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Breaking the silence - preventing harassment and sexual misconduct


If you are a student or a staff member that has been accused of harassment or sexual misconduct, or you are supporting someone who has been accused, you may wish to consider the information on this webpage. The University does not tolerate harassment or sexual misconduct.  However, it will never take action on the basis of a complaint without conducting a full investigation, which will include you knowing the full detail of the complaint and having an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

You may find it useful to consider these steps:


  1. Don’t panic or take action that you may later regret

    Regardless of whether you think you have acted rightly or wrongly it is always best to take advice first and act later.


  2. Find out about the process that will take place

    If someone makes a complaint about you there will always be a written process that will be followed.  You should be fully aware of the process; asking questions about the process will never be linked to an assumption of wrongdoing.


  1. Consider accessing support

As well as getting advice during the investigation, it is important that you consider getting support for your emotional wellbeing. 


Interim Action

Very occasionally, the University may require you to limit your interactions with the University whilst an investigation is ongoing.  This might include you temporarily stopping your course of study or your job.  This action is not intended to be a penalty; it is made on the basis of a risk assessment, which considers the potential harm you might present to the University community and to yourself.  Regardless of the outcome, being involved in an investigation can be highly stressful and impact on your work or study and wellbeing; continuing at the University whilst an investigation is ongoing can also leave you vulnerable to further complaints. 

If the University decides that interim action should be taken whilst an investigation is ongoing, you will be fully informed in writing and have the option to appeal this decision.


Police investigation

It is possible for someone to make a complaint about you to the University and to the Police.  The University will not investigate a matter at the same time as the Police.  The University is able to use material from, or the outcome of, a police investigation when conducting its own investigation.  The University may also pass information to the Police where someone is at immediate and significant risk or where the Police have required it to do so.