In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Standing Together Team are currently providing remote support to students until further notice.  

We are aware that many people will be at greater risk of abuse during the lockdown period and that many may be feeling unsafe isolating in a house at this time. If you are concerned about someone you know or if you are living with an abusive person, please download the free The Bright Sky app which enables users to locate their nearest support services by searching their area, postcode or current location. Please only download this app if it is safe to do so and you are sure that your mobile phone is not being monitored.

What is bullying?

Bullying is offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or an abuse or misuse of power, which undermines, humiliates, denigrates or injures the recipient.

Bullying behaviour includes:

  • Excluding or isolating someone socially.
  • Physically abusing or threatening abuse.
  • Making offensive jokes or comments.
  • Intruding on a person's privacy by pestering, spying or stalking.

You do not have to accept any behaviour that you’re uncomfortable with.

You can let us know about something that has happened/is happening to you or someone else.

What is harassment?

Harassment is unwelcome behaviour that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive atmosphere.

It can refer to any aspect of personal identity.

Although the actions or comments may possibly have been meant as ‘banter' if they are viewed as unacceptable to the recipient, it could be officially classed as harassment.

What is abuse?

Abuse is to treat someone with cruelty or violence, especially regularly or repeatedly. Abuse includes any action that intentionally harms or injures another person.

Abuse can take many different forms and can be enacted in different ways. There are different types of abuse and these can include: physical abuse, domestic violence or abuse, sexual abuse, psychological/ emotional abuse, financial/ material abuse, modern slavery, discriminatory abuse, organisation/ institutional abuse, neglect/ acts of omission, self-neglect.


An example of bullying, harassing and/ or abusive behaviour may be initiations which may, for example, take place to 'induct' students into sports teams or societies. There is a difference between 'initiations' and 'problem initiations'. Not all 'initiations' involved the types of harmful or innapropriate activities or behaviours that would establish a 'problem initiation' (British Universities & Colleges Sport, BUCS webpage).

A problem initiation is not defined by: 

  • The naming of an activity
  • When it takes place
  • The location of that activity
  • Individuals willing to participate

Inappropriate or dangerous activities or behaviours associated with 'problem initiations' include but are not limited to: 

  • Bullying, harassment and power inequality, often used as a means to coerce participation in activities, challenges and other risky behaviours, designed to humiliate, often against a person's will
  • Consumption of excessive quantities of alcohol
  • Consumption of abnormal/ unpleasant substances
  • Forced acts of nudity/ nakedness
  • The humiliation of a person in public
  • Victimisation of a specific group of individuals (e.g. "Freshers")
  • Sexual harassment/ innapropriate sexual jokes/ sexual assault
  • Isolation or ostracising of individuals (e.g. through removal of mobile phone/ geographical remoteness)
  • Pyschological or physical torment perpetrated against an individual's wishes

Immediate and Ongoing Support

If you need immediate help, please contact the Police by calling 999. If you are on campus, or in a University building and would like support, please contact our Security Service on 0116 252 2888 who are available all day, every day.

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 leave your email address to seek further support from Student Support. 

Internal Support
  •  In addition to the University’s Student Support Services; Welfare, Wellbeing and AccessAbility, and the Students’ Union Advice Service, the Standing Together team can offer practical support and guidance in relation to unacceptable behaviours. Our work involves supporting students on a 1:1 basis, and providing holistic support options and referrals, where relevant. After an initial needs and risk assessment, we can provide students with options in relation to reporting and support – including those detailed above and below. We can also support students in accessing services and coordinating this. In order to access this support, please leave your contact email address when completing the online disclosure form. For more information, please visit the campaigns tab of this system.

For more information about University and Students’ Union support, please see:

  • Consider whether there are any practical implications of what’s happened/ is happening e.g. you could consider submitting a mitigating circumstances request if your studies have been, or are affected, and/ or you may have financial or accommodation related concerns. You can contact the Welfare team on and seek support, without having to disclose any specific details about the incident(s) itself.
External Support
  • Victim First are an independent and confidential service that support victims through their journey of recovery. They can support you coping with the after effects of crime and help with reporting to the police.
  •  National Bullying Helpline offer practical help and support to anyone experiencing bullying.  Call 0845 22 55 787 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
  • Speak to your GP or call 111 out of hours if you are concerned that you may have been injured. If your injuries are severe go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department
  • The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network:


You can find further information about other reporting and support options by clicking here


You can report something through this website