Harassment Advisor Network

It may be that you have recently experienced an incident of harassment for the first time and want advice on trying to prevent further incidents from occurring. Alternatively, you may have suffered a prolonged period of harassment in silence and feel as though you have finally reached breaking point. Whatever stage or circumstance, there are a number of people who are available to help you.

You may, in the first instance, want to discuss the matter in confidence with a friend or colleague who is familiar with the setting in which you work or study.

If you are a member of staff, you may want to discuss the matter with your Head of Department, departmental administrator, immediate supervisor, or trade union representative.

If you are a student, you may want to discuss the matter with your college dean, or another college officer with pastoral responsibilities. At a common room level, the Welfare or Equal Opportunities Officer may be a good person to talk to. Oxford SU Student Advice also provides a confidential and impartial listening and advice service. Alternatively the University has a professionally staffed confidential Student Counselling Service for assistance with personal, emotional, social and academic problems.

You may, however, prefer to make use of the University’s confidential harassment advisor network. There are approximately 447 harassment advisors across departments and faculties within the University. Details of the harassment advisors are posted on departmental and faculty office notice boards. There are also confidential advisors appointed within the colleges.

The University recommends that you discuss the situation with a harassment advisor before taking any other steps in response to the alleged harassment. Talking through the events and your feelings with the advisor will help you decide on the best way to deal with the behaviour and will clarify the options available to you.

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A conversation with a Harassment Advisor is just that, it is not the start of a process but an opportunity for you to voice your concerns in a supportive and non-judgemental space.    

A Harassment Advisor will: 

  • Deal with your case with the utmost confidentiality unless, exceptionally, an individual is considered to be at risk of serious harm. They would normally discuss this with you first. 
  • Listen. 
  • Be non-judgemental 
  • Guide you through the University or the relevant college Policy and Procedure on Harassment and Bullying.
  • Clarify the options open to you and support you in resolving the matter informally where possible.
  • Signpost you on to other agencies or support systems where appropriate.

Harassment Advisors provide similar support to those have been accused of harassment, however they will not support both parties in a case.

The Harassment Advisor cannot:

  • Make statements to the effect that particular behaviour definitely constitutes harassment that will lead to disciplinary action or to the  effect that a particular behaviour is NOT harassment, 
  • approach the alleged harasser in an attempt to mediate or resolve the matter for you;
  • act as your representative or advocate; or
  • be involved in any formal stage of the process, be it in writing the formal complaint, the investigation, disciplinary or grievance procedures, except by way of giving you the support you need during this time.

You can find the contact details of advisors in your Department or College on this page. Please note you will need to be signed in with SSO to access the page. 

If you would prefer to speak with an advisor entirely unconnected with your department, faculty, or college; the Harassment Line can find an alternative advisor for you.


Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service is an all-in-one provision for any students regardless of age or gender who have been affected by sexual harassment or violence. They provide free support and advice, along with a safe place to be heard independent of your college or department.

Web: www.ox.ac.uk/students/welfare/supportservice?wssl=1

Email: supportservice@admin.ox.ac.uk



A core group of Harassment Advisors have attended training with the Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre on supporting survivors of sexual violence. Please contact any of the following Advisors to arrange a meeting:

Susie Swan susie.swan@devoff.ox.ac.uk, a Harassment Advisor, has completed the Oxford City and County Council Champion training: The Champion is seen as the lead for domestic abuse issues within their agency or unit and acts as the contact in and out of that unit/agency. They will be able to advise their colleagues on management of individual cases and ensure that they are aware of and have access to local resources and support. For more information on the Champions programme and the local Domestic Abuse helpline, Reducing the Risk, visit: www.reducingtherisk.org.uk

If you are a department or faculty recruiting new Harassment Advisors you may find this Guidance useful.