People can experience behaviours in different ways; what is a thoughtless comment or a joke to one person may be deeply offensive to another. Where we as individuals ‘draw the line’ on what we believe to be bullying behaviour or harassment may vary considerably.
We know it can be difficult to navigate these kinds of issues, so as part of our harassment prevention approach we have developed an activity called 'where do you draw the line?'. This was launched as part of our initial campaign in 2014 and is intended to get people thinking about their behaviour and that of others.
No one should have to feel uncomfortable for the sake of a joke. We ask that members of our community consider and respect other people's views and feelings so that we can all work, study, and live in an inclusive and supportive environment.
To support this message, staff and students from across the organisation came together to make this short film which has been viewed over 7500 times.
We want people to talk with their friends and colleagues about these issues. By opening up a dialogue we hope to safe spaces will be created where people can discuss and explore their views and enhance their own and others' understanding of these important areas.
If you think you or someone you know is being treated badly, talk to someone about it.
- To a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help.
- Harassment Support Advisor. An advisor can talk through the University's procedures, how to make a complaint and what support is available, in confidence.
- The UMSU Advice Service is a free, confidential, impartial service where an advisor can talk through the procedure of how to complain, inform you about the options available, and provide support through the process. This support includes checking draft complaints and attending any meetings with the University.
Be an Active Bystander
An active bystander will not only be a witness a situation unfolding before them, but will take steps to speak up or step in to disrupt a problematic situation or to keep it from escalating.
Over 7000 people in our community have signed a pledge to stand up to sexual harassment. By doing so they have committed:
To take action to prevent sexual harassment, and support others to do so too
Not to tolerate, condone or ignore sexual harassment of any kind, and to challenge it when possible
To educate themselves and others about sexual harassment – what it is, how it makes people feel and why it's not OK.
This type of active bystander approach has been proven to work to tackle all forms of harassment and discrimination, stereotypes and micro-aggressions. We are now asking our community to find out how they can be an active bystander.
If you witness behaviour you are concerned about and you feel safe to do so, challenge it. If you do not feel safe and it is an emergency call 999. If there is no immediate danger you can report it and get support.
Members of our community can use the Report section of this platform to report bullying, harassment, sexual harassment or discrimination. They can choose for their report to be passed to a trained advisor, who can provide the right advice and support. They can also report something anonymously.
This report and support system was originally launched in November 2014. The purpose was to ensure students and staff could both easily report something anonymously and get support and access to the University's Harassment Support Advisor Network (HSAN). This system has improved access to the HASN and made it easier for people to get the support that is availalble.
Our report and support platform now goes further: it has a searchable interface that directs users to information on relevant internal and external support, and provides information for those who might know someone who need support.
The following links provide further information on the support that's available for students and staff, whether something has happened to you or someone you know.