Centre


Dispelling the myths, seeking support: In addition to the many other negative consequences of Lockdown has been an increase in the number of reports of domestic abuse. This includes rape, sexual abuse and sexual violence. Yet the beliefs surrounding them serve as a barrier to finding appropriate emotional support and advice and guidance, irrespective of whether a victim wishes to make a report.

The University Staff-Counselling Centre is there for all staff suffering from distress whatever its origins.  This includes rape and sexual offences, past or recent, whether or not reported. This service is non-directive, confidential, sensitive and non-judgemental. For more information about staff counselling, and to access a confidential self-referral, please see our information on Arranging Counselling

For more information on sexual violence or sexual assault from the Staff Counselling Centre see our page on Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness

 It is important for all of us to challenge the misconceptions; rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault are illegal, never ok or justifiable and always the responsibility of the perpetrator/s.  The impact of these serious crimes can be devastating, widespread and long lasting. Many of the myths serve to suggest victim culpability, imply perpetrator entitlement, discredit a victim’s experience and encourage self-blame – all of which may worsen the outcomes for the victim, including damage to their mental health.

The Crown Prosecution Service recognises that our increasingly digital lives and consequent changes in culture and sexual behaviours (for example, meeting partners online, the culture of sharing explicit images) makes understanding and busting these myths and their implications even more urgent.

Here are just three of the many:

“You cannot be raped by your husband or partner” False

“If the victim didn’t scream, fight or get injured, it wasn’t rape” False

“The victim provoked rape and automatically provided consent by their dress/flirtatious behaviour” False

To see more common myths, please press on the link:

Rape and Sexual Offences - Annex A: Challenging Rape Myths and Stereotypes | The Crown Prosecution Service (

The pervasive nature of these beliefs help to explain the reluctance of victims to report these crimes, especially given the challenges imposed by the ensuing invasive and distressing process and relatively low rate of prosecutions.

Follow this link for further information: Link

Sexual offences | The Crown Prosecution Service (

For help, support and advice from external organisations, Follow this link: