#NeverOK is a joint campaign by Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester, promoting an environment and culture where sexual harassment is never tolerated.
The campaign encourages everyone to be active bystanders and challenge inappropriate behaviour when they witness it. We also want to empower victims to feel confident about reporting incidents and that all reports are taken very seriously.
#NeverOK gives you the tools, knowledge, and confidence to take action against sexual harassment.
We’re asking everyone at Manchester Met to:
1. Educate yourself about sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes you feel humiliated, intimidated, belittled, or that creates a hostile environment. All instances of sexual harassment are unacceptable, regardless of whether they take place in-person or online.
Our universities have a zero-tolerance stance on sexual harassment. Our Student Code of Conduct sets out the standards of conduct we expect, how to report misconduct, and the penalties for breaking the code.
Learn more about what constitutes sexual harassment, understand your boundaries, and how to look after others in our Consent Matters online training. It’s essential that all students complete the training.
2. Be an active bystander
Being an active bystander means spotting when someone’s behaviour is inappropriate or threatening and choosing to challenge it or assist someone who needs support. Research shows that bystander intervention can be an effective way of stopping sexual assault before it happens.
Ways you can intervene:
- Direct – let them know their behaviour isn’t ok and tell them to stop (if you feel safe to do so)
- Distract – do something to break the situation up, such as spilling a drink or asking a question
- Delegate – bring in someone else to help you – this could be a friend, venue staff, or the Police
- Delay – if you can’t intervene, check in with the person afterwards and see if they need support
By challenging this behaviour and calling it out, we can all play a part in taking a stand against sexual harassment.
Find out more about how you can become an active bystander in our Consent Matters online training.
3. Report any incidents
It’s important that you report incidents of sexual harassment and misconduct if you experience them or see it happening to someone else. By reporting crimes when they happen, you can access specialist support and the Police can carry out an investigation.
We know many cases of sexual harassment go unreported and this may be because victims feel frightened, ashamed or think it won’t be taken seriously. However, you should never feel afraid to get help – sexual harassment is never your fault and there’s lots of support and guidance available.
Ways to report an incident and access support:
- Directly to the Police – call 999 if it is an emergency or you are in danger. Otherwise, call 101 at any other time, visit your local police station or report the incident online
- Our Report + Support website – report an incident online to the University (you can choose to report anonymously if you wish). Our Student Services team monitor incident reports and will be in contact within one working day to discuss the incident and offer you support. You can also find out about the external support available too
What’s happened so far at Manchester Met
- Consent matters training – this academic year we've asked all new students to complete our online Consent Matters training, covering issues surrounding sexual consent and healthy relationships, in order to create an environment where everyone feels respected and supported so we can keep our community safe
- #NeverOK event – during Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week in February we hosted an event in the Business School asking participants to be an active bystander and promoting the importance of reporting any incidents
- Disciplinary procedures – we have reviewed our disciplinary procedures for dealing with cases of sexual harrassment or sexual misconduct in light of feedback from students and sector best practice
- Consent workshops – in addition to the online training, a series of in person workshops/theatre productions addressing consent have been delivered to students in the Department of Social Care and Social Work, School of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies, and Manchester School of Theatre, funded by the Manchester Student Safety Partnership
- Extended boundaries on our Safe Zone app – the Safe Zone app allows you to contact Campus Security quickly and discretely for support. We've teamed up with the University of Manchester and University of Salford so you’re covered on their campuses too
- Poster campaign – we've placed posters in toilet facilities across campus to raise awareness of sexual misconduct support services
- Safety networks – we have established a number of networks with internal and external partners to help keep students safe - these groups meet regularly and include student representatives and the Greater Manchester Police
- Specialist support staff – we have a group of specially trained Sexual Violence Liaison Officers to support students through the reporting process
Get involved and be part of the solution
- Complete the Consent Matters online training and call out inappropriate comments or behaviour in our communities
- Follow @ManMetUni on social media and share our #NeverOK posts on your networks to help spread the word
- If you experience or witness any incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct, please report to the Police and via Report+Support, to make sure you get the specialist support you need