Support

If you have experienced any form of harassment, sexual harassment or assault, hate crime, bullying or victimisation, there are lots of ways you can access confidential support. This page provides a list of services you may wish to access. You can also find a comprehensive list of support services open to you, nationally, locally and within Queen Mary, by visiting the University's Report and Support reporting tool.

Sometimes, you just need somebody to listen. Sometimes, you might want specific advice and support. How and when you access support is completely up to you.

If you feel able to report what happened to you, you can find out how to do so here.


Bullying and Harassment

If you’ve experienced unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity or which creates an interrogating, degrading, hostile, offensive or humiliating environment.

Support if you’ve experienced bullying or harassment

If you’re being called names, being pushed, hassled, threatened, beaten up, spat at, kicked, having your things taken or damaged, ignored and excluded or being made fun of or called names by anyone, that classes as bullying. This can include any name-calling or threats made online, via text message or email. It is often a criminal offence.

Harassment describes unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity or creates an interrogating, degrading, hostile, offensive or humiliating environment. It can take many forms including violence, threats, abuse and damage to property and can be received online, via text message, in person or via email. It can affect both your physical and mental health.

You can access support if you’ve been affected by bullying and harassment through the links below:

  • National Bullying Helpline
    The National Bullying Helpline was the first helpline to provide assistance to individuals struggling with bullying issues, whatever the nature of the abuse. You can call 0845 22 55 787 or visit their website to access help and advice.
  • The Cybersmile Foundation
    If you’ve experienced bullying online, the Cybersmile Foundation is there to tackle digital abuse and bullying online and can offer support, information and advice about a range of issues, including cyber self-harm, doxing, gaming, mental health and others.
  • Bullying UK
    Bullying UK offers information on all types of bullying and has a confidential helpline if you’ve been affected. You can call 0808 800 2222 or visit their website to access support.
  • Supportline
    Supportline offers confidential emotional support on range of issues, including bullying, mental health, self esteem and more. You can call 01708 765200 or visit their website to access support.

Sexual Harassment

If you’ve experienced unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating your dignity, makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated or has created a hostile or offensive environment.

Support if you’ve experienced sexual harassment

Sexual harassment includes a wide range of behaviour such as:

  • 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 sexual content

Not all of these behaviours are considered a crime, but they are never acceptable. If you feel you cannot say no or ask someone to stop then this is still harassment. Sexual harassment is not caused by what you wear, how you act or where you choose to go out or walk at night. It is always the fault of the person who has chosen to harass you. You do not need to have previously objected to someone’s behaviour in order for it to be considered harassment.

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. If you’re being treated badly or less favourably because of your reaction to sexual harassment, you may have a claim under the Equality Act, which states that this is also harassment. If you are thinking of reporting sexual harassment, it is recommended that you keep a note of dates and times of each incident, details of what happened and what was said. If a harasser has touched you, this is sexual or indecent assault and you can report them to the Police if you want to.

  • Victim Support
    If you’ve been subjected to unwanted sexual behaviour, you can contact Victim Support for free and confidential help. They can explain the options available to you, provide you with practical help like personal alarms and provide emotional support for as long as you need.
  • Citizens Advice
    Citizens Advice has lots of information about sexual harassment, including what your rights are by law. They also offer support in branches across London that you can visit.
  • The Mix
    The Mix offers support on a range of issues for people under the age of 25 through articles, videos, phone, email, peer to peer and counselling services.

Sexual Assault, Violence and Rape

If you’ve experienced any act of physical, psychological or emotional violation in the form of a sexual act inflicted on you without your consent. This could involve forcing or manipulating you to witness or participate in any sexual acts.

Support if you’ve experienced sexual assault, violence or rape

A person consents to sex if they freely agree to sexual intercourse by choice and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Sex is non-consensual if you didn't freely agree to it. This includes if you were subject to coercion, if violence or threats of violence were made against you or someone else, if you were asleep, unconscious, under the influence of drugs or alcohol or your disability meant you were not able to communicate your lack of consent.

Everyone has the right to say 'no' to sex and to withdraw or withhold their consent for any sexual act, on any occasion and under any circumstances, regardless of whether they've consented to sex with that person in the past and regardless of whether they're in a relationship with the other person. All forms of sex without consent are classified as rape or sexual assault. Both rape and sexual assault are criminal offences that can be committed by people of all genders.

You can access support if you’ve been affected by sexual assault through the links below:

  • The Havens
    The Havens are specialist centres in London that provide medical help, counselling, practical advice and emotional support for anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted. You do not need to report anything to the police to get support from the Havens.
  • NHS Choices
    The NHS Choices website offers support and medial information for those who have experienced sexual assault and rape and can have lots of information about what to do next.
  • East London Rape Crisis (nia)
    East London Rape Crisis, also known as nia, offer free, confidential specialist help for women who have been raped or who have experienced any form of sexual violence, whatever the assault and whenever it occurred.
  • Victim Support
    Victim Support offer support if you've been affected by sexual assault or rape. You can access support over the phone, online and via email.
  • Galop
    Galop is an LGBT+ anti-violence charity that provides confidential and independent advice and support for LGBT+ people who have experienced sexual assault, abuse or violence. They provide a safe space to talk, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. They also offer support for those affected by domestic abuse.
  • Survivors UK
    Survivors UK offers information, support and counselling to men who have experienced rape and sexual assault, either as an adult or in childhood.
  • My Decision
    My Decision is a step-by-step guide developed by the Met Police to explain all your options, whether you choose to involve the Police or not. This includes who to contact, the type of care you can receive, how evidence is collected, how to make a report, the process of an investigation and the level of control you will have over the process.
  • London Black Women’s Project (LBWP)
    LBWP is a dedicated black and minority ethnic (BME) women-only organisation providing a range of support services, including counselling and legal advice, related to all types of violence against women. LBWP is based in east London.

Hate Crime

If you've experienced criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards you based on your identity or perceived identity. This could include prejudice or hostility based upon your race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Support if you’ve experienced a hate crime

If you’ve experienced a hate crime, this could include an act of violence or hostility because of who you are or someone thinks you are. This could include prejudice or hostility based upon your race, disability, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

You can find more information on what is considered to be a hate crime or hate incident on the Citizens Advice website here.

You can access support if you’ve been affected by hate crime through the links below:

  • Victim Support
    Victim Support offer support if you've experienced a hate crime or hate incident. You can access support over the phone, online and via email.
  • True Vision
    True Vision have a long list of support links that you can access if you’ve ever experienced a hate crime. You can also use their website to report incidences of hate crime.
  • Galop
    Galop is an LGBT+ anti-violence charity that can help you if you’ve experienced homophobia, transphobia or biphobia.

Discrimination

If you’ve been treated unfairly because of your identity or perceived identity. This includes your age, disability, transgender identity, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or beliefs, sex or sexual orientation.

Support if you’ve experienced discrimination

Discrimination means being treated unfairly because of who you are. The Equality Act 2010 protects people from discrimination by placing duties on certain organisations. There are 9 protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act. These are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, and, in employment only, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and beliefs, sex or sexual orientation. Discrimination on the basis of one or more of these characteristics is unlawful under the Act.

This affects the following types of organisations:

  • Employers
  • Schools, colleges, universities and other education providers
  • Businesses and organisations which provide goods or services like banks, shops and utility companies
  • Health and care providers like hospitals and care homes
  • Someone you rent or buy a property from, including housing associations and estate agents
  • Transport services including buses, trains and taxis
  • Public bodies like local authorities and government departments.

You can access support if you’ve been affected by discrimination through the links below:

  • Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)
    The EASS helpline advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights across England, Scotland and Wales. They can help with a wide range of issues, including how you’re treated at work due to your gender, if you’re disabled and need access to an interpreter to update your details at your bank and more.
  • Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI)
    SARI is an agency that provides support and advice to victims of discrimination and hate, and promotes equality and good relations between people with the protected characteristics as defined by law.
  • Citizens Advice
    Citizens Advice offers support and provides advice if you’ve been discriminated against. They provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everybody on their rights and responsibilities.

Online abuse

If you have experienced any form of abusive behaviour online, such as sexual violence, harassment, domestic abuse, bullying or hate crime. Online abuse can include things such as sharing explicit images of you or someone else without their consent, or someone sending you explicit, abusive, harassing or otherwise unwanted messages.

Support if you've experienced online abuse

Online abuse refers to any form of violence or abuse perpetrated online. It is not a legal term and it may include many different types of behaviour, such as sexual violence, harassment, bullying or hate crime that occur through online platforms and in online spaces. In some cases, it may be illegal. It is always wrong. To learn more about online abuse and the law, you can view this guide.

If you have experienced a form of online abuse, you are entitled to access support. Depending on what you have experienced, you may want to use some of the services listed elsewhere on this page.


University Support

Here you’ll find all the support currently offered by the University.

There is lots of support available at Queen Mary