I’m Being Bullied

All members of the University Community have the right to study or work in an environment free from bullying and harassment and sexual harassment.

Bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work/study and/or in the course of employment/study which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at the place of work/study. An isolated incident is not considered to be bullying. The intention of the person against whom the complaint is being made is irrelevant. The fact that someone may not intend to bully or harass an employee or student is not a defence. The effect of the behaviour on the employee or student is what is relevant.  Bullying and Harassment are contrary to the UCD Dignity and Respect Policy.

The following are common, but not exclusive examples of bullying behaviour: 

  • Verbal abuse/insults 
  • Physical abuse 
  • Being treated less favourably than colleagues 
  • Intrusion – pestering, spying or stalking 
  • Exclusion 
  • Menacing behaviour 
  • Intimidation 
  • Aggression 
  • Undermining behaviour 
  • Excessive monitoring of work 
  • Humiliation 
  • Withholding work-related information 
  • Blame for things beyond the person’s control

Harassment is defined as any form of unwanted conduct related to any of the discriminatory grounds under the Employment Equality Acts which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can be a one-off incident. The following are examples of harassment: 

  • Verbal harassment – jokes, comments, ridicule or songs
  • Written harassment – including text messages, emails or notices 
  • Verbal or written harassment based on socio-economic status 
  • Physical harassment – jostling, shoving or any form of assault 
  • Intimidatory harassment – gestures, posturing or threatening poses 
  • Visual displays such as posters, emblems or badges which may be deemed as harassment 
  • Inappropriate scrutiny of the activities of others 
  • Isolation or exclusion from social activities 
  • Unreasonably changing a person’s job content or targets 
  • Pressure to behave in a manner that the person thinks is inappropriate
  • Inappropriate use of social media 

Discriminatory Grounds: Gender, Civil status, Family status, Socio-economic status, Sexual orientation, Religion, Age, Disability, Race, Membership of the Traveller community

Get support 
The Dignity and Respect Contact Persons are a panel of trained staff who can provide a listening ear and non-directive and non-judgemental support and information to employees and students on a strictly confidential basis. They will provide information available on the supports available and the range of informal options and the formal complaint procedure.  

The UCD Student Advisory Service is a point of contact, support and referral for all UCD students throughout their studies. Students experiencing issues of concern should approach their Student Adviser in the first instance who can then direct them to a Dignity and Respect Contact Person for issues of a dignity and respect nature.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre offers a free confidential, listening and support service for those who have been raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or sexually abused at any time in their lives. They also take calls from anyone who wishes to talk about the effects of sexual violence. 24 Hour Helpline: 1800 778888. See below for a full list of supports.  


UCD Supports