Bullying may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient. While bullying and harassment are related, bullying is usually intentional.
Harassment is unwanted conduct that adversely affects the dignity of an individual. It may be persistent or a single isolated incident. The key is that the actions or comments are viewed as hostile or intimidating, demeaning and unacceptable to the recipient. Students and staff members can also report behaviour that they find offensive even if it is not directed at them but at another student or staff. Harassment may have either the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
It is recognised that differences in attitude, background and culture can often mean that what is perceived by one individual as harassment or bullying may not necessarily be perceived in the same way by another. It should be noted, therefore, that when deciding whether bullying or harassment has occurred, the impact on the individual and whether the behaviour is unacceptable by normal standards will be the focus, rather than motive or intent.
Bullying and Harassment can include (but is certainly not limited to):
- Verbal abuse
- Insulting behaviour or personal insults, including making racist, homophobic, anti-semitic or transphobic statements
- Coercive or menacing behaviour which interferes with dignity and privacy or which undermines an individual's self-confidence
- Behaviour that incites racial hatred, e.g. wearing racist insignia or badges
- Offensive written or computer-generated material, including the use of email and social media
- Unreasonable, unfair or offensive expectations about an individual's disabilities or mischievous interference with personal aids or equipment
- Unwanted physical contact ranging from touching to serious assault
- Leering and offensive gestures
- Asserting a position of seniority in an aggressive, abusive or offensive manner e.g. inappropriate or derogatory remark in connection with the performance of duties/responsibilities.
- Withholding important work-related information
- Ridicule, isolation or non-cooperation, exclusion from everyday social interaction or activities
We encourage you to report any incidents, as then we can help to support you. You may decide to report an incident anonymously, which means that the incident will be logged for trend monitoring purposes, however, we are unable to take any direct action on anonymous reports.