If you think someone you know is being bullied or harassed there are lots of ways in which you can help them. 

Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and the University’s Dignity at Work Policy and our Student Code of Conduct.

Understanding the behaviours associated with bullying and harassment is a good place to start. Most people will be able to describe what has or is happening to them and how it's making them feel. 

Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour involving the misuse of power that can make a person feel vulnerable, upset, humiliated undermined or threatened.  Harassment is when someone intentionally or unintentionally violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment, which interferes with an individual’s learning, working or social environment.

Harassment may involve sexual harassment or be related to a characteristic protected in law such as age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Some forms of harassment are considered a Hate Crime.  A hate incident or crime is any act of violence or hostility against a person or property that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a person due to a particular protected characteristic.

What to consider

Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or seriously injured, you can call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).

Finding a safe space. 
If an incident has just happened try and help them to find somewhere they feel safe. If this isn't possible and they are scared or fearful they can call University Security on 0131 455 6119.

Listen to them

Listen.  Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them.

Published on Oct 4, 2015 Based on the Samaritans guidelines for active listening

Give options.
  When they have finished talking ask them if they are okay to talk through some possible options and next steps.

For Students

  • Your School. Students can talk to their Personal Development Tutor.

  • Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association (ENSA)ENSA employs a team of professional advisers to provide one-to-one advice to Edinburgh Napier University students. It’s a free and comprehensive welfare rights and education service. They can offer information, support and advice with signposting and referral to more specialist services.

  • Residence Life team. All of the residences have a team of Student Accommodation Officers and Resident Assistants (RLA’s) living in-house. This team can be an important source of guidance and support for students.

For staff

  • Human Resources. Your HR partner will be able to identify the support that’s available for you.

  • Trade Unions.There are two trade unions that represent staff at the University: Unison and the EIS.

  • MCL Medics. Workplace Options is the University's Employee Assistance Programme Provider and they provide a free, confidential and independent resource to help employees balance their work, family and personal lives.  This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by phone, e-mail or online and provides information, resources and counselling.


Report and Support. Students and staff can report an incident using the University’s Report and Support system. They can choose to do this anonymously or can request support from an advisor. If they choose to talk to an advisor they will be able to talk through the options and support available in confidence.

They can choose to make a formal complaint to the University about a student or member of staff and there are procedures which set out the steps they’ll need to follow. Bullying and harassment are contrary to the Equality Act 2010 and the University’s Dignity at Work Policy and our Student Code of Conduct.

Get Support 

Take care of yourself. It’s important that you take care of yourself. If you’ve experienced or heard something distressing or if something is troubling you, the University's Wellbeing Service offers confidential help for students and staff can use the MCL Medics service.


There are two ways you can tell us what happened