SEXUAL VIOLENCE, HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION, AND BULLYING

 

Acts of violence or any behaviour that leaves you feeling harassed, bullied, intimidated, abused or discriminated against are not acceptable. You have a right to feel safe at University. The University have policies in place to deal with instances of this nature. There are also other ways to report and receive support for any incident affecting you.

HOW CAN I REPORT AND ACCESS SUPPORT FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND VIOLENCE?

Sexual violence can take many forms. It can include physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial abuse, as well as threatening, coercive and controlling behaviour, or harassment. As a general rule, if you feel you have experienced a form of sexual violence, then you have.

There are a number of routes that you can take to either report the incident or seek support for yourself. If you wish to report the incident, consider the different routes available to you and think about which would be best for you. Be sure to take care of yourself throughout the process.

Reporting: [+]

To the police

The police have specially trained officers who are experienced in helping survivors of sexual violence. To make a report to the police you can call 101 or in an emergency 999. If you would like more information on this option, you may wish to discuss the police procedure with Durham Constabulary's Police University Liaison Officer or an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA). An ISVA can provide you with impartial information to enable you to make choices by providing you with an overview of the police process and what to expect. You can access an ISVA through the Sexual Assault Referral Centre or the Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre.

To the University

You could also choose to report an incident of sexual violence to the University to initiate the process within the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy. This is separate from disclosing an incident to a member of staff. You may submit a report under the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy by completing the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Reporting Form. The University may only consider acting upon it if there was a breach of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy. The University’s disciplinary process is separate from criminal law matters, and their misconduct offences are distinct from criminal offences.

Anonymously to Pincident

You can also report the incident on our anonymous online reporting tool, Pincident. The tool maps street harassment, violence and discrimination in Durham City Centre to help us more effectively tackle this behaviour. It is not a formal reporting service and not a replacement for the above options. Find out more about Pincident here.

Supporting: [+]

Your College

You can disclose incidents of sexual violence and misconduct to your College Student Support Office. They will provide you with support and refer you to specialist help as appropriate. They can also help you consider your reporting options, including reporting to the University.

Durham University Counselling Service

All of the Durham University Counselling Service counsellors have the skills to support you. The Sexual Violence and Misconduct team at the University have a self-referral process, which will refer you to the counselling service with a shorter waiting time. Your counsellor can also arrange for sessions with the specialist workers from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (RSACC). Alternatively, you can contact RSACC yourself here.

Durham Students’ Union

If you would like support with the process of reporting an incident of sexual harassment, our Help & Advice service at the Students’ Union can help with that. To access support, please complete our confidential advice intake form and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Nightline

If you would like to speak to another student confidentially, Nightline is a student-run, non-directive, non-advisory listening service open every night of term between 21:00 and 07:00. You can find their number on their website, the back of your campus card or contact them through messenger on their website.

The Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre

The centre offers free confidential counselling and support to women who have experienced any form of sexual violence. More information is available here.

I am being discriminated against, bullied or harassed. How can I seek help?

All students have the right to study in an environment which is free from harassment, discrimination and bullying. Allegations of harassment and bullying will be treated very seriously by the University and may result in disciplinary action being taken against the perpetrator.

Discrimination, bullying or harassment can be online (via social media and email), as well as face-to-face. If you feel you have experienced discrimination, bullying, or harassment, there are a number of ways you can both report the incident, as well as seek support for yourself.

The University’s definition of harassment is ‘any unwanted conduct which causes an individual to experience alarm or distress’. Bullying is characterised by the University as being ‘offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.’ You can read the University’s full ‘Respect at Study’ policy here.

Reporting [+]

To the Police

If you consider yourself to be under physical threat or at serious risk of harm, you should always contact the police in the first instance. To make a report to the police you can call 101 or in an emergency 999. You can also report an incident online here.

To the University

The University has a Respect At Study Policy which you can follow if you have been subject to any form of harassment or bullying. Please note that this is separate to reporting an incident to the police and does not constitute reporting a crime. More information about how to make a complaint of this type is available here.

Anonymously to Pincident

You can also report the incident on our anonymous online reporting tool, Pincident. The tool maps street harassment, violence and discrimination in Durham City Centre to help us more effectively tackle this behaviour. It is not a formal reporting service and not a replacement for the above options. Find out more about Pincident here.

Support [+]

If you feel you have been a victim of harassment or bullying, it is recommended that you seek support in the first instance. You can seek support from:

The University

The University operate a network of Harassment Contacts who can be approached by students. These contacts are there to listen, support and explain what options are available to you. A list of Harassment Contacts is available here.

Your college

You can also approach your college support office for general guidance on what to do if you have been subject to any instances of harassment or bullying. Your college will be able to help, particularly if the instance of harassment has occurred within the college, as they may have college-specific procedures that you can follow.

University Counselling Service

For instances in which you feel your studies or wellbeing are being impacted by any form of harassment or bullying, you should contact the University Counselling Service. Find more information here.

The Students’ Union

Independent support is also available to students through the Help and Advice Service at the Students’ Union. If you would like to seek support from the Students’ Union, please complete our confidential Advice Intake Form.

Nightline

If you would like to talk to another student confidentially, Nightline is a student-run, non-directive, non-advisory listening service open every night of term between 21:00 and 07:00. You can find their number on their website, the back of your campus card or contact them through messenger on their website.

I HAVE BEEN THE TARGET OF A HATE CRIME/WITNESSED A HATE CRIME. WHAT CAN I DO TO REPORT THE CRIME OR RECEIVE SUPPORT?

Hate crime is any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by prejudice or hatred towards certain social groups on account of their race, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity.

If you have been the victim of a hate crime, or have witnessed one, there are a number of reporting options available to you. Make sure to consider the options carefully to decide which route is best for you, and remember to take care of yourself throughout the process.

Reporting: [+]

To the police

To report a hate crime to the police you can call 101 or in an emergency 999. The police have Community Cohesion Officers who investigate hate crimes and seek to find a long term resolution for victims. You can find more information on this option here. There is also an online reporting option for the police available here.

To the University

The University has a Respect At Study Policy which you can follow if you have been subject to any form of harassment or bullying, including hate crime. Please note that this is separate to reporting an incident to the police and does not constitute reporting a crime. More information about how to make a complaint of this type is available here.

Anonymously to Pincident

Pincident is Durham SU’s mapping tool for gaining insight into street harassment, violence and discrimination in Durham. Recording the incident on Pincident might be an extra step you take in reporting the crime. It is anonymous and separate to other types of reporting as it is used to make others aware of the incident, and does result in any investigation into a specific case. To find out more about Pincident, please click here.

Support: [+]

The University

The University operate a network of Harassment Contacts who can be approached by students. These contacts are there to listen and support and explain what options you have available to you. A list of Harassment Contacts is available here.

Your college

You can disclose incidents of hate crime to your College Student Support Office. They will provide you with support and refer you to specialist help as appropriate. Please note that this is not the same as reporting the incident to the University using the Respect at Study Policy. This option is especially beneficial if the incident occurred in college. You can find a list of college support staff contacts here.

Citizens Advice

You can also go to your local Citizens Advice to seek support for a hate crime. They can work with other local organisations to make sure you get all the help you need.

Durham University Counselling Service

All of the Durham University Counselling Service counsellors have the skills to support you. If you feel your studies or your wellbeing are being impacted in particular, you should contact the counselling service. Find more information here.

Durham Students' Union

If you would like support to go through the process of reporting a hate crime, or advice on each of your options, our Help and Advice service at the Students’ Union can help with that. Please complete our confidential online Advice Intake Form and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.

Nightline

If you would like to speak to another student confidentially, Nightline is a student-run, non-directive, non-advisory listening service open every night of term between 21:00 and 07:00. You can find their number on their website, the back of your campus card or contact them through messenger on their website.

I want to gain a broader understanding of equality and diversity issues, harassment and ways to support others. Is there any training I can attend?

If you want to gain an understanding of what harassment is and learn how to challenge and intervene in harassment situations, then you might choose to attend the SU Active Bystander Training in Michaelmas Term. The training we offer provides the chance for students to consider what constitutes harassment, being a bystander, and how one can become an active bystander. It also gives the opportunity for participants to explore and practice possible interventions, enabling the use of intervention techniques which prioritise safety.

If you have missed these sessions and want to find out more, your college freshers rep (frep) should have attended sessions about being an active bystander, so it may be worth contacting them to find out more.

If you are a student who is also employed by the University, you might want to look at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training offered to staff for free.