Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment may occur physically, verbally or non-verbally and it can be intentional or unintentional.  It also includes treating someone less favourably because they have submitted or refused to submit to such behaviour in the past.

Protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 include: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.  

Harassment may include, for example:
  • unwanted physical conduct or ‘horseplay’, including touching, pinching, pushing, grabbing, brushing past someone, invading their personal space and more serious forms of physical or sexual assault
  • offensive or intimidating comments or gestures, or insensitive jokes or pranks
  • mocking, mimicking or belittling a person’s disability
  • racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist jokes, or derogatory or stereotypical remarks about a particular ethnic or religious group or gender
  • outing or threatening to out someone as gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans
  • ignoring or shunning someone, for example, by deliberately excluding them from a conversation or a social activity.
A person may be harassed even if they were not the intended "target". For example, a person may be harassed by racist jokes about a different ethnic group if they create an offensive environment.

If you believe that you have been harassed, then you should report it so that you can be appropriately supported and the unwanted behaviour you experienced can be appropriately addressed. You can do so via the links at the bottom of this page.

You can also access a range of support.

Student Support Gateways
Canterbury:  gatewaycanterbury@uca.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1227 817 314 

Epsom: gatewayepsom@uca.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1372 202 461 

Farnham: gatewayfarnham@uca.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1252 892 709 

Rochester: gatewayrochester@uca.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1634 888 734 

UCA student services information:https://www.uca.ac.uk/student-services/ 

You can also contact your Students' Union

Staff Support

Your wellbeing is important to us you can access UCA services via Health, Safety and Wellbeing.

If you prefer to first speak with an external source of support you can do so via your employee assistance programme 


There are two ways you can tell us what happened