If you think someone you know is experiencing abuse, there are lots of ways in which you can help them. 

Abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality. It can include emotional, psychological, physical, financial and sexual abuse in couple relationships (current or previous) or between family members. It can be an individual incident, or a pattern of incidents, but always involves one person having control and power over another. 
Safeguarding children is about taking action to prevent and protect children and young people under the age of 18 from abuse, neglect and harm, as defined under Working Together to Safeguard Children and Care Act 2014 

Safeguarding adults relates to vulnerable adult, as defined under the Care Act 2014 are individuals who have care and support needs and due to these additional needs, may be unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect or exploitation. 

 If someone tells you that they are suffering abuse and are defined as children or as a vulnerable adult or you ae not sure, report this as a safeguarding concern. 


Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).  If you are on campus, you should tell Security (01483 68 3333) that the emergency services are on their way and give details of the individual’s location.  

Find a safe space: if an incident has just happened, try and find somewhere they feel safe. If they are on campus and this isn't possible, you can suggest they call Security on 01483 68 3333. 


Listen: just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them. 

Give options: when they have finished talking ask them if they are ok to talk through some possible options and next steps: 
  • If they have been physically harmed, offer to accompany them to a hospital or GP.
  • Help them report the abuse to the police, security or the Designated Safeguarding Lead if they choose to.
  • Provide information on organisations that offer help for people experiencing abuse
  • If they do not want to report it themselves, speak with your line manager or Designated Safeguarding Lead

Security: our Security team can talk through how to make a report and what support is available.
University of Surrey Students Union (USSU) can talk students through what options are available and support you through the process. This support includes attending any meetings with the University.     

Report and Support: students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. They can choose to do this anonymously or request support from a member of staff. The University takes every report seriously and carefully considers what action to take.

Report a Wellbeing Concern is a quick and easy way to let us know about a concern that you have for a University of Surrey student. It can be completed by anyone including other students, family, friends and staff. 

Get Support    

 What support is available if I have or someone I know has a safeguarding concern?

Centre for Wellbeing: the University’s team of professional counsellors, and mental health workers offers confidential support to students.

Chaplaincy: our chaplains are from many different faiths and beliefs.  We also have non-faith or spiritual chaplains.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team: the team provides advice, support and guidance on equality, diversity and inclusion related issues to students and staff.

For students 

The University of Surrey Students Union (USSU) is a free confidential, impartial service where students can get advice and information on academic and personal issues, including advice on procedures and representation at meetings. 

The Residential Life team are responsible for the general welfare and good conduct within the halls of residence.

Personal tutors are there to support your academic, personal and professional development throughout your time here. They will refer you to appropriate academic, welfare and support services when necessary. Tutors follow a Code of practice for personal tutoring to ensure they are delivering the best possible help to you.

Extenuating Circumstances. If you feel your studies have been affected by what has happened you can consider applying for extenuating circumstances (ECs). Your faculty’s ECs team will be able to provide more information:

For staff 

Human Resources: if you are a member of staff or manager your HR contact will be able to identify the support that’s available for you.

The Employee Assistance Programme, BHSF RISE, gives staff access to free personalised, on-demand advice and support from a team of mental health, financial and legal experts, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Other sources of support 

Women’s Aid support for women and children in domestic abuse situations. We are  mindful of those who may be in isolation with abusive partners during this time.  Women's Aid have produced a coronavirus safety advice article which can be found here: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/.

Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence.

Mankind: their confidential helpline is available for all men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by their current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner). Call 01823 334244 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Next Link: crisis support and temporary supported housing for women and children experiencing abuse.

National Domestic Violence helpline: call 0808 2000 247 for confidential advice 24/7.

Victim Support help anyone who has been the victim of a crime. They can support you coping with the after-effects of crime and help with reporting to the police.

Refuge provides practical and legal support women, children and men suffering all forms of domestic abuse.

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse helpline. Run by Galop, it provides emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.

Healthy Surrey.  You'll find self-care information, as well as signposting to local health and wellbeing services available to you as a Surrey resident.

SafeLives is a UK-wide charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, for everyone and for good. 


There are two ways you can tell us what happened