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Sexual Misconduct

Consistent with its Values and Mission, Liverpool Hope University seeks to be a community where its members, treat each other with dignity, courtesy and respect, and where we value each individual’s contribution.

Sexual Misconduct

The University condemns all forms of sexual misconduct and harassment and is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment that is conducive to the academic, social and personal development of staff at Hope.

The University strives to encourage a culture of respect, and create a Hope community that does not tolerate, and feels comfortable, challenging and reporting all forms of sexual misconduct and harassment.

This document outlines the process for responding to and handling allegations of sexual misconduct.

The terms used in this procedure are as follows:

The Reporting Party is the person(s) who has been subject of the alleged incident of sexual misconduct.

The Responding Party is the person(s) whose behaviour it is alleged amounted to sexual misconduct.

A ‘Disclosure’ means that an individual tells a member of University staff that they have experienced sexual misconduct. A disclosure is not the same as a report. These are separate actions that the Reporting Party may choose to take.

A ‘Formal Complaint’ to the University regarding an individual’s experience of sexual misconduct is an instruction for the University to take appropriate action. The complaint will allow the University to investigate the misconduct.

Related Policies

Dignity at Work and Study Policy

Staff Disciplinary Policy

Policy and Process for Handling Sexual Misconduct

Student Complaints Policy and Procedure


This procedure applies to all staff in the Hope community and relates to sexual misconduct, sexual violence and harassment by a member of staff against a student, a member of staff, or a third party.

This document outlines the process for responding to and handling allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sexual misconduct covers a broad range of inappropriate, unwanted behaviours which create (or has the potential to create) an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive situation or environment for the person experiencing the behaviour.

Harassment is unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct that may (intentionally or unintentionally) violate a person’s dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Unlawful harassment may involve conduct of a sexual nature (sexual harassment), or it may be related to a protected characteristic.

Report/Disclose an incident

All reported cases of sexual misconduct and harassment will be taken very seriously by the University and the appropriate procedures will be used to investigate complaints. During any process of investigation, the University will support all students and staff members involved in a case of sexual misconduct and harassment.

A disclosure is made when someone tells a member of University staff that they may have experienced sexual misconduct or harassment. A disclosure can be made in person, or via other means such as phone or email.

Disclosure does not create a formal complaint, and is not an instruction for the University to take action. The person who has disclosed will have the opportunity to be heard and to consider their options before proceeding with any further steps.

No action will be taken immediately by the University without the reporting party’s consent unless there is a concern about immediate safety.

The University recognises that staff or students may disclose an incident of sexual misconduct to any member of staff who they trust.

Upon receiving a disclosure of sexual misconduct, you should ensure the immediate safety of the reporting party. If the individual is in immediate treat or danger or in need of immediate medical attention (on campus), please contact a Campus Security Operative on:

• Hope Park (0151) 291 3800

• Creative Campus (0151) 291 3700

• Aigburth (0151) 291 3095

Campus Security operative will also call the emergency services for you if you request this.

If there is no immediate danger, do not call the police or ambulance service without the explicit consent from the disclosing reporting party.

If you receive a disclosure of sexual misconduct, you should:

• Remain calm and listen to the reporting party

• Reassure the reporting party

• Respect the reporting party's feelings and decisions and acknowledge that they have choices

• Ensure that you are aware of the support services both internal and external to signpost the reporting party if needed

A staff member can contact a HR Manager in Personnel for advice on how to best support staff or contact Student Development and Wellbeing for students, and may do so without disclosing the individual's identity. The person who has chosen to disclose does not need to provide the full details of their experience if they do not wish to. They will not be pressurised to make a formal complaint and the can remain anonymous (albeit with the limitations explained).

The HR Manager contact details can be found on our Meet the team page.

No staff member who receives a disclosure should attempt to investigate the incident or inform the Responding Party or any other individual of the disclosure.

If following an initial disclosure, the individual chooses not to take any further action, the member of staff should agree with them the details of any records kept about the disclosure.


Following an incident of sexual misconduct and/or harassment, there are options. One of those options is to disclose the incident in order to seek advice and support only, without any further action being taken by the University. Another option is to make a formal report to the University for the purposes of initiating further action where the incident involved a member of the University community (i.e. another student or member of staff).

If you or someone you has experienced or witnessed an incident, you report this or you can tell us anonymously by completing the online reporting tool.

The below provides further details in relation to completing the reporting tool.

Online Reporting Tool - Guidance on completing the Sexual Misconduct & Harassment Reporting Form (staff)

Help and Support

The University understands the importance of providing support to any member of our community who has been affected by sexual misconduct and/or harassment. We can offer support and advice as well as referrals to other specialist agencies. Personnel can provide support; you can be assured that we will</>


•Take you seriously and believe you without judgement

•Acknowledge that you have choices

•Respect your feelings and decisions

•Ensure that you have access to advice and support, if you want it

•Take all reasonable steps to ensure your physical safety

•Not pressure you to involve the Police, that is completely your choice

•Support you to report the incident to the Police, if that is what you choose to do

•Make every effort to minimise the number of people you have to disclose to

Whether or not you want to make a formal report to the University or Police, a member of the Personnel team is available to listen, and if you want it, provide you with support, including advice about specialist services available to you.

The following outlines the advice and support available within the University:

Line Manager Your line manager has responsibility for ensuring that complaints are resolved
HR Manager Your HR Manager will provide advice and guidance on the various sources of help available to you
Confidential Counselling Service Confidential Counselling Service A confidential self-referral service available to all staff. Leaflets are available from the Personnel Office or on-line at Staff Counselling Leaflet. Further resources are available at Staff Well being
Staff Equality and Diversity Contact Confidential support on equality matters: Clare Talbot ( 0151 291 3818
Trade Union Representatives Staff can seek support from their trade union. Recognised unions at Liverpool Hope University are Unison (support staff) and UCU (academic staff)

External support and resources

SAFE Place Merseyside

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) offers forensic medical exams, support, counselling, and sexual health screenings following a sexual assault or rape. You can have a medical examination without police involvement and the evidence can be stored by the service until you decide what action, if any, you wish to take. The SARC can also help you consider your reporting options. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – with or without Police involvement. Telephone 0151 295 3550 or visit the website.

RASA Merseyside

RASA is for anyone who has been sexually abused or raped, or who has been affected by sexual violence at any time in their lives. RASA have particular experience in working with adults who have been sexually abused as children. They offer emotional support, counselling, advocacy and other services to help survivors in ways that work for them.

Please note, this is not a 24 hour service.

Merseyside Police

If you decide to report an incident to the Police, they have specially trained officers who are very experienced in helping survivors of sexual violence.

Call 999 if:

•A crime is happening now

•Someone is injured

•You or someone else is in danger

•The person who has committed the offence is still there or is nearby

Call 111 if it's not an emergency. For general enquiries call 101.

•Calls to 101 cost 15 pence per call from landlines and mobiles - no matter how long you're on the phone.

•If you're calling from outside Merseyside, call on 0151 709 6010.

•If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment, report a non-emergency using the textphone service on 18001 101

Rape Crisis Service

Rape Crisis Centres offer a safe and non-judgmental environment where women and girls can talk freely and confidentially. Rape Crisis Centres provide a confidential helpline service for women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives, as well as a range of other specialist support services. The Rape Crisis national helpline: 0808 802 9999 – the phone service is open 24/7, every day of the year. The webchat service is currently open during the following times: Monday – Thursday: 1 pm – 5 pm, 6pm – 9 pm, Friday: 2 pm – 5pm.

Website: Find your local Rape Crisis Centre here.

RASASC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre)

The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (Cheshire and Merseyside) is a registered charity that aims to provide crucial specialist support, independent advocacy, counselling, help and information, for those affected by rape, sexual assault and/or abuse – a free of charge service delivered in a safe and non-threatening environment. Telephone number 0330 363 0063 or website.

Survivors UK

Survivors UK provide advice and support to males who have experienced any form of sexual violence or misconduct. Their online helpline provides a chat service for those who have experienced sexual abuse either as a child or an adult and allows users to have a confidential one-to-one chat with trained staff. The chat service is available from Monday to Friday 9.30 am – 5.00 pm. Chat is available via their website. Helpline web chat available Monday – Sunday, 12 noon – 8 pm, 0203598398.

NHS Choices

The NHS have some useful information about sexual health, sexual assault and rape on their website.

Revenge Porn Hotline

Offers confidential advice and support to individuals who have had intimate photos/videos distributed off/online. Open Monday to Friday 10:00AM – 4:00PM. Telephone 0345 6000 459 or visit the website.

Safeline Helpline

Offers support to individuals affected by rape or childhood sexual abuse.Telephone 01926 402 498 or visit the website.

#5MillionMen National Helpline (for men)

Offers support to men affected by rape or childhood sexual abuse. Telephone 01926 402 498 or visit the website.

Victim Support

This is the national helpline for victims of any crime, or for people who have been affected by a crime committed against someone they know. You can contact them via telephone on the national phone line: 0808168911 Website:

Rape and Sexual Assault Overseas

Guidance on what to do if sexually assaulted whilst abroad, including how the local Embassy can help.

National Stalking Helpline

Offers information, advice and guidance to individuals who are victims of stalking. Open weekdays 09.30 am – 4.00 pm (Monday to Friday apart from Wednesdays) and Wednesdays 09.30 am – 8.00 pm. Telephone 0808 802 0300 or visit the website.

Karma Nirvana National Helpline

Provides support to victims of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse. Telephone 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday 09.30 am to 5.00 pm) or visit the website.

Domestic Abuse Harbour

Provides support, help and information to women and men experiencing domestic violence.Telephone 0300 20 25 25 or visit the website.

24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline

Provides support, help and information to women experiencing domestic violence. Telephone 0808 2000 247 or visit the website.

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline

Provides specialist support for LGBT people who have experienced abuse including sexual violence within a relationship. Telephone 0800 999 5428 or visit the website.

Men’s Advice Line (for men)

Provides support, help and information to men experiencing domestic violence. Telephone 0808 801 0327 or visit