Party culture

Supporting people to report harassment

Providing good support for victims of bullying and harassment is important in creating a culture where people are willing to report it. It is good practice to have several different ways for a person to report incident and for these be widely publicised to members and staff. For example, it shouldn’t just be the chair or secretary of the local branch who is able to receive and act on a report of bullying or harassment. In some circumstances, these individuals might be involved in the incident or be close to people who are. This can sometimes cause concern for people who have experienced bullying and prevent them from reporting an incident or progressing a complaint.

Where possible try and work with the national organisation to develop a range of methods for reporting harassment including anonymous, email, online, and face to face reporting. It can also be helpful to appoint someone at a local branch level who is not involved in the day to day activities of the party and can act as an additional and independent person to report bullying or harassment to. All reports of and complaints about bullying and harassment should be treated confidentially.

After reporting an incident of harassment, the victim might be unsure about what will happen next or be scared about how they will be treated in the party. Training some of your members to provide peer support to victims during the process of making a complaint could enable people from minority groups feel more confident about coming forward. This support might include: explaining the complaints process, supporting people to make their report into a formal complaint and providing advocacy support during the complaints process. Make sure that there are enough members trained in this support, so somebody can seek an alternative person to speak to if needed (for example where the member providing support is a friend of the person accused of bullying).

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