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Discrimination and harassment

Respecting your rights and those of others

The College will not tolerate any form of harassment, discrimination, misconduct or assault. We will treat all such reports seriously; respond to them effectively; and support victims both in reporting cases and afterwards. If you feel that you have been affected by any form of harassment, you are strongly encouraged to seek support, and report it. If you have witnessed harassment please also report the incident so that prompt action may be taken. Harassment and sexual misconduct may result in disciplinary action and in serious cases may lead to removal of perpetrators from the College.

Harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct of any kind are always unacceptable, whether intentional or not.

Reporting harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct

The College and University provide a range of support for students to access where they have experienced any form of harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct.  Whether or not you want to report, it is important that you have access to support in relation to your experience.  You can speak confidentially to the University’s Harassment and Violence Support Service, the College Counsellor or Nurse, your Tutor, and we have two specific tutors who fulfil the role of Harassment Support Tutors who, alongside other members of the welfare team, can be approached for advice or support, including with reporting:

  • Dr Martin Hadley Brown (mbrown@hughes.cam.ac.uk)
  • Dr Aude Rauscent (arauscent@hughes.cam.ac.uk)

In addition, you can use the University’s Counselling Service and the independent Student Advice Service. Whoever you want to help you, there is confidential support available, and different ways to report what has happened.

The University student complaints webpage on ‘Reporting harassment, bullying, discrimination or sexual misconduct’ provides information on anonymous and formal reporting procedures, including how to report a student or a staff member, and sources of support, in addition to the processes outlined below. The University has a Report+Support website which aims to unite these formal and anonymous reporting systems on one platform for all kinds of discrimination, abuse, bullying, harassment, and sexual misconduct.

There is also a specialist external service offering support and practical help for anyone in Cambridgeshire who has experienced sexual violence and/or sexual abuse: The Elms. If you will struggle to reach them, we can fund transportation to ensure you get there safely.

Definitions, policies and useful links

Harassment and discrimination include behaviour which violates your dignity or creates an intimidating, humiliating or offensive environment connected to one or more protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

Sexual misconduct relates to any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature (verbal, non-verbal or physical) which creates an intimidating, humiliating or offensive environment such as sexual innuendo and gestures, displays of body or images, stalking or following, as well as unwanted physical sexual advances, intimidation, promising benefits in return for sexual favours, distributing explicit content of someone without consent, assault and rape.

The College’s Harassment Policy is available on the Welfare Policies page, it includes two stages for dealing with complaints. The first stage is aimed at informal resolution and the second provides for the investigation of a formal complaint in accordance with College disciplinary procedures given in Statutes, the Employer Handbook and Disciplinary Policy. The College will investigate all complaints with fairness and relevant confidentiality, and act where appropriate to ensure an effective resolution.

College will support the complainant in deciding what steps to take following alleged harassment or assault, providing information and advice as appropriate. Further ongoing support will also be offered, including help with handling future interactions between complainant and alleged perpetrator in both academic and social contexts.