Say yes to respect

Harassment and Bullying

What is harassment and bullying?

Bullying can be defined as offensive behaviour which violates a person's dignity, or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment, or which humiliates or undermines an individual or group. Such behaviour can be vindictive, cruel or malicious. Bullying can take various forms, from name calling, sarcasm, teasing and unwarranted criticism to threats of violence or actual physical assault.

Personal harassment is any behaviour which causes you distress or alarm creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Although harassment is often thought of as an overt use of power, it can also appear in more subtle ways. Harassment can be a criminal offence. Action can be taken under the Protection from Harassment legislation.

There are many forms of harassment, below are some recognisable examples.

Sexual Harassment


A form of sex discrimination, it involves unwanted sexual attention which emphasises sexual status over a person's individual status. Some examples of activities that might constitute sexual harassment include:

  • remarks, looks, jokes, use of offensive language, alluding to a person's private life or sexual orientation by innuendo, or remarks about a person's appearance
  • making provocative suggestions or pressing people to accept unwelcome invitations
  • deliberate physical contact, to which the individual has not consented or had the opportunity to object to.

Racial Harassment


A form of racial discrimination, involving offensive behaviour by a person or group of one racial or ethnic origin against a person or group of another. Examples of racial harassment include:

  • derogatory name-calling
  • insults and racist jokes
  • ridicule of an individual for cultural differences
  • exclusion from everyday conversation or social events
  • unfair allocation of work and responsibilities because of racial or ethnic origin
  • display of offensive, racist material.

Stalking


A form of harassment that involves pestering an individual, either in person, in writing, in electronic format or on the telephone. Stalking can involve a person being followed or spied upon. It may also involve violence or the threat and/or fear of violence.

Victimisation


Unacceptable behaviour where somebody is treated less favourably than other people because that individual has, in good faith, made allegations of harassment or bullying, intends to make such an allegation or has assisted or supported a person or the processes available in bringing/addressing an allegation.

Harassment of any type might take the form of:

  • unwanted phone calls, letters, emails or visits
  • abuse and bullying online, for example Facebook or Twitter
  • stalking
  • verbal abuse
  • actions intended to frighten such as throwing items at people or property
  • threats of violence or physical attacks
  • damage to property
  • malicious complaints.

I think I need help

If you believe you are being subjected to harassment or bullying of any form, you do not have to feel it is your fault and you do not have to tolerate it. Any student who suffers from harassment or bullying from any individual or group throughout their student experience will have the support of the University in seeking to ensure that the harassment or bullying stops. Remember, you are not alone and there are people and services in the University who are here to support you. By talking to someone about what you are experiencing and how you are feeling you will feel less alone and more able to deal with the situation. There are various ways in which an individual can deal with harassment.

    Be Supported

  • If you are in immediate danger or are seriously injured, call 999.
  • If you can, find a place where you feel safe. If this isn't possible you can:
    • Call Campus Security on 01642 342086 or go to their office, Ground Floor, The Library. They can offer you a physical or CCTV escort across campus if you are feeling vulnerable and you can report any issues to them directly.
    • If you are in Middlesbrough, Safe Spaces is a service for students where they can seek help and refuge if needed. Businesses that take part in this scheme can be easily identified by the yellow Safe Spaces stickers in their windows. This service is for students who feel threatened or vulnerable and they can expect to be given somewhere to sit for a short period of time, first aid (if needed) and a taxi can be rung for them. Current Safe Spaces in Middlesbrough.
    • Go to the Students' Union. All venue staff are either SIA Door Supervisor qualified or working towards their qualification.
  • Get advice

  • From a friend. Talking to someone you trust about what you are experiencing can sometimes help.
  • From Student and Library Services. A student adviser will listen to your concerns in confidence and discuss the options available to you, including informing the police, and how to access further support if needed. Go to the first floor of the Student Centre and ask to see a student adviser through our drop-in service which is available between 9.30am - 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Or you can call 01642 342277 to book an appointment with a student adviser at the drop-in.
  • From Teesside University Students' Union. The Students' Union Student Support offers independent advice and representation. Their friendly and confidential service can support you, offer advice and if necessary help you to raise a complaint. Student Support is based on the first floor of the Students' Union Building and is open 10.00am - 4.00pm (Monday to Thursday) and 11.00am - 4.00pm (Friday).
  • From Cleveland Polices' Beat Surgery. Cleveland Police hold regular beat surgeries in conjunction with the Students' Union. The friendly Police Community Support Officers are on hand to give safety tips and advice and you can report any issues you may have to them. Follow SU Student Support - SUSS on Facebook to find out when they will be in the SU.

How can I help someone who is being bullied or harassed?

When someone is experiencing difficulties they will often speak to someone they can trust. You might not be able to solve their problems but by listening and supporting your friend you can help.

    Be Supported

    Make sure they are safe

  • If they are in immediate danger or are seriously injured, call 999
  • Find a safe place. If this isn't possible you can:
    • Call Campus Security on 01642 342086 or go to their office, Ground Floor, The Library. They can offer you a physical or CCTV escort across campus if you are feeling vulnerable and you can report any issues to them directly.
    • If you are in Middlesbrough, Safe Spaces is a service for students where they can seek help and refuge if needed. Businesses that take part in this scheme can be easily identified by the yellow Safe Spaces stickers in their windows. This service is for students who feel threatened or vulnerable and they can expect to be given somewhere to sit for a short period of time, first aid (if needed) and a taxi can be rung for them. Safe Spaces in Middlesbrough.
    • Go to the Students' Union. All venue staff are either SIA Door Supervisor qualified or working towards their qualification.
  • Get advice

  • Listening to your friend will help and show them that they are not alone.
  • From Student and Library Services. A Student Adviser will listen to your concerns in confidence and discuss the options available to you and your friend, including our complaints procedure, and how to access further support if needed.

    Go to the first floor of the Student Centre and ask to see a Student Adviser through our drop-in service which is available any time between 9.30am and 4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Or you can call 01642 342277 to book an appointment with a Student Adviser at the drop-in.
  • From Teesside University Students’ Union. The Students’ Union Student Support offers independent advice and representation. Their friendly and confidential service can offer advice and support you and your friend.

    Student Support is based on the first floor of the Students’ Union Building and is open 10am to 4pm (Mon to Thu) and 11am to 4pm (Fri).
  • From Cleveland Polices' Beat Surgery. Cleveland Police hold regular beat surgeries in conjunction with the Students' Union. The friendly Police Community Support Officers are on hand to give safety tips and advice and you can report any issues you may have to them. Follow SU Student Support - SUSS on Facebook to find out when they will be in the SU.
  • Report an incident

  • Encourage your friend to keep a diary including details and dates of any relevant incidents which have distressed them and the effect they have had on them.
  • To the University. Students and staff can report any incidents to the University. You can either report an incident and request support from an adviser or report anonymously. If you submit your report anonymously we will not be able to offer you any direct advice or officially investigate the incident. You can use the links at the top of this page to report any incidents.

Remember


When helping a friend with through a difficult time, you need to make sure that you look after yourself. It can be worrying when a friend is upset or, if you have had a similar experience yourself, it can bring back difficult memories or feelings. If you want to talk about your feelings whilst respecting your friends' privacy please see the different support options below.


Continuing Support


If you or someone you know have experienced a hate incident or hate crime there are a range of support options available for students.

  • Counselling service. Our confidential counselling service can support you through any personal or academic difficulties and develop constructive ways forward.
  • Disability advisers. Our specialist staff can help you access support and resources to ensure you have a great experience at Teesside.
  • Student advisers. A student adviser will listen to your concerns in confidence, offer options and talk about the support available.
  • Counselling service. Our confidential counselling service can support you through any personal or academic difficulties and develop constructive ways forward.
  • Disability advisers. Our specialist staff can help you access support and resources to ensure you have a great experience at Teesside.
  • Your academic school. If you feel able to, you can talk to your personal tutor or lecturer.
  • Student and Library Services. The University offers a wide range of support and advice services to help you.
  • Teesside University Students' Union. The SU offer free and totally independent support with a number of academic and student support issues. The service is also a hate crime reporting centre and offers a mediation service for students who are experiencing difficulties with their housemates.


Other support


  • Bullying UK offers advice on bullying at university and online
  • Hart Gables is a local charity who provide support to all those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans in the North East.
  • The National Stalking Helpline is run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and can give support and advice to anyone experiencing stalking.
  • Victim Support is a national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected across England and Wales
  • Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.