Bullying and Harassment

  • Bullying and harassment

    If you or someone you know has experienced bullying or harassment, support is available at the University and by external support services.

    Report an incident »

    Contact us

    If you have any questions about the reporting tool or website, please email studentwelfare@brookes.ac.uk

  • Definition

    What is bullying and harassment?

    All members of the University community have the right to work, study and live without fear of harassment, bullying, intimidation, abuse, or violent behaviour.

    Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

    Cyber bullying is a term used to refer to harassment and bullying through electronic media, including emails and social media. Cyber harassment and bullying will be dealt with in the same way as other forms of bullying and harassment.

    Behaviours which constitute bullying can include but are not limited to:

    • Ignoring or belittling someone’s views and opinions;
    • Deliberately withholding information or excluding someone which may affect their performance or wellbeing;
    • Setting unreasonable demands;
    • Excessive supervision or misuse of power or position
    • Harassment is unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which may violate a person’s dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment which interferes with an individual’s learning, working or social environment.

    Behaviours which constitute harassment may include but are not limited to:

    • Making negative comments about personal or physical characteristics or appearance, including teasing, insults or derogatory name-calling
    • The telling of homophobic, sexist, transphobic, ageist, ‘ableist’, religiously discriminatory  or racist jokes and/or banter
    • Publishing, circulating or displaying pornographic, racist, homophobic, sexually suggestive or otherwise offensive pictures or other visual or written materials, communications or images.
    • Exclusion from normal work or study place, conversations, or social events. 

    Support

    If you or someone you know has experienced bullying or harassment, support is available at the University and by external support services. 

    The Policy and Procedure on Harassment and Bullying, Regulation E23, explains how staff and students who feel they have been subject to harassment or bullying can raise a complaint and how these will be addressed in a practical and timely way.

    Support available at the university

    Student Welfare Team

    The Student Welfare Team are experienced in supporting students who have experienced bullying or harassment, amongst other welfare related support.  The team works with students who are having difficulties functioning or continuing their studies for non-academic reasons. They are able to speak with you in a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space and they can support you in finding the appropriate support.

    When you report an incident with your contact details, the Student Welfare Team will contact you within three working days.

    OBU Counselling Services

    Tailored support is available to all enrolled Brookes students – of whatever age, gender, religion and beliefs, nationality, ethnic origin, gender identity and sexual orientation. The aim of our Counselling Service is to provide you with the support that we think best suits your needs and is most readily available. To help us do this, we operate a triage ‘assessment of needs’ system, where you may be asked to complete online clinical measures. This helps us assess your needs.

    Brookes Union Advice Service

    The Brookes Union Advice Service can provide you with independent advice on the options available to you, whether you are thinking about reporting to the police or the university. You can phone them on 01865 484770 or email them at su.advice@brookes.ac.uk.

    The opening times can be found on the Brookes Union Advice Services' website.

    Other support available

    Victim Support

    If you have experienced harassment, you can contact Victim Support for free and confidential help. They can explain the options available to you and give you emotional support. Their Supportline operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Tel: 0808 1689 111 (Freephone).

    Request support online or email the Supportline.

    Bullying UK

    If you have experienced bullying at university or elsewhere, you can contact Bullying UK for free confidential advice.  Their opening times can be found on the website.

    Tel: 0808 800 2222 (Free from landlines and most mobiles)

    You can also chat to others in their bullying forum.

    Samaritans

    Someone to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can talk to the Samaritans about any thoughts or feelings you have, they won't tell you what to do.

    Tel: 116 123 (Freephone)

    Email: jo@samaritans.org

    Report

    The University takes a zero-tolerance approach to any form of harassment, bullying or victimisation and expects all members of the University community to treat each other with dignity and respect.

    Report online

    If you report an incident with your contact details, the Student Welfare Team will contact you within 3 working days. The team works with students who are having difficulties functioning or continuing their studies for non-academic reasons. They are able to speak with you in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space and they can support you in finding the appropriate service.

    We understand that you may not wish to disclose your identity, so you also have the option to report anonymously.  Anonymous reports provide statistical information, which will be used to inform our proactive and preventative work on addressing unwanted behaviours across the University community.

    Formal procedures

    If your report involves a staff member

    Please submit a complaint using the Complaints and Appeals Form. In accordance with the Complaints and Appeals Procedures, complaints must be submitted within 2 months of the last claimed act or omission. The Student Disputes Team will confirm receipt of your complaint within 5 working days and you will have the opportunity to discuss the complaint with a Student Disputes Officer. Details of the procedure can be found on the Student Complaint Procedure pages.

    If your report involves other students

    You will need to initiate the Student Conduct Procedure. In accordance with the Student Conduct Regulations, the procedure must be initiated within 5 working days of the discovery of the potential breach of the Student Conduct Regulations. Examples of behaviours which are regarded as misconduct and time-frames can be found within the Student Conduct Regulations and Procedure.