Anti-bullying Week is a national initiative run annually by the Anti-bullying Alliance to raise the awareness of bullying across different communities. This year, it takes place from Monday 13 – Friday 17 November.
With the theme Make a Noise About Bullying, Anti-Bullying Week is not just about recognising the problem, but also about empowering you to take a stand. By familiarising yourself with the signs of bullying and harassment, you become an active part of creating a safer campus for everyone.
King’s is committed to creating a culture that is inclusive and respectful, where students and staff can thrive and feel psychologically safe. This includes creating an environment that is free from harassment, sexual misconduct, hate crime and bullying.
It is important that you know how to recognise and respond to instances of bullying and access support if you’re a victim or witness during your studies. There are several options for support and you can tell us what happened by using our Report + Support tool.
According to the Anti-bullying Alliance’s data, approximately 1 in 4 students report experiencing frequent bullying in school in the UK. This behaviour can continue into university; however, many students aren’t sure what it looks like in a new context.
- Microaggressions: These are subtle, often unintentional acts or comments that marginalise or belittle someone based on their identity. They can be related to race, gender, sexual orientation, or other aspects of a person's identity.
- Gossip and Rumours: Spreading false or damaging information about someone with the intention of tarnishing their reputation.
- Repeated Practical Jokes: Situations where pranks go beyond harmless fun and start causing distress or discomfort.
- Social Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from social activities, group projects, or study groups, making them feel isolated or left out.
- Sabotage: Intentionally sabotaging someone's academic work, such as hiding or destroying their materials, spreading false information, or purposely misleading them.
These forms of bullying may not be as overt or easily noticeable, but they can still have a significant impact on a person's well-being and academic experience. It's important to be aware and to report them if you witness or experience them. For more definitions of bullying, visit our support article, What is Bullying?
Remember, bullies are not always our peers. If you feel like a member of staff is using their authority to mistreat students, such as making unwarranted demands or unfairly grading, you can report it.
Reporting an incident
Report + Support is the University's dedicated online space which allows students, staff, and visitors to report concerns or request access to support. It offers you ways to tell us if you’ve experienced or witnessed bullying and options for seeking resolution. Reporting to King’s allows you to discuss options for support and possible action, and access support information about specialist services.
You can also reach out to trusted individuals such as your personal tutor or a Faculty Wellbeing Advisor. You can access support in the following places:
- King’s Chaplaincy are practiced listeners with a wealth of experience in supporting people through relationship, work and study difficulties and can signpost you to other services.
- The King’s Counselling & Mental Health Support Service offers free and confidential in-person and online support.
- KCLSU Advice provide free, confidential and impartial advice if you are experiencing issues affecting your studies.
Using your voice
This year’s Anti-bullying week is themed ‘Make a Noise About Bullying’. Each one of us plays a crucial role in building a respectful and inclusive community. Whether you're a student, faculty member, or staff, your actions can make a difference.
Being an Active Bystander means choosing to act when you witness a behaviour and challenging it in an attempt to prevent it from happening again.
Remember the 4Ds of Bystander Intervention:
- Direct Action: Safely intervene by addressing the inappropriate behaviour e.g. ‘That’s not ok, what you just said was sexist’.
- Delegate: If the bullying persists or escalates, seek help from someone with the authority to intervene, such as a teacher, supervisor, or campus security.
- Distract: Divert attention from the situation. This could involve changing the subject, asking for the time, or offering to help with something else. This can disrupt the bully's behaviour and provide a moment of relief for the person being targeted.
- Delay: Offer support to the target after the incident and report the behaviour if necessary.
Report any incidents via Report and Support. You can also complete our Consent Matters training which can help you learn to take simple, safe and effective steps to challenge harassment when you see it.
King’s wants our community to be a place where everyone is treated fairly and with dignity, where our differences are welcomed. For more information on this ambition, read our article Providing a positive & inclusive environment for the King's community.