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To raise a concern about bullying and/or harassment you can
- speak to a member of St George's staff or to one of the Students’ Union staff
- put your concerns in writing to any member of staff
- use the new report and support online form
- raise an educational incident on Canvas.
Explain what has happened in as much detail as you feel comfortable giving.
It is important that you provide as much information as you can. You will be asked whether you are happy to be contacted for follow-up by the university.
You will also be asked if you need any support.
We’re interested in hearing about any form of harassment or bullying.
Students can use the form to highlight racist or homophobic incidents, or issues relating to religious hate.
It’s very personal— the definition of bullying and harassment is that it is subjective and based on the perceptions of the person on the receiving end of the harassment.
It doesn’t matter how others may have dealt with it or what you’ve been told. If it affects you, tell us about it.
If we have evidence, we can act on reports that are made anonymously, although it can be more difficult to investigate an anonymous concern.
If we can we will and at the least, it may be helpful for the university to record the incident, and there may be enough evidence to act even if it is anonymous.
Even if nothing can immediately be done, data provided is helpful and we can use it to improve things in the community generally.
Any information will be treated as sensitively as possible and will only be shared with members of the university who need to know, depending on the nature of the incident.
It is important that students feel able to discuss concerns with any member of staff they feel comfortable speaking to.
Students can use the report and support form to raise issues or can discuss concerns with:
- their personal tutor
- the student life centre
- their year or course administrator or academic lead
- the Students' Union VP Education or other member(s) of the Students' Union
- the Students' Union welfare advisor
- any other member of staff they feel comfortable speaking to.
The information you give will go to a dedicated inbox which will be monitored by the welfare team. There are then different options of what happens next, depending on the concern, who it is about, and what you have said you would like to happen.
We will preserve the agency of the reporting student wherever possible and will be there to support.
If a crime has allegedly been committed you may be advised to go to the police and staff would support you with this and support you if you decide not to.
If it is possible to resolve a complaint or concern informally we will try to do that, talking to both parties and offering mediation if possible. If this is inappropriate because of the nature of the concern, or not what the student wants the matter will be dealt with as a formal complaint. More serious complaints are generally managed by a small number of staff.
Generally there will be one member of staff assigned to your support, one to the support of the other student (if applicable) and any investigation is carried out by a third party. You can choose (within reason) who you’d like to support you.
If you have agreed to be contacted, then a member of staff will be in touch with you.
If the complaint is about a member of staff it is likely that the complaint will be forwarded to human resources.
If the complaint is about something that has happened on placement this will be dealt with by the placement provider and the university.
Students are often particularly worried about making complaints about members of staff and are worried it will affect their progression in some way. The university will take steps to ensure that this won’t happen.
If there is an investigation you may be asked to be interviewed. You will be supported throughout the process if you agree to this.
Complaints about students are managed by the Student Conduct and Compliance Team.
The team will review the complaint, and may appoint an investigating officer to investigate what has happened.
Sometimes the university’s power to investigate or act in relation to a specific complaint is limited and this can be disappointing for the reporting student.
We’ll continue to support you regardless of the outcome.
Complaints about members of Uuiversity staff are managed by Human Resources.
They will contact the staff member’s manager and ask them to investigate what has happened.
These complaints are managed by the course team who will ask the relevant Trust to investigate what has happened.
We will work with individual placement providers. We want to know about problems on placements and will support you, and ensure that there are no educational negative consequences of raising concerns with us.
The SU has its own complaints procedure and the complaint should be made to the SU VP Education or President.
If the incident was very serious the SU may decide to inform the university.
It isn’t usually possible to feed back details about the outcome of a complaint because of data protection constraints and external regulations, but you will be told when the investigation is complete.
We are not permitted to give details of sanctions another student has received.
Examples of sanctions may be of a written warning, training, suspension or even expulsion in rare cases.
If you have experienced harassment, bullying or hate crime there is support available, both within the university and externally:
- Support if you have been a victim of harassment or assault
- Support if you have been accused of harassment or assault
We recognise it can be very challenging to come forward to raise a concern or make a complaint. We want to promote a culture which supports students to raise concerns without fear of repercussions and we fully supports students in doing this.
If you feel unable to raise a concern to the university please consider reporting the incident to another source of help, such as the Students’ Union or, depending on the issue, the Police.
If you have any concerns for your safety please contact the Police.
There are also many sources of support external to the university including:
- MIND – Support for mental health
- Samaritans – Support for anyone, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure
- Rape Crisis South London – Support and advice for survivors of sexual violence of any kind
- Young Minds – Advice on bullying
- Women and Girls Network - Counselling and support to help women and girls recover from violence
- Victim Support – Support for anyone affected by crime
- Galop – Support and advice for LGBT+ people who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse
- Survivors UK – Support for male survivors of sexual abuse
- Revenge Porn Helpline – Support for adults who are experiencing intimate image abuse, also known as, revenge porn.
Harassment, as defined in the Equality Act 2010, is any unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. Anything that is unwelcome to you is unwanted. You don’t need to have previously objected to it for this to constitute as harassment.
Harassment relates to protected characteristics, which are listed in the Equality Act 2010. These are:
- race and ethnicity (including nationality)
- sexual orientation
- religion or belief
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- marriage and civil partnership.
Some examples of harassment are given in the Dignity at study policy. These examples are not intended to be exhaustive but to illustrate the types of behaviours which are unacceptable. Please note, this also includes behaviour that takes place online.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which violates your dignity, makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated and/or creates a hostile or offensive environment.
You don’t need to have previously objected to someone’s behaviour for it to be unwanted.
Sexual harassment can include, but is not limited to, someone making sexually degrading comments or gestures, your body being stared or leered at, being subjected to sexual jokes or propositions and physical behaviour including unwelcome sexual advances and touching.
Sexual assault is defined as any sexual act that a person did not consent to or is forced into against their will.
Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence and includes, but is not limited to, rape, groping, and forced kissing. Sexual assault doesn't have to involve other physical violence or weapons.
Visit the Rape Crisis website for more information.
Bullying is be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour; an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
Bullying can be physical, verbal and non-verbal. Non-verbal bullying may take place online, for example.
Some examples of bullying are given in the Dignity at study policy.
These examples are not intended to be exhaustive but to illustrate the types of behaviours which are unacceptable. Please note, this also includes behaviour that takes place online.
Harassment may also constitute a hate crime or hate incident.
Hate incidents are defined by the Crown Prosecution Service as an incident motivated by hostility or prejudice towards an individual(s) based on one of the following protected characteristics:
- transgender identity
- sexual orientation.
This also includes incidents where someone is targeted because they are perceived to possess or are associated with someone with one of the above characteristics.
Hate incidents become hate crimes when they break the law. Hate crimes are crimes that are carried out because of hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation. They can include physical assault, verbal abuse and incitement to hatred.
Visit the Metropolitan Police website for further information on hate incidents and hate crimes.