Harassment and Bullying
Harassment and bullying are unacceptable. The Medical School and its Educational Partners (ie all hospital Trusts and GP practices) take a firm stance against these behaviours and actions.
If you have been affected by incidents of harassment and bullying we want to make sure you are well supported and cared for whilst you are coming to terms with what happened. Please find below some information and resources on harassment and bullying.
I WANT TO REPORT AN INCIDENT
If something has happened to you, or to someone you know, we would like to support you through the reporting process.
We are close to launching an online anonymous reporting system, but for now, please get in touch with the Bullying and Harassment supporters (Lamis; Ian; YJ) or the Medical School (Lois Brand; Catherine Swales; David McCartney).
There are more resources and contact details for people who would like to support you on the page, Where can I find support?.
Please see below for some more information about different types of bullying and harassment and commonly asked questions.
WHAT IS HARASSMENT?
Harassment includes unwanted behaviour or actions by an individual or a group, which violate another person's dignity, or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.
WHAT IS BULLYING?
Bullying is an unwanted behaviour, abuse or misuse of power used by an individual or group to intimidate, offend or dominate another individual or group. Anybody can be bullied, but often bullying might involve somebody with more power bullying somebody with less.
WHAT IS A HATE CRIME?
Harassment due to a protected characteristic is known as a hate crime. This means that the behaviour or actions are motivated by hostility towards age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy and maternity. This means that it is against the law under the Equality Act 2010.
Bullying and harassment can occur at the same time, and are often used interchangeably in the workplace. They may be overt or insidious. Whatever form it takes, it is unwarranted and unwelcome to the individual.
Sometimes, an incident of bullying and harassment might occur due to a particular characteristic of an individual or group. But it is important to bear in mind that this behaviour can also be related to several characteristics simultaneously. There are further resources on this website, detailing bullying and harassment against particular groups of people:
Frequently Asked Questions
Examples of bullying include but are not limited to:
- Insulting or mocking someone by word or behaviour
- Derogatory name-calling
- Spreading malicious rumours
- Exclusion or victimisation
- Unfair treatment
- Misuse of power or position
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Undermining and overloading someone with constant criticism
- Physical threats or actions- hitting, shoving, destroying someone's property
- Cyberbullying- using technology to harass or bully another person
You should report the incident as soon as you feel safe, comfortable and ready to do so. If you have grave concerns, such as for the safety of a patient or colleague, you have a professional duty to report the incident straight away.
You could talk to someone informally about the incident so that you can make sure you have the care and support you need during this time. You can tell someone whichever details you feel comfortable to let them know about. You can contact anybody who you trust and feel comfortable talking about the incident with. We have suggested some people who would like to support you in the section labelled 'Where can I find support?' By talking to someone, you could seek a range of outcomes, such as arranging your timetable so that you can avoid interacting with the people involved.
A hate crime could be reported to the police if you choose to do so. An investigation then ensues in order to decide whether there is enough evidence to take the case ahead.
Reporting involves making an official complaint in a documented process.
IT IS ALWAYS YOUR CHOICE TO REPORT. You should not be pressured by another person into reporting. You can use the central reporting system to report something.
There are two ways you can report: anonymously or non-anonymously, and either way is acceptable. Reporting can result in several outcomes, depending on how you would like to report. For example, there could be a formal investigation, or the report could provide statistical information to help us monitor these issues at the medical school.
There are lots of people in the medical school, hospital and in Oxford who want to support you, if an incident ever occurs. Examples of people you could contact for support include:
- Close friends, family members or housemates who you trust
- Your personal tutor or educational supervisor
- Harassment and Bullying Advisors - Medical students who are trained to listen, offer advice and support you: Lamis; Ian; YJ
- Osler Peer Supporters
- The Medical School: Lois Brand; Catherine Swales; David McCartney
- Your course lead
- A member of the team at your placement who you trust
- Freedom to Speak Up Guardian - employed by the OUH trust to give independent support and advice to staff who want to raise concerns: Jane Herve
- Raising Concerns page
- University resources
- National resources
Zero tolerance to bullying and harassment is an essential requirement for a happy, healthy and diverse learning environment.
The Medical School is dedicated to maintaining a culture in which we all treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration, and challenge unacceptable behaviour. This is a responsibility that we all must share, and extends into every area in which students learn. We are committed to supporting anyone who feels they have witnessed or experienced bullying and harassment, so please contact us if you need to talk things through or raise any concerns.