If you think you are being harassed the College strongly encourages you to do something about it. This section of the guidance sets out information on the help available to you.
It may be that you have recently experienced an incident of harassment for the first time and want advice on trying to prevent further incidents from occurring. Alternatively, you may have suffered a prolonged period of harassment in silence and feel as though you have finally reached breaking point. Whatever stage or circumstance, there are a number of people who are available to help you.
You may, in the first instance, want to discuss the matter in confidence with a friend or colleague who is familiar with the setting in which you work or study. If you are a member of staff, you may also want to discuss the matter informally with your Head of Department or trade union representative. Alternatively, the College’s Personnel Advisor can be contacted in confidence on 01865 281427.
If you are a student, you may want to discuss the matter with the Dean or Junior Deans, or another College Officer with pastoral responsibilities. At a common room level, the Welfare or Equal Opportunities Officer may be a good person to talk to. OUSU’s Student Advice Service also provides a confidential and impartial listening and advice service, whilst the University has approximately 300 harassment advisors with two (one of either sex) appointed within each department and faculty. Details of the harassment advisors are posted on departmental and faculty office notice boards.
Should you want to speak with an advisor entirely unconnected with your department, faculty, or College, approximately 60 of the advisors advise those outside their own department/ faculty/ College for this very reason. You should telephone the designated harassment telephone line (01865 270760) to be put in touch with such a harassment advisor, or send an e-mail to the harassment line.
The College recommends that you should discuss the situation with a harassment advisor before taking any other steps in response to the alleged harassment. Talking through the events and your feelings with the advisor will help you decide on the best way to deal with the behaviour and will clarify the options available to you.
What can the harassment advisor do?
The harassment advisor has three main functions: to listen effectively and discuss the situation with you; to give you clear information, help and guidance about the options available to you, the next steps to take, and how best to take them; and to support you through the resolution process.
The harassment advisor cannot: approach the alleged harasser in an attempt to mediate or resolve the matter for you; act as your representative or advocate; or be involved in any formal stage of the process, be it in writing the formal complaint, the investigation, disciplinary or grievance procedures, except by way of giving you the support you need during this time.
Information on other help available to you is provided on the University website.