Harassment and Bullying
King's College London is committed to providing and promoting a positive environment for all its students, staff and members of its community which is free from all forms of prejudice, discrimination, harassment and bullying.
Our It Stops Here portal is designed to help students and staff raise any concerns they have about harassment, bullying or discrimination.
Our Student guidance and Staff guidance provide advice on what to do if you have experienced harassment or bullying.
What is harassment?
Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates a person's dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Harassment and bullying include behaviour that is offensive, frightening or in any way distressing. They may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
Examples of bullying and harassment may include:
Embarrassing, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, jokes or innuendo (particularly on the grounds of age, race, sex, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief)
Unwelcome remarks about clothes or appearance
Unwanted physical contact
Aggressive behaviour, physical or verbal
Persistently demeaning or ridiculing someone
Inappropriate and derogatory remarks
Overbearing supervision or other misuse of power or position.
Bullying and harassment can also involve micro-aggressions.
These are defined as:
“ Brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious slights and insults to the target person or group. ” (D.W. Sue 2010)
Bullying and harassment do not necessarily occur face to face; they may occur in the form of written communications (including email, visual images, social media, telephone and SMS).
Bullying and harassment can be initiated by someone in a position of authority; it may also be carried out by an individual or a group of individuals.
If you are a victim of rape, assault or violent physical crime
Certain incidents of harassment may render individuals liable to prosecution under law such as stalking, rape, physical assault, indecent exposure or harassing phone calls.
If you are assaulted on campus or in a university residence, you are advised to:
Report the incident to a member of security staff or to the residence warden. If you are living in Halls of Residence there is a duty member of staff on call out of hours and each hall displays a notice with their contact details.
Report it to the police or speak to someone at your Local Rape Crisis Centre or True Vision (if you are a victim of a hate crime), who can help you to make an informed decision about the range of reporting or support options available to you and legal processes.