Gender Based and Sexual Violence


Are you experiencing domestic abuse? Gender based assaults and sexual violence increased during the difficult pressure of the COVID-19 situation, and you may not know how to get help.  Support is here for you through your local Student Support Services or at the external agencies in the table below; Do not suffer, you are not alone.

Reporting to the Police

  • A report can be made through the Police Scotland website by way of a 'Contact Us' online form submission, by contacting 101 to report non-emergency matters and general enquiries or by calling 999 in an emergency.

If you make a report to the Police, you can ask for someone from the University to accompany you. Student Services will support you through this process.

The Police are committed to providing a sensitive service which takes account of the trauma of sexual violence. Learn more about how Police Scotland respond to reports of sexual misconduct here.

If you contact the Police regarding a sexual misconduct report:

  1. An initial report will be taken - you can ask to speak to a female or male officer and can take someone with you for support.
  2. If you report a sexual offence the police may wish to seize clothing and other items relevant to the police investigation.
  3. A Sexual Offences Liaison Officer (SOLO) will be assigned to you.   This is a specialised officer who is trained in discussing sexual incidents and has insight into the impact that trauma can have on a person.
  4. A witness statement will be taken and a medical examination can be arranged where appropriate.  
  5. Police Officers will carry out detailed enquiries with any potential witnesses and interview the person responsible.   On the conclusion of the police investigation;
    1. if there is insufficient evidence, the case will not be reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and you will be informed of this.
    2. if there is sufficient evidence, the Police will send a report to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service who will make a preliminary decision on the case.
  6. Police Scotland will ensure you have the opportunity to obtain support from specialist external services, for example Rape Crisis.
  7. Please note: if, at a later date, you do not want to go ahead with a criminal case, your wishes will be taken into account however the police may continue with the investigation.
Area / OrganisationContact Details
Argyll and Bute
Women’s Aid 01369 706636
Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis 0800 1214685
Caithness and Sutherland  

Caithness and Sutherland Women's Aid

0345 408 0151 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

Rape and Sexual Abuse Service Highland

03330 066909

Inverness Women's Aid

01463 220719

Highland Sexual Health

Moray Women's Aid

01343 548549

Moray Rape Crisis

01343 550407 or 07384 468636
Orkney Islands

Women's Aid

01856 877900

Orkney Rape & Sexual Assault Service (ORSAS)

01856 872298 (Mon-Thurs 9am-4.30pm)

Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline 08088 010302 (Mon-Sun 6pm-midnight)

Perth and Kinross  


01738 630965

Perthshire Women's Aid

01738 639043

Ross-shire Women's Aid

01349 863568
Shetland Islands
Women's Aid 01595 692070

Safer Shetland

Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm) - 01595 744420 or outside those hours/when closed - 01595 695611

Shetland Rape Crisis 01595 745078 or 07570 062362
Victim Support Shetland

01595 724524
Western Isles

Women’s Aid

01851 704750

Western Isles Rape Crisis

01851 709965

24hr Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline

0800 0271234
Scottish Women's Rights Centre 08088 010789
Rape Crisis Scotland 08088 010302
Scottish Women’s Aid 0800 0271234
Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 0271234
The Samaritans 08457 909090
Sexual Harassment Legal Service 08088 010789
Revenge Porn Helpline 0345 6000459
LGBT Domestic Abuse, Hate Crime, and Sexual Violence Support Services
Galop 0800 9995428
Support Services for Men Experiencing Domestic Abuse or Sexual Violence
Men's Advice Line 0808 8010327
Abused Men In Scotland 0808 8000024
Survivors UK 020 33221860

Other organisations

’Ask for ANI' Scheme

Victims of domestic violence can use the codework ANI (Action Needed Immediately) at all Boots stores and participating independent pharmacies, to seek help.  The scheme can work alongside the Safe Spaces scheme to support those who need more immediate assistance.  Staff will ask you to accompany them to the consultation room, where they will be able to check if you are in danger and want the police called, or provide support to contact the national domestic abuse helpline or local support service.  Any information shared will be treated confidentially.

Safe Spaces for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Boots, Morrisons, Superdrug, and more than 60 Independent Pharmacies have created a safe space scheme for victims of domestic abuse, where you can access services for support and advice. This scheme has been created in response to the current situation many victims are facing, as they may be isolating with perpetrators of violence, during lockdown.  During this period, you may be even more restricted from reaching out to your friends and family, so by creating this safe space, they hope that many will be able to safely access support whilst following government guidelines.

You can access these safe spaces by asking a member of the Pharmacy team at one of these stores, to use the Consultation room.  From here you will be able to make contact with specialist domestic abuse services who will be able to support and advise you.

Bright Sky - Domestic Abuse App

A free to download mobile app, providing information and support to anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those who may be concerned about someone they know to be experiencing domestic abuse.

The Bright Sky app has a number of features to help you during this difficult time, including:

  • A UK-wide directory of domestic abuse support services, with full contact details
  • Available in 4 languages: English, Urdu, Punjabi and Polish
  • Questionnaires to assess the safety of a relationship, with a section on dispelling myths around sexual and domestic abuse
  • My Journal tool – a secure way for you to record incidents of abuse via text, audio, video or photo form, without the content being saved to your device itself
  • Further resource and information links on domestic abuse.

For those worried about their safety by having the app on their phone, there are safety measures in place, that you will be guided through upon downloading, to ensure that it is not detected by your perpetrator.

The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play for Android.

Only download the app if it is safe for you to do so and you are sure that your mobile phone is not being monitored.


Zero Tolerance

Scottish charity working to end men's violence against women by promoting gender equality and challenging attitudes.

White Ribbon Scotland

Providing training and information workshops to engage men and give them skills to stand up to violence against women.

Domestic Violence UK

A not-for-profit organisation set up to provide information, support and raise awareness on the issues of domestic and emotional abuse. Includes a free telephone counselling service.


Details of local and national support along with contact information for colleges and universities, via a search function.

Bullying UK

National charity providing support for victims of all types of harassment, including cyber-bullying