News Article

What is #NeverOK?

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#NeverOK is a campaign that aims to end all forms of violence and discriminatory behaviour, including but not limited to: sexual violence, racism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia. Everyone has the right to live and study in a safe and supportive environment.

What we all love about Keele is our sense of community. We care about what happens on our campus, and we want to ensure that everyone, whoever they are, whatever they study or wherever they live, feels safe, supported and accepted.

We know though that not everyone says or does things that are right. People can offend, they can take advantage and they can cause harm. We might see somebody being disrespectful to a fellow student or hear homophobic, racist, sexist or transphobic jokes. We might witness somebody being bullied or sexually assaulted.

#NeverOK is about making a commitment to take a stand against violence and discriminatory behaviour, because it's #NeverOK. 


What Behaviours Are #NEVEROK? 

  • Sexual violence: Sexual violence is an umbrella term covering: sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and sexual abuse. It is defined as any unwanted sexual act or activity, involving physical contact, words spoken or written, or photographs, that takes place without the other person’s full and informed affirmative consent. Any type of Sexual violence, including rape and sexual harassment, are most commonly carried out by those known to the victim. Most often it is a partner, colleague, classmate, friend, family member, someone online or, least commonly, by a stranger.
  • Hate Crime: A crime which is motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.
  • Racism: Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group, typically one that is minoritised or marginalised. 
  • Sexism: Prejudice, stereotyping or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
  • Ableism: Discrimination in favour of able-bodied people.
  • Homophobia: Hostility to, prejudice or discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
  • Transphobia: Hostility to, prejudice or discrimination against transgender people.
  • Islamophobia: Hostility to, prejudice or discrimination against Islam or Muslims.
  • Anti-semitism: Hostility to, prejudice or discrimination against Jewish people. 

How To Be An Active Bystander

#NeverOK is all about taking a stand against any form of violence and discriminatory behaviour. It's all about stepping up, if it feels safe, when we hear or see things that are #NeverOK. Instead of being a passive bystander, we are asking the Keele community to take a stand and become active bystanders.

There are number of ways you can intervene to stop a harmful situation from escalating. 

  • Direct: if it feels safe, speak to the perpetrator directly, explaining why you don't think their behaviour is acceptable
  • Delegate: look for the support of a bartender, security, the police, or any other authority figure 
  • Distract: if you're able to, call the victim's phone or engage them in a conversation 

Always choose a safe and sensible way to intervene that feels natural to you.  

We are able to offer in-depth workshops on bystander intervention for societies and student groups. 

If you're interested, feel free to reach out to us at: to arrange this.

Global Event

At this moment in time events in Israel and Palestine means a higher risk of antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian and anti-Israeli incidents in the UK. This is a moment to support students, stand firm in tackling hate-speech and abuse, and de-escalate fear and tension on campus. For students this is a moment to show leadership by speaking and acting with compassion and sensitivity for fellow students no matter their identity or their politics.

We encourage students and officers across the UK to show leadership in the words they choose and the actions they take in response to the crisis. In practice this means:

  • Speak and act with compassion, sensitivity and humanity
  • Try to be generous in spirit to people who are reacting from a place of pain and fear
  • Go out of your way to make sure Jewish, Muslim, Israeli and Palestinian students feel - and are - safe and welcome

Don’t stand by if you witness antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian or anti-Israeli abuse or violence take place – report it, have the difficult conversation, take action if it is safe to do so:

  • Never justify, celebrate, or excuse the violence, killing or suffering in Israel and Palestine
  • Never target Jewish, Israeli, Muslim or Palestinian students with hate or abuse, don’t assume their political beliefs, and don’t demand that they take a ‘stance’
  • Never interrupt a vigil with ‘counter-messaging’ or put opposing stickers on top of a poster


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