1. What is Report and Support?
Report and Support is an online tool, developed by Culture Shift, through which students and staff can report issues of sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying or hate crime anonymously or via contacting an advisor to discuss. Report and Support is also home to information about internal and external support, policies and procedures.
2. Who can make a report?
University of Southampton students and staff can make a report through Report and Support. Visitors are encouraged to report complaints through the public complaints process.
3. What happens when someone makes an anonymous report?
The report will first be viewed by one of the administrators (see q. 11 for a list of administrators). The administrators will review the report to identify any risks that relate to our duty of care, for example if we felt there was information that would come under our safeguarding policy and a vulnerable individual was at risk of harm. If any identifiable information is provided about the individual or those they are reporting, the administrator will remove this identifiable information.
If no immediate risk is identified, no further, direct action can be taken. This is the nature of anonymous reports, in which no identifiable information should be included.
However, the information is essential for the University to monitor trends and develop responses.
The anonymous reports will be added to a database that will allow the University to identify patterns over time, and therefore to develop plans and allocate resources. For example, anonymous reports could prompt the University to initiate anti-harassment or anti-bullying campaigns across schools, faculties, or the entire University.
Although the University may not be able to take action on a particular anonymous report, in many cases these anonymous reports will be the only way the University knows what types of sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying and hate crimes are occurring on campus. They are thus an essential part of our efforts to end these forms of abuse.
In short, do not think that if you submit an anonymous report, nothing will happen. Anonymous reports may provide the only glimpse of what is actually happening at the University, and as such, are crucial for the University to take action collectively. Indeed, this is why the University has adopted the Report and Support system.
Most importantly, if you saw or experienced something serious enough to bother or upset you, the University wants to know about it, and you should report it.
4. What is the difference between anonymous and named reports?
University of Southampton does not know who has made an anonymous report, and therefore cannot reach out and provide support. Instead, the report is added to a database that allows the University to identify patterns and to develop plans and allocate resources to address negative behaviours.
Whereas if someone wants to receive support or consider informal or formal options to address a concern, they would make a named report and speak to an advisor.
5. What action can you take from anonymous reports?
Information provided in anonymous reports will be added to a database that the University will monitor for trends and patterns of sexual misconduct, harassment, bullying, and hate crimes. This will give the University an overall picture of the rate and frequency of these forms of abuse at the University, which in turn will guide the University’s strategies to prevent, deter, and eliminate these forms of abuse. In particular, the Tackling Harassment Team will work with areas identified to address any concerning trends.
In many cases these anonymous reports may be the only way the University knows what types of abuse are occurring, how often, where, when, and to who, and so on. As such, they are vitally important to the University’s efforts to end these forms of abuse.
6. What happens when someone wants to contact an advisor?
Where the person making the report has indicated they want to speak to someone, a Report and Support administrator (see q. 11), will assign the case to an advisor. For students, the advisor will be one of our Tackling Harassment Advisors, from our Tackling Harassment Team. For staff, cases will be allocated to a Harassment Contact. Each advisor is provided with a login and can only access cases that are assigned to them.
The advisor receives an email notification that a case has been assigned to them – no identifiable information is provided within this email alert. The advisor then logs into Report and Support using their personal login details to access the information provided. They then make contact with the person who has made the report and they arrange a meeting to discuss the report.
7. What do you do with the data gathered from advisor reports?
The data collected from Report and Support is used to produce anonymised annual reports. These reports would include the number of cases, most reported types of harassment and location.
8. How will University of Southampton manage malicious complaints?
If a report is found to be malicious or vexatious, such reports will be addressed under existing student and staff disciplinary procedures.
9. How secure is the data and information sent through the system?
Data held on Report and Support is GDPR compliant and further information about how data is collected and stored is outlined in the privacy notice. The system has been security tested by both the developer (Culture Shift) and by the University.
10. How long is data stored on the system?
We will only retain personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil purposes we collected it for. We will keep records of reports one year from case closure on the Report and Support system as outlined in the privacy notice. All personal data will be kept according to the records retention schedule.
11. Who are the administrators on the system?
The system is administered by the Tackling Harassment Team for students and Human Resources (HR) for staff.
12. Will the responses I provide to the personal data questions change any of my personal data held on my HR record?
The responses you provide to the personal data questions on the Report and Support form do not change the personal data held on your HR record. The anonymised data feeds into high level statistical reporting, to help us gain a better understanding of whether certain groups of people within the University are experiencing problems with harassment, bullying, discrimination, hate crimes etc.