Dealing with Bullying and Harassment

At Staffordshire University we strive to ensure that all our students and staff are able to study or work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy 2013 states that the University will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any kind and will investigate any complaint from any student or member of staff who alleges this kind of behaviour.

All staff and students should:

  • Behave in a way that promotes a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone

  • Treat everyone with dignity and respect at all times

  • Challenge and report any unacceptable behaviour.

View a presentation summary (PPSX, file size: 650.05KB) of our approach.

No Bystanders

The University along with the Students' Union has pledged to support Stonewall's campaign to tackle bullying: No Bystanders - Hear it, Stop it.

The University will not tolerate any bullying, harassment or abuse on campus.  See the one minute video and pledge your support - No Bystanders.

What is harassment?

Bullying can take various forms from name calling, sarcasm, teasing and unwarranted criticism, cyber bullying, to threats of violence or actual physical violence. It often involves the abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

Harassment can be defined as unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person's dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment which interferes with an individual's learning, working or social environment, or induces stress, anxiety, fear or sickness on the part of the harassed person.

It is unlawful to harass someone because of their race, gender, gender reassignment, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion/belief.  It is also a criminal offence to harass (or stalk) someone persistently.

Differences of attitudes, background or culture and the misinterpretation of social signals can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another; nevertheless, this does not make it acceptable.

Other examples of harassment include unwarranted physical or sexual contact, jokes, offensive language, posters, emails, texts, comments on social media, graffiti, public telling off or putting down, excluding or ignoring.

Harassment and bullying may be an individual against an individual (perhaps by someone in a position of authority) or involve groups of people. It may be obvious or it may be insidious. Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual. 

(Source: A-Z of Equality and Diversity. ECU, 2008, Acas 2009, The Equality Act 2010)

Sexual consent - The CPS have produced a short film clip using offering a cup of tea as an analogy for consent.

 

Policies

Our policies and procedures, support our aim to provide a safe, respectful and tolerant environment for all students, employees and visitors:

  • Student Charter - produced jointly by the University and the Students' Union, it sets out expectations in terms of learning opportunities and a successful learning experience.

  • Student Behaviour and Fitness to Study Policy - The purpose of this policy is to inform students and staff of the behaviour it expects of its students and how students can be assessed to determine if they are fit to study.

  • Staff Code of Conduct (PDF, file size: 234KB) (available on-campus only) - sets out the standards of behaviour expected of all employees of the University.

  • Bullying and Harassment Policy (PDF, file size: 129.79KB) (available on-campus only) - the purpose of the policy is to assist in developing a working environment in which harassment and bullying are known to be unacceptable and where individuals are able to complain about harassment and bullying should it arise, in the knowledge that their concerns will be dealt with appropriately and fairly.  The policy outlines procedures to be followed if a member of staff feels they are being harassed or bullied in the course of their work or as a result of their employment by the University.

What should I do if I think I may be being harassed or bullied?

Students

If you think you may be being harassed or bullied, or witnessed an incident and wish to talk about it, the following may be able to give help and guidance:

Staff

If you think you may be being harassed or bullied, you should follow the procedure as detailed in the University's Bullying and Harassment Policy.  Advice may also be sought from:

Sources of guidance and advice

The following advice leaflets from ACAS may be useful, or look on the ACAS website.

Hate Crime

A hate crime is a criminal act committed against a person, group (or the property of a person or group) where the motivation is believed to be hatred of, or prejudice against, that person or group because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, race/ethnicity, religion/belief, sex or sexuality. This can include physical attacks, the threat of attack and/or verbal abuse or insults. (Source: A-Z of Equality and Diversity. ECU, 2008)

Reporting hate crime

  • Cop Shop - The University Police Liaison Officer is PC Simon Stone. Simon operates from the Cop Shop which is located in Coalport Hall on the Leek Road Campus. Tel: 01782 294311 or 07818 296050; email: simon.stone@staffs.ac.uk

  • CACH - Chase Against Crimes of Hate, based in Stafford. Tel: 07971 497988

  • Challenge North Staffs - Tel: 0330 1111999 or email cns@stoke-cab.org.uk or text Hate plus your message to 8747 

  • Victim Support - a national charity that helps people who are victims of crime. Tel: 08453 030900

  • Tell MAMA - measuring anti-Muslim-Attacks - http://tellmamauk.org

Domestic and Other Gender Based Bullying and Violence

Sources of support, advice and guidance around gender based bullying and violence, including domestic violence, can be found on our Gender page.