Dignity & Respect
The University of Sunderland's strategic aims state that discriminatory practices are not tolerated.
We encourage all members of our community to treat one another with mutual respect and dignity. This poster appears in all our buildings - if you would like one, please contact us.
We have in place two specific policies for staff and students designed to respect individual difference and reject bullying and harassment: the Dignity at Work Policy (.pdf) and Procedure for Employees and the Student Complaints Procedure.
We recognise the importance of training our managers to have values in line with these policies, and have therefore provided a list of the qualities found in both a good manager and a bully.
What is Bullying and Harassment?
Bullying and harassment can come from a range of sources.
Harassment can be any unwanted attention or behaviour that a person finds objectionable or offensive and which makes them feel threatened or uncomfortable, leading to a loss of dignity or self-respect. It is not the intent of the harasser but the effect on the recipient that defines harassment.
Bullying is harassment which is not based on race, sex or any other personal factor. It can involve words, actions or other conduct which ridicules, intimidates and undermines individual dignity and well-being
What can I do to seek advice?
The policies outlined above set out relevant options of support for staff and students.
Staff can seek advice from their Line Manager, their HR Manager or their Trade Union Representative.
Students can seek advice from the Students' Union or Student Services by contacting Fiona Jackson.
Mediation is now available as a means of delivering better working relationships.
If you are experiencing harassment in the community, please contact Campus Watch.
Domestic Violence is defined by the Home Office as "any violence between current and former partners in an intimate relationship, wherever the violence occurs. The violence may include physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse." Domestic violence occurs across society regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography.
Remember, if you are a victim of domestic abuse:
- You are not alone
- It is not your fault
- Help is always available
Addressing Homophobic Bullying in Primary Schools
The University is involved in research regarding Homophobic bullying in primary schools, through the work of Dr Elizabeth Atkinson.
Problems arising involve that young children may be taunted by their peers if boys appear unduly sensitive, girls excessively athletic, or if they live in a single-sex couple family.
To address this, Dr Atkinson has organised seminars to explore the factors which can make life hard for children, parents and teachers in primary education.
Many people don't realise that homophobia is a part of the everyday lives of young children and their families, says Dr Atkinson.
Dr Atkinson hope that these seminars will educated people on positive ways of addressing sexuality issues in the primary classroom, dealing with homophobic language and the importance of a whole-school approach to tackling homophobia.
If it (homophobic bullying) is not stopped at an early stage, the effects can be lasting and painful. The purpose of the seminar series is to make these problems clear, and to offer ways of doing something about it.