Tackling violence against women and girls - LSBU advice, support and guidance

Get advice and support

If you are experiencing sexual violence or harassment it is important to tell someone:

  • Contact the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for free and confidential telephone or face-to-face counselling support and advice on a range of issues including domestic abuse. Call 0800 882 4102 (24/7) or visit the EAP website - username: LSBUEAP and password: LSBU1.
  • If you or anyone else is in immediate danger, you should call 999.
  • If it not safe for you to speak, you can use Silent Solution on most mobile phones.
  • Please speak with your line manager if you are concerned about or are experiencing domestic abuse. Line managers will not ask you for proof. They will be non-judgemental. They will take you seriously and take the time to listen.
  • If you prefer, you could also speak with a different colleague, Employee Assistance and Support Service or your HR Adviser Business Partner.
  • Read guidance on the UKVI website for people resident in the UK on a dependent’s visa who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse.

SafeZone app

All LSBU staff to use the SafeZone app when they are on campus to:

  • Emergency Alert - tap a button to report an emergency if their personal safety is threatened or are injured.
  • First Aid Alert - tap a button if medical assistance is required from a first-aider.
  • Help Call - tap a button to contact your local response team or campus security, for a safety escort after dark or to report suspicious activity.

Support staff who experience sexual violence or harassment

To report any concerns, if there is not an immediate risk of harm, you should contact a designated safeguarding officer by emailing helpsafeguard@lsbu.ac.uk.

Get advice on safety and wellbeing from LSBU

Contact a support group who will help you

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: free 24hr support 08082000247.
  • Women's Aid: email, forums & livechat support (Mon-Fri 10am-4pm Sat-Sun 10am-12pm.
  • Solace: support for women and girls - 08088025565, Mon–Fri 10am-4pm,Tue 6pm-8pm.
  • National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline - 08009995428, Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Wed-Thur 10am-8pm.
  • Southall Black Sisters: support via phone, email and accessed from website
  • Sistah Space: domestic abuse services for African heritage women and girls.
  • Karma Nirvana: support for victims of ‘honour-based’ abuse or forced marriage. 08005999247 Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.
  • Safe Spaces - Boots, Superdrug, Morrisons' and independent pharmacies offer ‘safe spaces’ for those seeking support from domestic abuse.
  • SAWN: Seikh women’s action network, support victims of domestic abuse, child exploitation and grooming.
  • Hestia’s Bright Sky App: free support and information to those concerned that someone they know is experiencing domestic abuse.
  • RESPECT: practical information and advice on domestic abuse for victims, health/social care professionals, family/friends & perpetrators. Confidential helpline: 08088024040.
  • Men's Advice Line: help for male victims of abuse 08088010327 Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm webchat: Wed-Fri: 10-11am / 3-4pm).

How can men help?

We encourage our male staff to use the following guidance to be supportive allies to women to help reduce crime and fear of crime.

This article posted by Upworthy last week has some useful guidance for men in seven key points:

1. Recognize that our wariness of you is not personal

If I'm walking to my car after leaving the grocery store at night and you walk out behind me, I probably won't think much of it. If your car happens to be parked near mine, and you're walking behind me the whole time I'm headed there, my radar will probably go up. I'll probably pull out my keys and be ready to gouge you in the eyes if I have to. It's not you. I just have no way of knowing whether you're a sweet, kind guy just going to his car or a predator who sees an opportunity. I want to believe the former, but I have to be prepared for the latter. We know it's #notallmen. We just don't know which men.

We already second-guess ourselves and wonder if we're overreacting, every single time our guard goes up. When you take our wariness personally because you wouldn't hurt a fly, it doesn't help. What does help is knowing you understand why we feel the way we feel and why we take the precautions we take.

2. Keep your distance

You may not realize it, but when we're on the same block together, we are keenly aware of how close you are to us and how fast you are walking. When you're behind us, we are constantly calculating whether we're far enough away from you to be able to run if your speed picks up. When you're walking toward us, we're calculating your size and build to determine whether we could fend you off. Again, nothing personal.

Knowing this is what's going through our minds, it's helpful if you remain at a distance. If you need to pass us, make a wide enough berth to make it obvious that you're avoiding getting close to us. Ideally, you'd cross the street, keep your face visible, and avoid looking our way too much. If we're on a running trail or something, give us a verbal cue ahead of time that you're just approaching to pass, like "Jogging up on your left!"

I know some good guys who will keep an eye on a woman who is walking alone to make sure no one else messes with her. That's great—just give us plenty of space or walk ahead of us and keep your ears open rather than watching us from behind. And while you might think it's polite to let a woman go first when exiting a bus or train or building, we generally feel safer with you in front of us than behind us.

3. Keep your hands to yourself, even in passing

Some people are touchy-feely by nature, and some casual forms of touch are just automatic for some people. However, many women will have a visceral response to being touched by men they don't know, even if there's no weird or inappropriate intention behind it.

For example, a man will sometimes put his hand on a woman's lower back while walking past her in a crowded place. Don't do that. What may be a natural thing for you may feel like an invasion of body safety to the woman you're touching. Not every woman will be bothered by this, but I know many women who are. Going out of your way to avoid touching a woman you don't know signals that you're aware of how women feel and want them to feel safe and comfortable and respected. We notice such things.

4. Offer to escort your female friends places

Don't act surprised or confused if a woman asks you to walk her home. Feel free to take it as a compliment that a woman feels fairly safe with you, but also don't assume it means we're hitting on you. We know we're much less likely to be targeted if we have a man with us, so we're using your presence as a deterrent more than seeing you as a superhero.

Keep in mind that most women are assaulted by someone she knows, not strangers. This is a reality we're aware of when asking for you to walk us somewhere. Even if we know you, we're only asking because we've weighed the potential risks and decided you're safer than walking alone. But we may not feel 100% safe with you, either.

5. Intervene when women are being objectified or harassed

Whether you're hanging out with a group of guy friends when someone makes a sexist joke or you're walking down the street and see a woman being cat-called, say something. "Don't do that, man. Don't be that guy," can go a long way. And if you see a woman being harassed, physically putting yourself between her and the harasser and staying with her until the harasser leaves can be helpful.

If you've witnessed a woman being harassed or assaulted, approach her gently and offer assistance. "Are you okay? Would you like me to call a [friend, manager, security, police, etc.] for you? I'll stay with you until they arrive. I saw what happened and am happy to serve as a witness." Follow the woman's lead, but understand she might be scared. Keep a bit of distance, but let her know you're there to help however she needs it.

6. Don't flirt with a woman who isn't showing any interest

The nuances of attraction and flirtation can be tricky to decipher sometimes, but not as tricky as we sometimes make them. When a woman isn't interested at all, she'll usually make it pretty clear. The "playing hard to get" idea is largely a myth, so if a woman is putting of signals that she's not actively interested in you—answering your questions as briefly as possible, avoiding direct eye contact, excusing herself from a conversation, not initiating any contact—don't flirt with her. It comes across as creepy.

Yes, she might just be extremely shy. But being overtly flirtatious isn't going to go over well in that case, either. Basically, assume a woman doesn't want to be flirted with unless she gives you some very clear signs that she's interested in you.

7. Be an example and a mentor to younger men and boys

What women are feeling and experiencing isn't anything new. This stuff has been perpetuated for generations, and we need to break the cycle somehow. One of the best things men can do is to set an example for younger males. Show them what it looks like to listen to women. Talk to them about what they can do to be good men, safe men, supportive men. Nip bad behavior and attitudes toward women and girls in the bud early. Be aware of the messages they are getting from society, entertainment, media, etc. and counteract harmful messaging they're hearing.

Women are tired. It's exhausting to constantly be running imaginary scenarios through our heads and preparing ourselves for potential threats to our bodies. It's exhausting to constantly wonder if we're being overly paranoid, only to hear another story of a woman we know being assaulted. Thanks to the good men working to change that reality and doing what they can to help women walk through the world without fear.