If you think someone you know is being bullied or harassed there are lots of ways in which you can help them. 

Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and the University Dignity at Cranfield Policy. 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. 

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.  Harassment is when someone intentionally or unintentionally violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, which interferes with an individual’s learning, working or social environment.

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. 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. 

  • Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
  • Find a safe space.  If an incident has just happened try and find somewhere they feel safe.
  • What are bullying and harassment? It might be useful to think about what bullying and harassment are and how some of the behaviours are described.  
  • Listen - just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them which are based on the Samaritans guidelines for active listening.
  • Give options - when they have finished talking ask them if they are okay to talk through some possible options and next steps.
  • Encourage them to seek support - there are a number of supportive services at the University to include:
Seek Support

There are a number of specialist organisations that provide specialist support, including counselling for those affected by harassment. You could encourage your colleague to reach out to such support.  A list of organisations can be found here:
  • ACAS - the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has a number of accessible online resources regarding bullying and harassment at work.
  • Education Support Partnership - they are a UK-based charity dedicated to improving the wellbeing and mental health of  workers in Further and Higher Education. They offer free, confidential help and support.
  • National Bullying Helpline - they provide further information on bullying as well as suggestions on how to deal with bullying.
  • Samaritans - they can provide support and information if you are having a difficult time, are struggling to cope or if you are worried about someone else. They have a team of volunteers who are available to be contacted any time through their Helpline: 116 123. This number is free to call from both landlines and mobiles, including pay-as-you-go mobiles. You  can also email them through: jo@samaritans.org.
       Find out more:
       Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) provides further information on unlawful harassment.
  • Report and Support. Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. You can do this on behalf of someone else, either anonymously or you can request support from an advisor. If you choose to talk to an advisor they will be able to talk through the options and support available to your colleague.

There are two ways you can tell us what happened