Harassment advisers

The Harassment Adviser scheme provides a first point of contact for students and staff concerned about bullying and harassment.

Harassment Advisers are a group of staff volunteers trained to provide advice and support to students and staff who feel they are being subjected to harassment or bullying, or have themselves been accused of harassment or bullying. Their role is to listen and assist individuals to explore the available options to resolve the issues, no matter how sensitive.

Harassment Advisers are not intended to take the place of professional counsellors. If Counselling is needed, students should make an appointment to seek advice from the Counselling and Mental Health Service, or one of the other support services available to students outlined in the section on City support.

City has a Student Bullying and Harassment Policy which outlines our approach to providing harassment and bullying support to students.

What is Harassment and Bullying?

Harassment: “Unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual. The relevant protected characteristics are age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.” (Equality Act 2010)

Some examples of harassment include (but are not limited to):

  • Remarks, gossip or jokes about an individual;
  • Obscene gestures or language;
  • The display or electronic transmission of offensive material;
  • Physical contact of any kind to which an individual has not consented, or which they have not been given an opportunity to reject (this can range from touching through to serious assault);
  • Unwanted attention by any means, including electronic communication such as text messages, email, social media, etc.;
  • Following, stalking or spying on an individual;
  • Seeking advantage over someone by threatening or pressuring them in an unwelcome way;
  • Isolation, non-cooperation, and exclusion from professional or social activities.

Bullying: “a serious form of harassment and can 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.” (ACAS)

Sexual Harassment: “Unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating the recipient’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.” (Equality Act 2010)

Cyberbullying: “An aggressive act or behaviour that is carried out using electronic means by a group or an individual repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend [themselves].” (Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry)

Some examples of cyberbullying include (but are not limited to):

  • Sending threatening or abusive text messages;
  • Sending homophobic, racist, or sexist material;
  • Making silent, hoax, or abusive calls;
  • Creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos;
  • Sending menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games (often referred to as “trolling”);
  • Excluding someone from online games, activities or groups;
  • Setting up hate sites or groups about a particular person;
  • Encouraging other young people to self-harm;
  • Voting for or against someone in an abusive poll;
  • Creating fake accounts, hijacking, or stealing online identities to embarrass someone or cause trouble using their name.

(List taken from The Student Room)

What can I expect from a Harassment Adviser?

Harassment Advisers are expected to;

  • Listen to students and staff who may be experiencing harassment, to clarify the options open to them
  • Provide a supportive, confidential environment in which to discuss problems
  • Help students and staff understand City’s policies and procedures regarding harassment and bullying
  • Accompany students and staff to any informal meetings they may have with the other people involved (the responding party)
  • Empathise without judgement
  • Deal with cases with the utmost confidentiality except in cases where there is an unacceptable risk to a member of staff, student or to the institution
  • Provide similar support to those accused of harassment or bullying

Harassment Advisers are not expected to;

  • Make judgements or statements confirming that particular behaviour definitely constitutes harassment and will lead to disciplinary action or determine the particular behaviour is not harassment
  • Approach the person that has been accused, in an attempt to mediate or resolve the matter
  • Be involved in any formal stage of the process, be it in writing the formal complaint, the investigation or acting as your representative during the grievance procedures, except by way of giving you informal support during this time
  • Take the place of professional counsellors. If counselling is needed, City’s counselling services offer free and confidential support. Students should contact the Student Counselling and Mental Health Service on the Student Hub

Who can a Harassment Adviser assist?

Harassment Advisers are here to assist any member of City’s community affected by Harassment, including both students and staff.

How do I contact a Harassment Adviser?

Harassment Advisers can be contacted directly, ideally through email to their City email account. The list of the Harassment Advisers and their contact details can be found below.

Can I speak to a Harassment Adviser based outside of my School/ Department?

We understand that it may be difficult to speak with a Harassment Adviser connected with your School, Department or Programme. We recommend contacting a Harassment Adviser from another School or Professional Service at City. However, you are free to contact whichever Harassment Adviser listed below who you feel may be best placed to support you.

Are conversations with Harassment Advisers confidential?

Discussions held with a Harassment Adviser will be kept confidential within the scheme unless the Adviser believes an individual could present a risk to themselves or others. Any information recorded by Harassment Advisers will be kept in a secure place, for reference for future appointments.

It may be necessary for Harassment Advisers to keep records of cases to ensure they provide effective support and for reference future appointments. It is the responsibility of the Harassment Adviser to ensure that records of cases are held in safe and secure location and where possible not record any personal details. Case records may also kept to measure the quality of the support given.

Maintaining confidentiality is very important, however there are exceptional circumstances in which we may be required to share information without your permission. These are:

  • Where there is good reason to believe you may cause serious harm to yourself or to others, and you are unwilling or unable to take appropriate action yourself;
  • Where there is an issue relating to safeguarding;
  • Where we are required to do so by law
  • Where the member of staff is required to appear in court as part of civil or criminal proceedings, then information may have to be disclosed that is relevant to the case.

Harassment Advisers

Name: Raf Benato
Senior Lecturer, School of Health Sciences
Tel: 020 7040 5436
Email: R.M.Benato@city.ac.uk

Name: Jasmeet Bhurji
Senior Course Officer, City Law School
Tel: 020 7040 0305
Email: Jasmeet.Bhurji.1@city.ac.uk

Name: Stefan Haefliger 
Professor of Strategic Management & Innovation, Cass Business School
Tel: 020 7040 0981
Email: Stefan.Haefliger.1@city.ac.uk

Name: Jack Kilker
Student Equality & Diversity Officer, Student and Academic Services
Tel: 020 7040 0475
Email: Jack.Kilker@city.ac.uk

Name: Kavita Powley
Race Equality Charter Manager, Human Resources
Tel: 020 7040 0063
Email: Kavita.Powley@city.ac.uk

Name: Emma Richards
Senior Progression Improvement Programme Officer, Student and Academic Services
Tel: 020 7040 3390
Email: Emma.Richards@city.ac.uk

Name: Midge Seymour-Roots
Head of Student Counselling and Mental Health, Learning Enhancement and Development
Tel: 020 7040 4093
Email:  M.Seymour-Roots@city.ac.uk

Name: Eugenia Xenofontos
Lpc Course Officer, City Law School
Tel: 020 7040 0378
Email: Eugenia.Xenofontos.1@city.ac.uk

Support Services

There are a range of support services available for all members of the City community, as well as specific services for staff and students.

Internal Support

Chaplaincy

The Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Team offer support to everyone, welcoming students and staff of all faiths, and none.

Disciplinary Regulations

City’s Disciplinary Regulations set out the process by which the University would investigate and address a grievance brought to the University by a student, through the Student Bullying and Harassment Policy as a breach of a Code of Conduct.

Student Counselling Service

The Student Counselling Team offers confidential, emotional support to all current students who may be experiencing personal or academic difficulties.

Students’ Union

City Students’ Union are able to advise students on University regulations and support services available to students at City.

External Support Services

Rape Crisis South London

Rape Crisis South London run the Rape Crisis National Helpline, providing specialist, independent and confidential support for women of all ages who have experienced any form of sexual violence.

Revenge Porn Helpline

The Revenge Porn Helpline is the UK’s only service dedicated to supporting all adults who have had intimate images shared online without their consent. They provide free, non-judgmental and confidential advice and support via email and phone.

Survivors UK

Survivors UK is as a service for male survivors (of sexual violation), to cater for people not provided for by other services, inclusive of anyone who identifies as male, trans, non-binary, has identified as male in the past, or anyone who feels that Survivors UK are the right fit for them.

The Samaritans Helpline

The Samaritans volunteers are available to listen and discuss anything that is troubling you, no matter how large or small the issue may seem.

True Vision

True Vision provides information about hate crime and how to report it.

Victim Support

Victim Support are an independent charity that provide emotional and practical support to individuals recovering from the impact of crime.