Aston University promotes and supports equality, diversity, and inclusion for all. We have zero tolerance for any forms of hatred and systemic injustice and are committed to justice for all those impacted by racism and discrimination.
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. Power does not always mean being in a position of authority but can include both personal strength and the power to coerce through fear or intimidation.
Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment may occur physically, verbally or non-verbally and it can be intentional or unintentional. It also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past.
Both can be in person, online or through any other form of communication. Non-verbal conduct includes postings on social media outlets.
Bullying may include but are not limited to:
- shouting at, being sarcastic towards, ridiculing or demeaning others
- physical or psychological threats
- overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision
- inappropriate and/or derogatory remarks about someone's performance
- abuse of authority or power by those in positions of seniority
- deliberately excluding someone from meetings or communications without good reason
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.
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.
Examples of harassment may include, for example:
- unwanted physical conduct or ‘horseplay’, including touching, pinching, pushing, grabbing, brushing past someone, invading their personal space and more serious forms of physical or sexual assault
- offensive or intimidating comments or gestures, or insensitive jokes or pranks
- mocking, mimicking or belittling a person’s disability
- racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes, or derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender
- outing or threatening to out someone as gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans
- ignoring or shunning someone, for example, by deliberately excluding them from a conversation or a social activity.
A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if they create an offensive environment.
Harassment or bullying may not be deliberate or intentional. In some cases the person against whom a report has been made may be unaware that their behaviour is having a detrimental impact on another person, has caused offence or has been interpreted in a particular way.