Sexual harassment is when one person makes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affect another person's wellbeing or ability to perform in any area of their life; or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive  environment.  

Sexual harassment: 
·       violates your dignity 
·       makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated 
·       creates a hostile or offensive environment
 Sexual harassment can include: 
·       sexual comments or jokes 
·       physical behaviour, including unwelcome sexual advances, touching and various forms of sexual assault 
·       displaying pictures, photos or drawings of a sexual nature 
·       sending emails with a sexual content 

You don’t need to have previously objected to someone's behaviour for it to be considered unwanted.  Sexual harassment or assault can happen to anyone and can be done by anyone.   Sexual harassment can happen anywhere - in the context of an existing relationship, or from a stranger, or in a workplace context.  Sexual harassment is often not related to whether the person doing the behaviour is attracted to the other person – it can be more about bullying to get power over a person or punish them for something they have done or not done.   Sexual misconduct is a specific term for when the sexual harassment happens in the context of an unequal power balance, such as between a lecturer or supervisor and their student.

Emergency help

Think about whether you are safe. 

If you or others are seriously hurt or in immediate physical danger you can call the police or ambulance on 999.  This includes if you think you, or someone else, may be about to attempt suicide. 

If you are on a University campus, after calling 999 you may wish to contact the University Security Service (emergencies: 0161 295 3333) for additional support and to help the emergency services reach you quickly. 

Talk to someone

Get support from a friend or family member. Talking things through with someone you trust can sometimes help the immediate situation and help you think through what, if anything, you want to do.  If you aren’t ready to talk yet, writing things down can also help. 

Consider talking to a staff member in your accommodation, or a member of academic or professional staff in your School.  They might not be able to fix the problem immediately, but they can listen and might be able to help. 

Talk to the askUS Enquiries team about your options.

Listen to someone

If someone tells you that they have experienced sexual harassment, taking the time to listen to them can make all the difference.  You don’t have to know exactly the right thing to say or what to do – just listen.  Try to keep your own reactions more muted and allow space for their feelings, without judgement. 

If it really isn’t the right time, arrange a different time and a suitable place to hear them out.  If for some reason you are not able to listen, explain this and offer to help support them in finding support elsewhere. 

You don’t need to try to solve the problem.- support them while they manage their feelings, explore their options and decide what to do.  

It is really important to accept their choices even if it is not what you think you might do in their situation. 

If you are worried about them, don’t ignore your feelings – get some support yourself to find out what to do next. 

Find someone

The University’s Counselling & Wellbeing Service provides a listening ear and can also support you if you want to know what next steps might be available for you. Their services are completely confidential. This client confidentiality will only be broken if the counsellors think there is a risk to you or someone else, or if there is a legal duty.  How to contact Counselling & Wellbeing

You can also access advice and guidance from your G.P. surgery (you may be registered with the University Medical Centre or otherwise you can look up your G.P.’s information here if you can’t remember).  

Salford University Students’ Union Student Advice Centre also provide independent advice and support on a range of issues. 

You may prefer to speak to someone outside of the University instead of, or as well as, our services. 

Citizen’s Advice Bureau CAB provide free advice on a number in a number of areas from debt to harassment. You can find a local office here

Victim Support. When you report a crime to the police, they should automatically ask you if you would like help from an organisation like Victim Support. But anyone affected by crime can contact them directly – you don’t need to talk to the police to get Victim Support help 


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