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"What hurts the victim the most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander"
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor.
At UCLan, we believe that everyone has the right to live, work and study in an environment free from the fear of harassment or violence.
The aim of our 'Enough is Enough' campaign is to empower those in our university community to be an active bystander and take action against incidents such as harassment, racism, hate crime and sexual violence.
Acts such as these contribute to a toxic culture and this is something we want to address and work towards eradicating in our university. The impact that they can have on victims can be life changing and lead to mental health problems, avoidance and more.
What is a bystander?
A bystander is someone who witnesses a situation but does not take any action. They are not usually directly involved but are either present when an incident occurs or hear about it after it has happened. If bystanders remain passive and do not challenge negative attitudes and beliefs they can lead to prejudicial and biased behaviour and potentially more serious acts of discrimination hate and violence.
Two main factors come into play in the bystander effect. One is the diffusion of responsibility – with many others present, the responsibility is shared throughout the group and no one feels that it's down to them to do anything. The other is our desire to conform and follow the actions of others. When no one else does anything, it's easier to feel that it's not necessary, or even appropriate, to take action. Emergency situations are often unclear or chaotic, and we tend to look to others to decide on the correct action – or inaction.
Our campaign aims to address the bystander effect and the reasons why when we witness problematic behaviour we don't always speak up or take action.
Four factors have been identified that contribute to the bystander effect.
Diffusion of Responsibility
An active bystander is someone who when they become aware of a problematic situation takes the responsibility to act. Our campaign uses a variety of activities to get people thinking and talking about potentially prejudicial and discriminatory behaviour and encourages everyone to become an active bystander. We're asking for all members of our university community to:
See It. Get to know the facts on harassment, hate crime and sexual violence.
Know it’s a Problem. Think about the impact of negative attitudes and beliefs, and micro-aggressions and how they can lead to more serious acts of discrimination, hate and violence.
Take Responsibility. Know that it’s everyone's responsibility to challenge problematic behaviour.
Take Action. Act if they see something that doesn't feel right.
Report + Support
If you or someone you know has experienced a hate crime, racism, harassment or sexual violence, you can use the University’s Report and Support system. This allows you to report something anonymously or report it and get confidential support from a Wellbeing Advisor. Please be reassured that this is purely a supportive measure and is aimed at ensuring that you feel supported when making such a disclosure, should you wish to make a report.
UCLan has a zero tolerance approach to any kind of hate crime, racism, discrimination and violence. Everyone deserves to feel included and safe, both on campus and in the wider community.
We want you to feel empowered to report an incident, and we hope that by making it easier to report, you will feel safer and know that we are all working together to make our community an inclusive and welcoming environment. Anyone coming forward to make a report and request support will be listened to, regardless of who and what you are reporting to us and we will look to take proportionate action.