Speak Up – report abuse, harm or hate

Find out more about the steps you can take to bring serious incidents of misconduct that have taken place in the University community to our attention

The University of Plymouth is proud to be a safe, welcoming and diverse community – our staff, students and anyone interacting with us should feel comfortable being who they are.

We believe that bullying, harassment and discrimination are never okay. Any allegations of this nature (which includes sexual violence, abuse or hate) are taken incredibly seriously.

By reporting an incident, you are helping us to maintain our friendly and safe university culture, where everyone can study, work and live free from any form of harassment.

How can I receive immediate support?

If an incident has just taken place and you are not in a safe place, feel at risk, or have any injuries that require urgent attention, call the emergency services on 999.

If you are living in University-managed accommodation, Security can alert senior on-call Residence Life staff by calling 3333.

If you have experienced sexual violence or misconduct, please see our Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy.

If you have recently experienced a sexual assault, please consider contacting your GP, the University Medical Centre or your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre for advice on pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and other support – even if you do not want to go to the police or make a report to the University you can speak to these services confidentially.

Find a Sexual Assault Referral Centre

University Medical Centre

More support for staff and students

How can I report an incident?

Use our Speak Up reporting tool to report any of the following types of incidents that have taken place on or off campus (including placement providers):

  • bullying or harassment
  • hate incidents
  • relationship or domestic abuse
  • sexual assault
  • sexual harassment
  • violence or harm

Learn more about the language and terminology we use

Bullying or harassment

Often identified as intimidating, malicious, offensive or intimidating behaviour by one or more individuals. It may involve words, physical actions or general conduct. It can also include abuse or misuse of power.

Hate incidents

The term ‘hate incident’ can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviours where the alleged perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the alleged victim’s disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender status.

Relationship or domestic abuse

An incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence by a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer. It can include coercive control, psychological or emotional abuse, physical or sexual abuse, financial or economic abuse, harassment and stalking and online or digital abuse.

Sexual assault

A person commits sexual assault if they intentionally touch another person, the touching is sexual and the person does not consent. It involves all unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature and ranges from pinching, embracing, groping and kissing, to rape and serious sexual assault.

Sexual harassment

When someone behaves in a way that makes you feel distressed, intimidated or offended and the behaviour is of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include: sexual comments or jokes, physical behaviour, including unwelcome sexual advances and touching.

Violence or harm

Violence is an act of physical force that causes or is intended to cause harm (where someone’s physical or mental health is impaired).

Who can use the reporting tool?

This reporting tool is for:

  • staff
  • students
  • volunteers
  • University contractors
  • anyone else outside of the University who interacts with our staff and students.

The tool also provides you with an opportunity to report an incident on behalf of someone else. Sometimes it isn’t safe to assume that the person affected will choose to report the incident, so please use the reporting tool if you notice anything that you feel should be brought to our attention.

Will I be identifiable if I choose to report?

You can report incidents anonymously or choose to provide your contact details.

If you are reporting on behalf of someone else, you will not have the opportunity to leave contact details for the person affected by the incident.

What happens after I report an incident?

Reporting anonymously

If you choose to report anonymously, we will not be able to take further action with your case specifically, but this information will help us to identify any trends for our proactive work in preventing bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Submitting your name and contact details

If you do not choose to report anonymously, and provide contact details when requested, you will be contacted within three working days (not including weekends and public holidays) so that we can start to look into your case further.

How will you use the information I provide?

Reporting anonymously

If you make an anonymous report, the University will use the information you submit as follows:

  • The information you provide in this report will remain confidential.
  • It is not possible to identify any individuals from the data collected in this form.
  • We use anonymous reports for monitoring and data purposes, which is used to monitor trends and to inform our proactive and preventative work in tackling harassment, bullying and discrimination.
  • The University uses the information you provide to help us to better understand what kind of incidents are taking place within our community.

Submitting your name and contact details

If you make a report and include your personal details, the University will use them as follows:

  • The information you provide in this report will remain confidential.
  • If you are submitting a named report, you will be contacted, provided with support and signposted to specific support services.
  • We will not disclose any personal or identifiable information to others without your consent unless there is a legal requirement for us to do so or we believe that you, or someone else, is at serious or imminent risk of harm.

For further information on how the University handles your personal data please see the relevant privacy notice.

COVID-19: reporting inappropriate behaviour

Students and staff are encouraged to politely remind each other of the guidelines currently associated with COVID-19 (e.g., social distancing and the ‘Rule of Six’). If, after a polite reminder, you believe the requirements are not being followed, you can report this to the University in one of two ways:

  • Provide your name using the Speak Up reporting tool. In this case, a member of the relevant team will contact you to find out more about where the breach occurred, when it occurred, and who was involved. We may investigate and take action as a result of that, but your identity can remain anonymous if you wish. The benefit of leaving your name is that we can also provide you with advice and support, directly and confidentially.
  • Report the breach anonymously using the Speak Up reporting tool. In this case, we cannot take any action or give you direct advice or support, but we can still monitor trends around the number of reports.