Lime Tree Clinic (replacing services previously offered by the Laurels) offers a full range of contraceptive methods, some of which may not be available from your GP, as well as testing for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy testing.
SexYOUality offers support to those young people who are LGBT or unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Support in cases of sexual misconduct / violence
Sexual violence includes serious sexual assault involving penetration of the body without consent. The University and its Colleges are committed to providing a safe environment for their students, and to responding appropriately to any incidents.
Guidance has been produced for students who have been sexually assaulted or raped. It gives information about the things you might want to consider to help you make an informed choice about what to do.
Other acts of sexual misconduct / assault may include incidents of flashing, sexual threats or touching which causes fear, alarm or distress. Click here for further details about available support and procedures followed in the case of gender violence and/or harassment.
- Independent Sexual Violence Advisors - offer confidential advice and support to both males and females who have been the victims of sexual violence.
- The Cambridgeshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre is a dedicated centre in Peterborough providing a comprehensive service to men, women and children who have been raped or sexually assaulted recently or in the past.
The CUSU Women’s Campaign have created a map of safe spaces in Cambridge at night, providing information about opening times for Porters' Lodges and other safe venues across the city.
Further information about general support and wellbeing.
Myths around consent
There are many damaging myths around consent:
Myth: If you do not say anything, that means you want it.
Reality: No means no, but silence also means no. Passivity does not equal consent. Many times people do not feel like they can say no, due to power imbalances. People also become unresponsive or do not know what to say when they are in uncomfortable or frightening situations.
Myth: Consent is generally not something you can communicate because of the nature of sexual interaction.
Reality: If both parties are confident about engaging in sexual activity, they can communicate their consent to each other. Consent can be spoken, but it can also be expressed in action. If in doubt, ask. It will not 'kill the mood'.
Myth: Agreeing to do something sexual means you have agreed to do everything else as well.
Reality: Consent to do one thing does not automatically imply you want things to go further. Sometimes you might just want things to stop at a kiss and that's fine.
Myth: If you wear sexy clothing or are 'that kind of person' with multiple partners then you are asking for it.
Reality: Nobody wants to be assaulted. You might be dressing sexily because you like to look attractive or because you want to attract someone's attention, but none of this means you want to experience assault. If someone chooses to assault, the consequences are their responsibility and their fault. It is not the fault of the person who is assaulted.
Myth: Rapists are men hiding in the bushes or in dark alleys, waiting to attack scantily clad women.
Reality: 97% of survivors of assault knew their attackers before the attack. Some experts call this acquaintance rape. Rape and sexual assault can happen to anyone no matter their age, class, culture, ability, sexuality, faith, race, or appearance. Rape and sexual assault can occur inside marriages and committed relationships, by trusted family or close family friends or by community or religious leaders. There is no stereotype for victims or perpetrators.
Myth: Once a man is sexually aroused, he cannot help himself. He has to have sex.
Reality: This myth infantilises men. Men and women can choose not to commit crimes or disrespect people, no matter how strong their sexual desire it. Sexual encounters fundamentally rely on communication, not on the power dynamic created by the myth that men cannot control their desire.
Myth: Women often falsely accuse men of sexual assault or rape.
Reality: Myths like this minimise people's acknowledgement of rape. Furthermore, fear of being victimised or disbelieved by peers adds to the under-reporting of sexual assault. According to a British Home Office Research Study, only 3% of reported rapes are false, which is around the same level as false accusations of other crimes.
Rape is a vastly underreported crime and the extent to which it occurs is often invisible, due to the stigma of discussing sexual violence. A study of the 2001 British Crime Survey shows that 40% of women who have experienced serious sexual assault tell no one at all about it.