UEL has an actively zero tolerance approach to any form of hate crime or sexual violence. We are committed to creating a culture of mutual respect and understanding amongst the UEL community where everyone takes an active role in understanding hate crime and sexual violence and regards it as unacceptable. Both hate crime and sexual violence can be experienced by anyone regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, relationship status, age, disability, faith, ethnicity, nationality and economic status. Hate crime and sexual violence jeopardises the mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing of members of our University and the safety of our community. It diminishes dignity and impedes access to educational, social, and employment opportunities. It can cause lasting physical and psychological harm. The University is committed to providing a safe environment which allows for the academic, social and personal development of all of our students and staff.
Our community expects that all interpersonal relationships and interactions will be grounded upon mutual respect, open communication, and clear consent. When learning of conduct or behaviour that may not meet these standards, community members are expected take an active role in upholding this Policy Statement and promoting the inherent dignity of all individuals.
- We will work with students and staff to reduce the risk of incidents through awareness raising, campaigns, education and training and encourage them to take an active role in fostering a culture of mutual respect, consent and understanding.
- We will encourage students and staff to report any incidents of hate crime, sexual violence or harassment and will support students and staff in disclosing. Disclosures will be taken seriously and students and staff will be believed and treated with dignity and respect. If any disclosure is found to have been made maliciously, it will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
- We will act in a timely, sensitive and discrete manner to any reports of sexual violence or hate crime.
- We will respect the reporting parties feelings and decisions and work to actively ensure that they have access to support internally and external specialist support where needed.
- Following a disclosure we will take all precautionary actions needed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of any students and staff involved.
- We will provide immediate and ongoing care to survivors of sexual violence
- We will work with the sector and specialist external organisations to ensure we are following best practice and will develop partnerships to inform our work.
- We will ensure that staff are trained to enable them to support, signpost and advise students who disclose being a victim of sexual violence or hate crime
This Policy Statement applies to all staff and students at UEL. This Policy Statement should be read in conjunction with other UEL policies, procedures and guidance documents, such as:
- UEL Student Code of Conduct
- UEL Sports Code of Conduct
- Student Disciplinary Procedures, including the Disciplinary Action policy for residents of the Halls of Residence
- Student Regulations Framework
- Fitness to Study Policy
- The Dignity at Work and Study Policy
- Equality and Diversity Policy
- Staff Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
What is a hate crime?
A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference. It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online.
Hate crime and hate incidents can occur in many forms, such as, but not limited to:
- Verbal harassment such as name calling or making unwanted or offensive remarks related to a protected characteristic
- Malicious complaints, letters or calls
- Offensive letters or posters
- Offensive posts on social media or through messaging software
- Offensive graffiti
- Damage to property
- Physical assault
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence can be defined as any behaviour perceived to be of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding. A person can be a victim of sexual violence no matter what age they are and regardless of whether they are male or female. Sexual violence can be committed by someone the victim knows and even trusted such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner. Sexual misconduct can also be committed by strangers. You can also experience sexual violence by someone you are in a relationship with.
Sexual violence can occur in many forms, such as, but not limited to:
- Verbal harassment such as whistling, catcalling, making unwanted remarks of a sexual nature, sexual innuendo,
- Telling sexual jokes and stories,
- Spreading rumours about a person’s sex life;
- Nonverbal harassment such as looking someone up and down, displaying pictures of a sexual nature,
- Sending emails or messages containing sexual content, making sexual gestures, and asking for sexual favours.
- Inappropriately showing sexual organs to another person
- Repeatedly following another person without good reason
- Sexual intercourse or engaging in a sexual act without consent
- Attempting to engage in sexual intercourse or engaging in a sexual act without consent
- Sharing private sexual materials of another person without consent
- Creating, disclosing or threatening to disclose nude, sexual or sexually explicit photographs, films or messages without consent and with intent to cause distress
- Kissing without consent
- Touching inappropriately through clothes without consent