What is bullying and harassment?

Harassment is defined as unwanted conduct, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

This can include harassment based on any of the following protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief (including non-belief), sex, race, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnerships as defined in the Equality Act 2010.

That being said, anyone can be a victim of harassment and should follow the relevant procedures if they are affected by it.

Bullying can be defined as offensive behaviour which violates a person’s dignity, can create an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment and humiliates or undermines an individual or group.

Bulling is also unwanted conduct, but is not necessarily related to a protected characteristic.

More definitions from the Citizens Advice Bureau and Bullying UK: Hate crime, Sexual harassment, Cyber bullying.

What you can do.

Before making a formal allegation of harassment or bullying, you may want to try to resolve the issue yourself informally.

When doing so give the perpetrator the opportunity to understand what they have done, the effects of what they have done and your concerns. Make clear that the behaviour is problematic, and why you are requesting that it stops.

You could do this on a one to one basis, via a letter or asking someone else to come with you to speak to the person. Ensure that whatever method you choose, you keep an account of what has happened, what efforts you used to attempt to resolve the situation and any outcomes, in case they are needed later

Formal resolution.

Where an informal resolution is not possible or has been unsuccessful, students can make a formal approach to resolve the situation.

Students wishing to make a complaint should first contact the Head of Student Support in the Student Support Centre who will provide the student with advice and guidance, as well as putting into place any immediate support required.

Where a student wishes to make a formal complaint about bullying or harassment against a fellow student, this must be made in writing to the Head of School in which the student complained about are studying.

Complaints against staff members pro formas (forms) are available from Secretariat.

Any appropriate action will be made in accordance with University regulations.

Student Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy in full