Student Life Centre

Restore Respect

Restore Respect is a new restorative programme that offers support to anyone who has been involved in an incident on campus that is perceived to be motivated by identity-based prejudice.

Students can report incidents (sometimes referred to as “hate crimes” or “hate incidents”) into Restore Respect and will receive information about the different dialogical (talking) approaches that will be available to address any harms that have been caused. Where appropriate, participants in the programme may also have an opportunity to explore ways of helping to challenge identity-based prejudice on campus.

Restore Respect is entirely voluntary and anyone who reports in can choose to engage as much or as little as they want.

Restore Respect is a separate programme to the University’s formal disciplinary process. Students who wish to make a formal complaint will be given information on how to do this. 

Students can also contact the Student Life Centre (T: 01273 876767 / E: restore.respect@sussex.ac.uk) or the Student Union (T: T 01273 678152 / E: advice@sussexstudent.com) directly, where a fully trained practitioner who specialises in identity and prejudice will be able to speak to you and explore the different options available.  

For further information about the HEFCE-funded programme Restore Respect and using restorative responses to hate crime and hate incidents on university campuses please contact Professor Mark Walters: mark.walters@sussex.ac.uk

What can I expect if I report into Restore Respect? 

When you report into the programme someone will contact you to have an initial conversation about what has happened. If you decide to participate in Restore Respect someone will then arrange for you to meet with one of the programme’s specially trained practitioners. You can talk confidentially about what has happened to you and how this has impacted upon you. A practitioner will explore with you the possibility of a Restore Respect supported intervention or refer you to other support services inside and outside the university. There are a range of options and each will be described at this meeting. The practitioner is there to listen carefully and support you in all your decisions about any part of a process offered.

Note that your participation in any further dialogue is completely voluntary and you can withdraw from the process at any time.

Who will be able to look at my information? 

Whether you report into the Student Life Centre or the Student Union, someone will record your information, including your name and contact details and some basic information about what has happened. If you are referred into Restore Respect, a practitioner will then take a note of the time and dates of any meeting. During any further restorative meetings that you participate in, notes will be taken that may help to form a final restorative agreement at the end of the process. Once your case is closed, any preparatory meeting notes will be destroyed in your presence, except for the final agreement which will be kept on record.

Please note the following:

  • Your information will be kept on a secure electronic system either at Student Life Centre or the Student Union and will not be shared with any other person or department without your explicit consent.
  • Information given to Student Life Centre or the Student Union as part of Restore Respect cannot be used as part of any formal disciplinary process.
What are hate incidents? 

Hate incidents are defined as: 

“any non-crime perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate"

Some examples of hate incidents include:

Spoken words with a hate-element that are insulting

>  Mocking and humiliating someone because of their identity

> Spreading false rumours about someone based on identity-based stereotypes

What is hate speech? 

Hate speech involves spoken or written words that are either intended to, or recklessly, send a hate-based message. Hate speech is commonly spread via social media platforms. A recent study by the University of Sussex and DEMOS found that there are approximately 393 Islamophobic tweets sent each day from within the UK alone.  

Some examples include:

 Abusive and threatening words stated in a public space that are likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress

 Stirring up hatred (using spoken or written words) towards someone based on their race, religion or sexual orientation

>  Sending electronic communications that are indecent, grossly offensive or menacing in character

Note that hate speech may or may not amount to a hate crime depending on location and the context within which is it stated.

What is a hate crime? 

A hate crime is defined as:

Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice.”

Some examples include:

A physical assault during which someone uses prejudiced (e.g. racist or homophobic) language

>  Property damage, such as graffiti that contains a hate-based message or symbol

Abusive and threatening words stated in a public space that are likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress (also considered as hate speech).

What types of prejudice and hate can I report? 

Restore Respect covers all types of characteristics and prejudices that may be affecting students on campus. These include (amongst others):

Race and ethnicity;

>  Religious beliefs;

>  Sexual orientation (e.g. being lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer);

>  Gender (e.g. hostilities against women)

>  Gender identity and expression (e.g. prejudice towards people for being trans, non-binary, queer);

>  Disability (both physical and mental);

>  Subcultural identities (e.g. Goths, Emos);

> Social class

Resources

Toolkit - Safeguarding Students Against Hate and Prejudice on University Campuses: Developing a Restorative Practice

Preliminary Report - Prejudice and Hate on University Campuses: Repairing Harms through Student-led Restorative Dialogue

Final Evaluation Report - Prejudice and Hate on University Campuses: Repairing Harms through Student-led Restorative Dialogue

First Responder Handout - Training Session Materials

First responder training - slides

 

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