Support Available

Support Available

Internal Sources of Support

Student Advice & Support Team

You can speak with a Student Support Adviser about your own experiences of GBV, or if you are worried about someone else.

They provide confidential, in-the-moment advice and guidance in relation to next steps and can ensure any reasonable adjustments are made to allow you to successfully engage with your studies.

Every member of the team is trained to manage initial disclosures of GBV and will listen and treat you with dignity and respect. If you have any specific requests in relation to the support you will receive (e.g. you would prefer to speak with a member of staff who identifies as female) please let us know and where possible, we will honour this.

The Student Advice and Support Team may be able to provide you with financial or accommodation support (there is no requirement for a formal complaint to have been made, or specific details of GBV experienced on campus to have been shared, for accommodation to be arranged). 

Speaking with the team for advice and support will not instigate a formal investigation process. More information about the Student Advice & Support Team can be found here.

Student Helpline

Our Student Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and offers free of charge emotional support. A trained counsellor will answer your call and is there to listen and answer any questions you might have.

Online Reporting Tool

Our Online Reporting Tool can be used to report incidents of GBV, with the option to tell us about what happened in your own words.

You can provide your personal details if you want to, but there is also an option to report anonymously.

In both cases, you will have access to support, and neither will instigate a formal investigation process unless you want that to happen.

Your report will be accessed and responded to within two working days by a member of the Student Advice & Support Team.

At the time of writing (August 2023), this would typically be Lisa Kilgour (Student Support Adviser specialising in GBV prevention and support) and/or Jemma Murdoch (Deputy Head of Student Support Services). If you have provided your personal details, you will be offered an appointment with a Student Support Adviser to discuss your report and next steps. This can be in person, over the phone or via MS Teams – whatever feels most comfortable for you.

Counselling Service

Counselling is a talking therapy which gives you the opportunity to explore with a qualified counsellor issues which are causing you concern or distress.

All members of the team are trained to manage initial disclosures of GBV, and some have specific training in trauma-informed counselling methods and Understanding and Responding to Sexual Violence.

The University Counselling Service offer one appointment at the time you need to talk, rather than a block of future appointments. This does not mean you are limited to one appointment; it just means you book one at a time. Many students find that one appointment is all they need, whilst others return to see them again – it is all about what works best for you.

Multi-Faith Chaplaincy

The Chaplaincy Service offer a confidential, non-judgemental listening ear for multi-faith students as well as those who do not express any faith. You can drop in any time to access a quiet space or speak with Marylee, the Chaplain.

Campus Security

The University has its own 24/7 Security Team who are based at the Old Aberdeen Campus and the Foresterhill Campus. The Security Team can assist with a wide variety of emergency and non-emergency matters, including GBV. The Security Team can be contacted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on:

  • Tel: (01224) 273327 (non-emergency)
  • Tel: (01224) 273939 (emergency)

External Sources of Support

The Student Advice and Support team have strong links with all of the external services listed, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like to know more or would like some help to contact a service. The team can also book a space on campus for you to talk with someone from any of the listed agencies, with or without the support of an Adviser. You can contact them by email at

Emergency Contraception and Sexual Health

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and think you might be pregnant, the emergency contraceptive pill is available at any pharmacy free of charge and is effective for up to five days following unprotected sex (although it is best taken as soon as possible to be most effective).

If you go into the pharmacy and ask to speak with the pharmacist about emergency contraception, they will arrange an immediate consultation with you, and you will be given the contraceptive pill.

There is also an option to buy the contraceptive pill from the pharmacy if you don’t want to have a consultation with a pharmacist.

It may be useful to get a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) check. This can be arranged through your GP or by contacting the Aberdeen Community Health and Care Village on 0345 337 9900. You can also use this number to arrange an NHS secure video call to discuss your sexual health. More information about STIs and sexual health can be found on the NHS website.

Sexual Assault Response Co-ordination Service (SARCS)

If you have been sexually assaulted in the last eight days, you can start the process of accessing a SARCS by calling 0800 148 88 88.

SARCS (Sexual Assault Referral Co-Ordination Service) is an NHS service that supports anyone who has been a victim of any form of sexual assault regardless of gender, age, or the type of incident.

SARCS can provide a range of support including crisis care, medical and forensic examinations, emergency contraception and testing for STIs. They can also provide information about mental health and sexual violence support services.



  • SARCS is separate from the police, however, if you are thinking about making a police report, a SARC unit can arrange for you to speak to a specially trained police officer who can explain the next steps. If you decide to go forward with a police report, specially trained advisors can support you through the criminal justice system. They can also support you through the trial if the case goes to court.
  • Unless there is an immediate risk of harm or a safeguarding concern, SARCS will not report anything to the police without your consent. You are in control of the whole process.
  • A SARC unit can complete a forensic medical examination, even if you have not decided if you would like to make a police report. Any medical evidence that is collected will be stored for twenty-six months. You can decide at any time within this period to make a police report. Forensic medical examinations are usually only conducted if the assault has happened in the last eight days as it can be challenging to collect forensic evidence after this time.
  • When visiting a SARCS, you can be accompanied by a friend or family member throughout the whole process if you wish. If you would like, a member of the Student Advice and Support team can help you with the initial call to a SARCS and join you at the centre for the examination.

    More information about SARCS and what you can expect when you phone the service can be found on their website.
Rape Crisis Grampian

Rape Crisis Grampian offers support, advocacy, and information for anyone over the age of 13 who has been raped or sexually abused at any time in their life, and they are open to all genders. There is no obligation to disclose what has happened to you, and the sessions will be taken at your own pace.

Please visit the Rape Crisis Grampian website for more information.

Grampian Women's Aid

Grampian Women’s Aid offers a free, confidential, specialist service to women, children and young people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire who have experienced domestic abuse from an intimate partner or ex-partner. They can give you advice on how to stay safe and can provide temporary accommodation if you’re unable to stay in your home. If you leave a message on their phone, they will only call you back if you have said it is safe to do so, and the call will be from a withheld number.

Please visit the Grampian Women's Aid website for more information.