Learn about GBV Safety


If you have been a victim or survivor of Gender Based Violence, please remember it is never your fault - no matter what the circumstances are. If you seek guidance or support from UHI or any agency, you should not be blamed or told that you should have done something differently. Violence and abuse is the fault of the abuser. Some people, however, may wish to take steps to increase their feelings of safety and empowerment. The following tools and guidance may help.

Please note that UHI is not necessarily affiliated with any of the organisations listed, and is not responsible for their content. Please use discretion and ensure the tool or guidance is appropriate for you.

Online Tracking & Digital Stalking content

Online Tracking & Digital Stalking

Online Tracking & Digital Stalking

29% of domestic abuse survivors experienced the use of spyware or GPS trackers by their partner or ex-partner. You may consider:

There is lots to consider if you are worried about your safety being compromised online. It's also important to consider how an abuser may respond if they find out that you are aware of the stalking, or that you have blocked/removed them. Take time to weigh this up and seek advice from specialist services or your local student support team.

You might also need to consider documenting your social media/chats/online interactions as evidence of GBV, before deleting any apps or accounts for safety reasons. The Safety Net Project have a comprehensive list of documentation tips. Women's Aid - Online Safety Pages provide info on downloading data from Facebook and Twitter.

Further Information:

Women's Aid - Online Safety Pages

National Stalking Helpline - Online Safety Advice

Tech Safety Plan (please note: these helplines are USA based)

GBV & Smart Devices (e.g. Alexa)

Spyware & Stalkerware

Police Scotland Online Student Safety Guide

UHI Cyber Safety Advice & IT Team

National Stalking Helpline (Suzy Lamplugh Trust)

  • 0808 8020300 (Mon-Fri 9:30-4, and until 8pm Wed)

Online Tracking can be part of Domestic Abuse and Control - the Scotland Domestic Abuse & Forced Marriage Helpline is available to support you

Removing Online Images content

Removing Online Images

Removing Online Images

"Sharing nudes" without your consent, or "Revenge porn", is a form of Gender Based Violence. It can feel extremely distressing, and can place you at risk of further harassment, blackmail or sextortion. It is sometimes called Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse. Whether you took the original image yourself or not, it is an offence for someone else to disclose, or threaten to disclose, a private sexual image without your consent, to cause you distress. Services should never blame you for taking the original image of yourself.

If you are 18 or over, and still have access to the original photo or video, you may be able to remove it from Facebook and/or Instagram with the groundbreaking Stop NCII Platform.

The Revenge Porn Helpline is a UK-wide organisation supporting people of all genders & sexualities who have experienced Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse.

  • Call 0345 6000 459 (Mon-Fri 10-4)
  • You can request that they call you back
  • Or email help@revengepornhelpline.org.uk
  • If you are not ready to share your name or details, you can also raise awareness via their ‘Whisper’ anonymous reporting tool
  • RVP are also contactable on Facebook messenger
Drink Spiking content

Drink Spiking

Drink Spiking

How do I know if my drink has been spiked?

  • Most date rape drugs take effect within 30 minutes, and symptoms usually last for several hours.
  • You may still feel some of the symptoms after a night's sleep.
  • Symptoms usually include some of the following: lowered inhibitions, difficulty concentrating or speaking, loss of balance and finding it hard to move, visual problems, particularly blurred vision, memory loss or "blackouts", feeling confused or disorientated, particularly after waking up, paranoia, hallucinations or having an "out of body" experience, nausea and vomiting, unconsciousness.

What should I do if I think my drink has been spiked?

  • Immediately tell someone you trust. If you need urgent help, call 999.
  • Be wary of accepting help from a stranger and don't leave with someone you don't know.
  • If you feel unwell, someone you trust should take you to your nearest A&E department. Tell the medical staff that you think your drink's been spiked.
  • Arrange for a trusted friend or relative to take you home and stay with you until the drugs have fully left your system.
  • If you want to Report it to the police, do so as soon as you can. They may ask you to provide blood and urine samples. Most drugs leave the body within 72 hours of being taken (the date rape drug GHB leaves the body within 12 hours), so it's important to be tested as soon as possible.

This information has been sourced from Stop Topps

How to recognize a drink thats been spiked or tampered with poster

Some of our UHI Halls of Residences have access to glass & bottle tops/stoppers, and they may be provided to you during your induction. Keep a look out for the items below:

Plastic Spikeys (Bottle Stoppers)Glass with a Stop Topp

Money Advice content

Money Advice

Money Advice

Gender Based Violence can cause financial worries and financial safety concerns. You might be experiencing financial or economic abuse, where your partner or ex-partner controls your money and spending, or you may have to consider how to financially support yourself (and/or your children) if you are planning to leave an abusive relationship.

Women’s Aid recommend the following if it feels safe to do so:

  • victim/survivors who have just left an abusive partner do not continue to use joint bank accounts, as withdrawals and activity may be traceable
  • victim/survivors ;can also change online passwords for their internet banking
  • victim/survivors can open a separate bank account (with a different bank) and/or begin to set aside a small emergency fund, if possible

You can also consider reporting economic abuse to your bank or building society

Further Information:

Women's Aid Money Issues

Economic abuse and your credit report

Citizen's Advice Scotland - If you need money

Victim Support Scotland - Funds

UHI Hardship Funds

Economic Abuse Factsheet for Male Victims

Surviving Economic Abuse Support Line:

UHI Student Support Services may be able to help you consider funding and financial support, as well as support to continue studying.

Sextortion (including 'Webcam Blackmail') content

Sextortion (including 'Webcam Blackmail')

Sextortion (including 'Webcam Blackmail')

Sextortion involves someone tricking or blackmailing you for financial gain. Common methods of sextortion are;

  •  Webcam Sextortion - coercing a viewer to perform sexual acts on webcam, secretly recording this and threatening to make the footage public unless a payment is made
  •  Sextortion Phishing Scams - sending an email claiming to have nude images/videos of the recipient, and threatening to make these public unless a payment is made

Sextortion scammers prey on the fact that victim/survivors may feel panicked, isolated, and ashamed. Even if you make a payment, there is no guarantee that they will remove the footage or that they won't ask for money again. Sometimes, the scammer may not even have footage in the first place. 

Young men are most likely to be targetted by a sextortion scammer. It does not matter if you performed sexual acts, or sent sexual images - you are not to blame, and should not be judged by police or other support networks. Sextortion is on the rise, you are not alone.

Police Scotland recommend that you -

  • Don't panic - you won't be judged
  • Don't delete conversations - take a note of any information which may help identify the scammer, and screenshot the messages
  • Don't communicate further with the scammer - consider blocking them
  • Do deactive your accounts temporarily, rather than deleting them
  • Do change your account passwords
  • Do Report to the host website

For more information, see 

Do not feel ashamed or alone - consider speaking to your UHI Student Support Team, Counselling Services, or seeking support from a mental health helpline.

Safety Apps content

Safety Apps

Safety Apps

There are a variety of 'Safety Apps' aimed at preventing or responding to Gender Based Violence. If you are considering downloading one, we would advise that you consider any negative safety consequences of this - for example, does an abuser have physical or remote access to your phone? You may also find the Online Tracking & Digital Stalking links useful.

Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (Claire's Law) content

Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (Claire's Law)

Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (Claire's Law)

This scheme is sometimes called Claire's Law or The Right To Ask. DSDAS gives individuals the right to ask Police about the background of the person they are in a relationship with, or about a friend or relative’s partner, if they are worried about potential GBV. This can be done online, by post, or by attending your local police station.

If you are in England or Wales, ask your local police about DVADS.

If you are in Northern Ireland, you can also access DVADS.

Police Officer Verification Check content

Police Officer Verification Check

Police Officer Verification Check

There is a new verification process to provide reassurance to any member of the public who may be concerned about whether or not they are being spoken to by a genuine police officer working alone (though it is much more common for officers in Scotland to work in pairs).

Any member of the public can requst a verification check - officers must then put their personal radio on loudspeaker so that Police Scotland Control Room can confirm who the officer is, that they are on duty, and the reason they are speaking to the member of the public. The Control Room will then create an incident number which can be displayed on the officer’s mobile phone or radio to confirm the broadcast message details.

In the even rarer situation where a lone off-duty officer has to become involved in an incident, the officer will call 999 and allow the member of the public to speak to the control room on the phone. Uniformed colleagues will also be dispatched as quickly as possible.

Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr says: “The onus is on us, as a police service, to proactively offer this additional verification process to any member of the public who appears distressed, vulnerable or frightened. Police officers always carry photographic identification and will be happy to provide further reassurance about who they are and their reason for speaking with someone if requested.”