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There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is usually considered a repeated behaviour which is intended to hurt another individual. If you are being bullied because of your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other physical aspect, this may be considered as discriminatory behaviour. In extreme cases, prejudice-motivated bullying may be considered a hate crime and an individual responsible for perpetrating hate crime may be prosecuted by the local authorities.
Bullying and harrassment are never okay and there is plenty of support available for you. The University's Disclosure Response Team are a team of specialist staff, trained to support those experiencing harassment, hate crime, sexual violence, relationship abuse and other forms of unacceptable behaviour. They will always believe what you tell them.
If you believe you are in immediate danger or you are concerned about your safety, learn how to access further help and keep yourself safe.
Please complete the online disclosure form to make an identified or anonymous disclosure.
The Disclosure Response Team aim to respond to all disclosures within two working days, within the hours of 09:00-16:00, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
They understand that it can be difficult to trust other people to tell them what has happened. Some common worries about sharing these experiences include:
It is your choice whether you tell someone about your experiences. However, it is important to know that the University can support you.
The Disclosure Response Team take all disclosures seriously and will believe what you tell them.
There are varying forms of bulling that you may be subject to. These can include:
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether you are being bullied or not as some forms of bullying are hard to differentiate from a prank or banter between friends. However, if you are feeling emotionally and physically drained as a result of repetitive and harmful actions from a peer or individual, you may find that their behaviours constitute a form of bullying. If this is the case, you are within your rights to speak out and seek support.
Cyber bullying is increasingly common as more people create and maintain online identities either through social media, gaming, or online forums. Cyber bullying is where someone initiates or suffers abuse through an online platform. This can be very scary and malicious as it is often easier for a perpetrator to bully others anonymously with little or no repercussion for their actions.
There are a growing number of online platforms where cyber bullying can occur so it is very important to be careful and considerate when you are posting online, or speaking on a shared form. Some of the apps commonly used by students that could facilitate cyber bullying include:
If you are familiar with these applications, we would strongly advise you to use them with caution; given the increasing emphasis being placed on life online, it is important that you are mindful of those you are in digital contact with.
There are a number of behaviours that are considered as cyber bullying and we have listed some below for you to be aware of:
If you are concerned that you may have been a victim of cyber bullying, please consider our guidance on how to recover from bullying below.
Notably, in addition to the list of cyber bullying behaviours listed above, the screen capturing, or possession of sexual or inappropriate images may also be considered as cyber bullying. It is inappropriate, and often illegal, to possess or share a sexual or compromised image of an individual without their consent. Sexting, the sending and/or receiving of sexually explicit messages, is an increasingly common behaviour on digital messaging platforms. Although the sharing an intimate photo with a trusted individual may not be considered a crime, the sharing of pornographic images without the consent of the subject (or if that person is under 18) can be a criminal offence and lead to prosecution.
If you have noticed that you are being treated inappropriately by a colleague, peer or family member, it is possible that you may be a victim of bullying. It is not unusual for this to make you feel physically and emotionally exhausted and in some cases will lead to low mood. If this is the case, there are some things that you can try to make yourself feel better and to seek professional support.
You can also contact the Student Advice service for free, confidential and independent advice available for all students of Cardiff University. We are independent of the University and our role is to give you impartial advice and guidance and help you understand the options available to you.
Student Advice can also provide you with practical advice and support. We can advise on housing and any implications of the bullying on your study. If the perpetrator is a Cardiff University student, we can advise on how to make a complaint against them to the University. We can support you through your complaint and advise on submitting extenuating circumstances or taking an interruption of study if that becomes necessary.
If your circumstances are impacting your wellbeing and/or ability to study and perform at your usual level, we can
Although it can be difficult, it is important to act if you are witness to bullying behaviour that may put another individual at risk. The support that you are able to provide to an individual may vary depending on your relationship with them, the type of bullying they are experiencing, and the impact that it is having on them.
Some of the ways that you may be able to help include:
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for bullying to occur within a romantic or sexual relationship. In this circumstance, it is often difficult to recognise abusive or bullying behaviour, or to escape from the relationship.
Bullying in a relationship can take many different forms. Some of the most common forms of abuse in a relationship include:
Sexual bullying can range from the use of degrading and sexual language to sexually manipulate an individual, to the application of pressure on an individual to make them act promiscuously.
It is common for an individual who is experiencing, or who has experienced, an abusive relationship to feel ashamed, but it is important to accept that these behaviours are not normal nor acceptable. For more advice on Violence, Abuse and Unhealthy Relationships and the support available, please see our webpage here.
As above, the Disclosure Response Team are here to provide the help and support you need.
If you notice, or are a victim, of bullying behaviour from a Cardiff University student, you may wish to report them under the Student Conduct Procedure. Find out more about how to raise a concern about another student, here.
If you are reported for bullying, this may lead to disciplinary action. It is important to be aware of what the University expects of you in terms of conduct because, if your behaviour is deemed to breach requirements, you could be investigated under the Student Conduct Procedure.
If your behaviour is reported to the police or the local authorities, they may also choose to investigate the claim. Depending on the severity of the matter, this may contribute to an investigation of your behaviour under the Student Conduct Procedure, and if you are on a Professional Registration Course, an investigation under the Fitness to Practise procedure.
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