What is Bullying 

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated, undermined or threatened. Bullying can take the form of physical, verbal and non-verbal conduct. Non-verbal conduct includes postings on social media outlets. 

Remember that power does not always mean being in a position of authority, but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation. 

Bullying may include, by way of example: 
  • shouting at, being sarcastic towards, ridiculing or demeaning others 
  • physical or psychological threats 
  • overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision 
  • inappropriate and/or derogatory remarks about someone's performance 
  • abuse of authority or power by those in positions of seniority deliberately excluding someone from meetings or communications without good reason. 
NOTE FOR STAFF Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to staff in the course of their employment, will not amount to bullying on their own. 

What is Harassment 

Harassment is unwanted physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct which may (intentionally or unintentionally) 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. 

Harassment comes in many forms such as but not limited to: identity, sexual, hate, bullying and abuse, stalking, and online.

Harassment may include, for example: 
  • unwanted physical conduct or ‘horseplay’, including touching, pinching, pushing, grabbing, brushing past someone, invading their personal space and more serious forms of physical or sexual assault 
  • offensive or intimidating comments or gestures, or insensitive jokes or pranks 
  • mocking, mimicking or belittling a person’s disability 
  • racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes, or derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender 
  • outing or threatening to out someone as gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans 
  • ignoring or shunning someone, for example, by deliberately excluding them from a conversation or a social activity. 
A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if they create an offensive environment.

Harassment and the Law
Unlawful harassment may involve sexual harassment or be related to a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.  At the University of East Anglia we believe harassment is unacceptable even if it does not fall within any of these categories. Find out more about sexual harassment.

Some forms of harassment are considered a Hate Crime. A hate incident or crime is any act of violence or hostility against a person or property that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person due to a particular protected characteristic. Find out more on hate crime.  

Report 

  • Report to the University and get Support. Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can request support from an adviser. If you choose to talk to an adviser they will be able to talk through the options and support available to you, in confidence. 
  •  University Policies. If you choose to make a formal complaint to the University about a student or member of staff there are procedures which set out the steps you'll need to follow. 

Support 

  • Talk to a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help. 
  • Citizens Advice provides some information on bullying and harassment 
  • Young Minds has put together a blog on how to deal with bullying at University 
  • Victim Support. If you report a crime to the police, they should automatically ask you if you would like help from an organisation like Victim Support. But anyone affected by crime can contact them directly – you don’t need to talk to the police to get Victim Support help. 
For Students 
  • Student Life Adviser. An adviser can talk through the University's procedures, how to make a complaint and what support is available, in confidence. 
  • Student Resident Life Team. Whether it is your parish Student Services Resident (SSR) or the Duty SSR, if you are living in UEA residences there is someone to talk to. 
  • The uea(su) Advice Service. A free, confidential, impartial service where an adviser can talk through procedures, how to complain, what options are available, and support you through the process.  
  • Extenuating Circumstances. If you feel your studies have been affected by what has happened you can consider applying for extenuating circumstances. 

For Staff
  • Human Resource Adviser. An adviser can talk through option whether the incident involved another staff member at UEA, a student, or a visitor to campus. 
  • Employee Assistance Programme. This free confidential 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year service is an UEA employee benefit available. Confidential support independent from UEA, with professional consultation, counselling, information, resources and referrals to services in your local area.
Find out what other support is available

Helping Others 

Worried about someone else?

If you think someone you know is being bullied or harassed there are lots of ways in which you can help them. Understanding the behaviours associated with bullying and harassment is a good place to start. Most people will be able to describe what has or is happening to them and how it's making them feel. 

You can find more information and advice on the I'm worried about someone else page. 
 
Find out more 
Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) provide further information on unlawful harassment.

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