Queen's University is committed to providing a positive experience and safe campus for everyone. We believe that incidents of sexual misconduct are never acceptable.and the University takes a zero tolerance approach towards such behaviour. Sexual Misconduct hurts individuals, communities and reporting it allows the University and/or the Police to better understand and deal with what is happening.

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct means any unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature that is committed without consent, by force, intimidation or coercion. Sexual misconduct can be committed by a person of any gender and it can occur between people of the same or different gender. Such behaviour will usually also constitute a criminal offence. Sexual misconduct can happen to anyone. Below are examples that could constitute sexual misconduct.

  • Sexual intercourse or engaging in a sexual act without consent
  • Attempting to engage in sexual intercourse or a sexual act without consent
  • Sharing private sexual material of another person
  • Kissing without consent
  • Touching inappropriately without consent
  • Inappropriately showing sexual organs to another person
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Making unwanted remarks, suggestive sounds or gestures of a sexual nature
  • Spreading rumours about another person’s sexuality, name-calling or jokes about sex or gender
  • Visual displays of posters, graffiti, pictures or other offensive material which can be both online or in person i.e. social media posts
The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 defines the following as non-consensual offences-

  • Rape is any penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina, anus or mouth by a male with his penis without reasonable belief that they consented. The maximum penalty for rape is life imprisonment.
  • Sexual assault by penetration is defined as a person intentionally penetrating the vagina or anus of another person, with any part of the body or object without the reasonable belief that they consented. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.
  • Sexual assault is any type of sexual touching directed against another person that occurs without their consent or the reasonable belief that they consented. Touching covers all physical contact including kissing, groping and also includes touching through clothing.
  • Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent is when a person intentionally makes a person take part in sexual acts without their consent. The maximum penalty for sexual assault and for causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent is ten years imprisonment.
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION : Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or unfair sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or someone else’s advantage.

This refers to sexual abuse in exchange for attention, affection, food, drugs, shelter, protection, other basic necessities and/or money, and could be part of a seemingly consensual relationship.

The person being exploited may believe their abuser is their friend, boyfriend or girlfriend. The abuser may:

  • Physically or verbally threaten the victim
  • Take indecent photographs of them and circulate to others and be violent towards them
  • Try to isolate them from friends and family.






There are two ways you can tell us what happened