Sana Sarwar

Anti-bullying week is back and this year it fell on 17th-21st November. With bullying cases on the rise, Brunel University opens doors to victims of all types of bullying.

Recent figures from the Movement Agency NoBullying say that “each year there are more than 3.2 million students who are the victims of a bully”. In particular further statistics from the agency outline the main issue amongst students is online bullying, with “75% of students having visited a website bashing another student”.

Mr Peter J Eldrid, Deputy Head of Counselling at Brunel University states: “It’s not so much a problem at Brunel, as far as I’m aware, but I’m aware it is more of a problem for younger students; however any form of bullying can be distressing and upsetting”.

He added “if the victim feels they can change things themselves to prevent a reoccurrence they should do this, for example changing numbers and social media etc to avoid people targeting them, and they also change privacy settings blocking the bullies”.

He went on to say that “people have more problems being bullied in the traditional sense than online, for example being bullied by flat mates or staff members”. Mr Eldrid outlined that bullying comes in many forms, from harassment and discrimination being the physical aspect as well as verbal or online abuse.

Brunel University has a strict regulation against bullying, and according to Brunel’s document of ‘A Guideline to Dignity at Brunel’, it summaries the steps victims should take to resolve the issue, stating “the most appropriate approach for you depends on what you’re comfortable with, and your circumstances. Persistent bullying or harassment can make you feel as if you are at fault after all, or you may find it hard to decide if your situation is bad enough to take action. So take some initial steps to help you clarify your situation”.

The steps it provides are as follows:

  1. “Talk to other people”

Peter J Eldrid said “coming and talking to the counselling service would be a good start, talking informally with someone so they can understand and advise you”.

  1. “Make a note”

It’s vital to keep a written record of incidents, helping clarify the situation.

  1. “Decide to take action”

The fact remains that until you don’t do anything nothing will change. It’s much better for your wellbeing if you take action as you could also be helping others people being bullied by the same bully.

If you are a victim of bullying or know someone being bullied to find out the support available for you, please contact the Advice and Representation Centre (Hamilton Centre) at advice@brunel.ac.uk, or the Student Equality and Diversity Manager at eomanager@brunel.ac.uk. For organisations available online, visit the Samaritans at: www.samaritans.org.