Safety Services

Sexual harassment: how to report it and access the support available

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We are proud of the work we do to make our University a safe place to live, study and work. We never have, and never will tolerate any kind of sexual harassment or misconduct within our community, and we are fully committed to investigating and addressing all reports we receive. You can find out more about the measures we have in place at the bottom of this article.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment, it’s important to report it. 

Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes you feel humiliated, intimidated, belittled, or that creates a hostile environment. It can happen in person, over the phone, or online.

How do I report an incident? 

Reporting sexual harassment, whether anonymously or not, can help to alter this behavior and make our campus and community safer for all. 

We also know that the majority of cases go unreported. This may be because victims feel frightened or ashamed. Or they’re apprehensive about reporting an incident, as they think it won’t be taken seriously. These are normal emotional responses, but the victim has done nothing wrong or has anything to be ashamed of. 

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

University Procedure
If you choose to make a formal complaint to the University against a student or a member of staff there are procedures which set out the steps you’ll need to follow. You can find out more about our complaints procedure on the Student Support website, and if you need help the SU Advice Service can guide you through the complaints process and may be able to comment on your complaint submission.

Reporting to the police
If you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment, there are many different ways you can report it to the police. We understand that you might not be completely sure what happened, or whether to report it to the Police but importantly, your information could help make sure you, and other people in a similar situation, are kept safe.

  • Is it an emergency? Is someone in immediate danger? Is a crime taking place or has one just happened? If so, call 999 now and ask for the police. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.
  • Report online. If you’d like to report online, rather than speaking to an officer by telephone in the first instance, you can use the online crime reporting service which is secure and confidential.
  • Call 101. If you aren’t in immediate danger and you’d like to talk to someone, the national non-emergency telephone number is staffed 24/7. Call us on 101 and report what happened or just get some advice.
  • Visit a police station. If you’d like to speak to an officer in person, we can provide a safe and comfortable environment at any of our police stations.

Support and resources

Harassment Support Advisors – An advisor can talk through the University’s procedures, how to make a complaint and what support is available, in confidence.

Mental Health & Counselling Service – The University’s team of professional counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health workers offers confidential support.

Health Assured 24/7 Mental Health phone line and app – Call 0800 028 3766 to access practical help, information, advice and support for any issues you may be facing. 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team – The team provides advice, support and guidance on equality, diversity and inclusion related issues to students, academic advisors and other staff in student-supporting roles.

The Mediation Service – The University’s Mediation Service offers an alternative dispute resolution approach; it is confidential and can help resolve a disagreement or conflict, with a colleague in the work place or a fellow student.

Your School – If you are a student you can talk to your academic adviser, or a support adviser in your school

Student Support and Advice – This University service offers support and advice on issues affecting your student life, with signposting and referral to more specialist services. If you’re not sure where to go, this is a good place to start.

 SU Advice Service – This is a free confidential, impartial service where students can get advice and information on academic and personal issues, including advice on procedures and representation at hearings. The Advice Service is also a hate crime reporting centre.

Residential Life Advisors – If you are a student in Halls, all of the residences have a team of ResLife Advisors (RLA’s) living in-house, which is made up of either postgraduate students or members of staff at the University. The team can be an important source of guidance and support for students.

Mitigating Circumstances – If you feel your studies have been affected by what has happened you can consider applying for mitigating circumstances. An advisor in your school will be able to provide more information.

The St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and Manchester Rape Crisis both have Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVA’s) who are trained to look after the needs of a survivor of rape or sexual violence to ensure they receive the best possible care and understanding. Contact them and ask to speak to an advisor in confidence.

If you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment, assault or violence, support is available to help you cope and recover. You can contact the Greater Manchester Victims’ Service on 0161 200 1950. Normal opening hours are 9am-7pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday. There is a voicemail facility to take out of hours messages. If you need urgent support outside of these hours, please call Victim Support’s national Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111 – this is open 24/7. Alternatively, you can use Live Chat online at You can also find help, advice, and local support services at

If sexual harassment is affecting your mental health, MIND offer supportive and reliable information to empower people to understand their condition and the choices available to them. There is a wealth of information on their website, as well as an Infoline you can call and a Legal Line.

Our commitment

Over the past three years, we have invested heavily in developing support in this area. This work includes establishing a specialist team to provide in-depth and ongoing support to survivors. That team consists of full-time, Independent Sexual Violence Advisers and specially trained caseworkers.

In addition to this, we are training all front-line student-facing staff on responding effectively to disclosures of sexual violence so that staff across the institution can provide relevant, first contact assistance, appropriate information and referrals to specialist support.

We are also establishing a city-wide action network to support a Greater Manchester-wide approach to students experiencing sexual violence, harassment and hate. Its creation is also informed by already established links with students both here and at MMU from Manchester Students Against Public Sexual Harassment (MSAPSH). The Network will take a strategic overview of the work in this area. There will be senior, student and expert representation, to ensure ongoing commitment and progress to the action plan. The student representation from MSAPSH will ensure that student voices are at the forefront of plans and that student experiences are not lost in this issue.

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