The University of Bristol is committed to providing a positive experience for all students and staff. We believe that bullying, harassment, assault and discrimination are never acceptable.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly because of who they are or because of a protected characteristic such as age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership or pregnancy and maternity. Treating someone less favourably because of who they are is a form of direct discrimination however you don't have to have a protected characteristic to be discriminated against. If someone thinks you have a characteristic and treats you less favourably, that's a form of direct discrimination by perception.

Indirect discrimination is when a provision, criteria or practice is applied in the same way for everyone, but this has the effect of putting people sharing a protected characteristic at a disadvantage. It doesn’t matter if there was no intention to disadvantage that group. What matters is whether that action does disadvantage that group in some way. An example of this could be a dress-code or rules on appearance which might indirectly discriminate against individuals or groups of a particular religion, belief or gender.

Indirect discrimination applies to all protected characteristics other than pregnancy and maternity, although something that disadvantages pregnant women or new mothers may be indirect sex discrimination.

Immediate help

  • Are you in immediate danger? If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured call 999 (or 112 from a mobile).
  • Find a safe space.  If an incident has just happened, try and find somewhere you feel safe. If you are at the University you can call University Security on 0117 331 1223 or go to your nearest University building and ask someone to phone Security for you.
Support for students

  • You can use the Report and Support system to report your concerns or speak to an Adviser from the University’s Student Wellbeing or Residential Life Services for advice and support. Contact Wellbeing Access to do this.
  • The University has a range of wellbeing support. If you are not sure who to contact, you can speak to an Adviser from the University’s Student Wellbeing or Residential Life Services for advice and support. Contact Wellbeing Access to do this.
  • Have an informal conversation with the Student Complaints Officer (student-complaints@bristol.ac.uk, 0117 394 1820) or a Bristol SU Just Ask adviser.
  • Consider submitting extenuating circumstances if your studies have been/are being affected.
Support for staff members

Other sources of support 

Reporting for students and staff members

  • Report and Support. Staff and students can report an incident anonymously using the University’s Report and Support system.
  • To the police. You can report a crime by calling the non-emergency number, 101 or online.
  • Make a formal complaint using the University’s Acceptable Behaviour Policy (for students) or to your HR Operations team (for staff)
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