The Student Room Group

S***** Harassment

I’m currently being harassed by people in my university.

I’m at postgraduate level and my class size is around 200 because of how popular the course is. I have been harassed by 5 different men who do not know each other in class. I’d like some advice on how to handle this.

All the men approaching me happen to be aged 20-40yrs old (I’m 22). They spam with me messages, ask to come to my home when I don’t even know them, they follow me in class, one has taken videos of me while sat right next to me (I was too scared in the moment to tell him to stop). They have been bossy with me, assumed I want relationships with them when I’ve only spoken back to them out of politeness. They ask for my address and ask invasive details about myself.

This has made me miss a lot of classes and I’m no longer comfortable participating in my course because the minute I get rid of one man another approaches me days later. I am a quiet person who doesn’t approach anyone in class, these people come up to me without invitation and I don’t understand why. The university are trying to handle the situation but that doesn’t take away the uncomfortable feeling I get when I enter the classroom.

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Reply 1
Report to police and to student support.
Reply 2
Original post by gjd800
Report to police and to student support.

I have reported to student support and had meetings with them. They have taken the males phone numbers and names and are planning on presenting a seminar on correct behaviour in class. But this doesn’t fix how uncomfortable I feel. I would report the issue to the police but there are too many men to report. It keeps happening so often that I feel I must act alone in getting rid of them. But have no idea where to start.
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous #1
I have reported to student support and had meetings with them. They have taken the males phone numbers and names and are planning on presenting a seminar on correct behaviour in class. But this doesn’t fix how uncomfortable I feel. I would report the issue to the police but there are too many men to report. It keeps happening so often that I feel I must act alone in getting rid of them. But have no idea where to start.

You can't really 'get rid of them' alone, and nor should you be expected to. The University should be doing more to combat this. I'd raise a grievance.
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous #1
I have reported to student support and had meetings with them. They have taken the males phone numbers and names and are planning on presenting a seminar on correct behaviour in class. But this doesn’t fix how uncomfortable I feel. I would report the issue to the police but there are too many men to report. It keeps happening so often that I feel I must act alone in getting rid of them. But have no idea where to start.

maybe start with getting a restraining order against them. Also make sure to tell family and freinds the identity of these people, because god forbit if anything were to happen to you, they would know. Stay with someone all the time, like a freind or a class mate you doesnt make you feel this way. Also you could try to sit at the front of lectures so your more open to the veiw of the teacher and they can report any behavour too.
Original post by gjd800
You can't really 'get rid of them' alone, and nor should you be expected to. The University should be doing more to combat this. I'd raise a grievance.

They have informed me that they are taking action but as this is a cultural issue there is only so much that can be done. I am in a British University in a class of 200, I am one of the few students who are white/native, and have been told by the university that because I am blonde and British that this appeals to international students. And have been advised to be careful on addressing them as they’re “merely curious”.
Reply 6
Original post by Anonymous.5.5
They have informed me that they are taking action but as this is a cultural issue there is only so much that can be done. I am in a British University in a class of 200, I am one of the few students who are white/native, and have been told by the university that because I am blonde and British that this appeals to international students. And have been advised to be careful on addressing them as they’re “merely curious”.

Raise a grievance. This is an unacceptable response (I am an academic).
Reply 7
Original post by Tatakae L
maybe start with getting a restraining order against them. Also make sure to tell family and freinds the identity of these people, because god forbit if anything were to happen to you, they would know. Stay with someone all the time, like a freind or a class mate you doesnt make you feel this way. Also you could try to sit at the front of lectures so your more open to the veiw of the teacher and they can report any behavour too.

I am afraid of telling my family because they’ll bring me home out of safety which would disrupt my education, plus I really don’t want to worry them with my living so far away. Unfortunately as I’m one of the only British women in my class everybody is hostile with me. None of the international girls speak to me, they give me dirty looks and whisper about me. The men look at me like I’m a piece of meat. I tend to sit alone at the front of the class with a bag next to me to ward off people sitting next to me. But because our class is so big I have to move it most of the time. The time where a male took videos of my face was when I was sat upfront of the class and nobody noticed or said anything. I’m afraid they will confront me if I report them further as they know where I live (my uni flatmate is friends with a lot of my harassers).
Reply 8
Original post by gjd800
Raise a grievance. This is an unacceptable response (I am an academic).

Most of my tutors and councillors are of the ethnicity of my harassers so I’m very wary I may offend them by pointing out that it is only Indian, Nigerian, and Pakistan males harrassing me. So far they have apologised and sympathised greatly and are willing to educate these men but have in other words explained that it is tricky directly calling them out as they may view it as racist on mine and the universities end.
Reply 9
Original post by Anonymous #1
Most of my tutors and councillors are of the ethnicity of my harassers so I’m very wary I may offend them by pointing out that it is only Indian, Nigerian, and Pakistan males harrassing me. So far they have apologised and sympathised greatly and are willing to educate these men but have in other words explained that it is tricky directly calling them out as they may view it as racist on mine and the universities end.

im litteraly pakistani, but i know what these men are like, and as bad as that sounds, they genuninly can be pervy cause i feel uncomfortable around them myself. you could try talk to an outsider organisation, like a charity for sexual harrasmentand see what they say because me and my 16yr old self isnt educated enough for this but ik its a pain and i know it can ruin your whole life. just whatever you do, dont stop and leave them you know
Reply 10
Original post by Anonymous #1
Most of my tutors and councillors are of the ethnicity of my harassers so I’m very wary I may offend them by pointing out that it is only Indian, Nigerian, and Pakistan males harrassing me. So far they have apologised and sympathised greatly and are willing to educate these men but have in other words explained that it is tricky directly calling them out as they may view it as racist on mine and the universities end.

Nobody will view anything as racist. Just go over their heads to student support - your tutors should not be involved in this process anyway except to refer you upwards to the relevant people who can deal with things.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I am afraid of telling my family because they’ll bring me home out of safety which would disrupt my education, plus I really don’t want to worry them with my living so far away. Unfortunately as I’m one of the only British women in my class everybody is hostile with me. None of the international girls speak to me, they give me dirty looks and whisper about me. The men look at me like I’m a piece of meat. I tend to sit alone at the front of the class with a bag next to me to ward off people sitting next to me. But because our class is so big I have to move it most of the time. The time where a male took videos of my face was when I was sat upfront of the class and nobody noticed or said anything. I’m afraid they will confront me if I report them further as they know where I live (my uni flatmate is friends with a lot of my harassers).

request a new roomate/flatmate or ask to change dorms, because yes it might seem like a pain but its not worth them knowing where you live. If you could tell even one freind or family member like a sibling or cousin i think that would be helpful. Maybe putting on a mask might help a bit, i know its grossly unffair that you would have to cover youself because of them, but for your safty or to ward them off you a bit maybe itd help?? I dont know, at least until the uni do something about it. Also if the people who are suppoed to be helping you arnt taking you seriously, then go to like the head of the uni if thats a thing and complain about it
Original post by Tatakae L
im litteraly pakistani, but i know what these men are like, and as bad as that sounds, they genuninly can be pervy cause i feel uncomfortable around them myself. you could try talk to an outsider organisation, like a charity for sexual harrasmentand see what they say because me and my 16yr old self isnt educated enough for this but ik its a pain and i know it can ruin your whole life. just whatever you do, dont stop and leave them you know

They really make me feel awful about myself. I feel as though I can’t look nice for class anymore because they smirk at me and sit very close to me and whisper to their friends in their native language (I know it’s about me from the way they stare at me during their conversation. I’m currently in the process of booking an appointment with a practitioner about this because it has been affected my mental health. I don’t like leaving my accommodation anymore as some of them know where I live. I struggle to sleep because I think about the things they’ve done.
Original post by gjd800
Nobody will view anything as racist. Just go over their heads to student support - your tutors should not be involved in this process anyway except to refer you upwards to the relevant people who can deal with things.

I’m currently in the process of booking an appointment with the university’s wellness practitioner so hopefully they will have better advice than my tutor. My tutor has constantly been asking for updates on the situation and has informed me it’s her job to know these things about my report.
Reply 14
Original post by Anonymous.5.5
I’m currently in the process of booking an appointment with the university’s wellness practitioner so hopefully they will have better advice than my tutor. My tutor has constantly been asking for updates on the situation and has informed me it’s her job to know these things about my report.

Sure she should know about it, but sorting it out is for people higher up than her. Don't just take her word for it - see what wellbeing say and look about taking it further. Don't settle on this, it's really important.
Original post by Tatakae L
request a new roomate/flatmate or ask to change dorms, because yes it might seem like a pain but its not worth them knowing where you live. If you could tell even one freind or family member like a sibling or cousin i think that would be helpful. Maybe putting on a mask might help a bit, i know its grossly unffair that you would have to cover youself because of them, but for your safty or to ward them off you a bit maybe itd help?? I dont know, at least until the uni do something about it. Also if the people who are suppoed to be helping you arnt taking you seriously, then go to like the head of the uni if thats a thing and complain about it

My boyfriend who is also my flatmate knows and so do my friends. But unfortunately their classes are the same time as mine so they can’t stay with me before or during class for support. I’ve thought about changing clothes or masks but unfortunately I am the only blonde in the room of 200. It’s become a burden that my hair is so long and light as it stands out so they can spot me across the room. I’ve tried putting it in a bun so shield it but so far it’s been no use. I will consider asking for a new flatmate, I just need to figure out how to word it to my accommodation as the flatmate himself hasn’t directly harassed me it’s his friends who have.
Original post by gjd800
Sure she should know about it, but sorting it out is for people higher up than her. Don't just take her word for it - see what wellbeing say and look about taking it further. Don't settle on this, it's really important.

Ahh I wasn’t aware of this as she informed me as my personal tutor she should handle who in the university I share this with. I will make sure not to settle, thank you
Original post by Anonymous.5.5
They really make me feel awful about myself. I feel as though I can’t look nice for class anymore because they smirk at me and sit very close to me and whisper to their friends in their native language (I know it’s about me from the way they stare at me during their conversation. I’m currently in the process of booking an appointment with a practitioner about this because it has been affected my mental health. I don’t like leaving my accommodation anymore as some of them know where I live. I struggle to sleep because I think about the things they’ve done.

You really need to tell everyone in the university who deals with this sort of thing, and dont let them get away with it, contantly follwo them up on it, keep a diary and notepad and just write everything that they do. Maybe like keep a voice recorning open on your phone whilst you are with them so if they are saying something about youj, you can translate it? I'm just throwing out ideas but im honestly so worried for you because this isnt okay and this shouldnt stop you from achiving your aspirations because they cant keep to themselves and leave you alone
Reply 18
Original post by Anonymous.5.5
Ahh I wasn’t aware of this as she informed me as my personal tutor she should handle who in the university I share this with. I will make sure not to settle, thank you

No, this isn't right and it isn't a transparent way to approach the issue either - what she should be doing is referring you to other teams who can deal with the issue impartially, and then being firmly hands off herself. Best of luck.
Original post by gjd800
No, this isn't right and it isn't a transparent way to approach the issue either - what she should be doing is referring you to other teams who can deal with the issue impartially, and then being firmly hands off herself. Best of luck.

I agree, as she should be giving this to everyone above her, idk if unis have like directors (like how they do in hospitals) but regardless this information should be passed onto the board because it is a saftly harzrd for you and if they dont take it seriously them something can happn#en. Kepp on insisting and make sure they do something about it

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