It can be difficult to tell if someone is being groomed, or at risk of radicalisation– the signs are not always obvious and may be hidden. Younger people might behave in a way that seems to be "normal" behaviour, masking underlying problems.
Some of the signs you might see include:
- being very secretive about how they are spending their time, including when online,
- having an older boyfriend or girlfriend,
- not spending time with their usual friends,
- having money or new things like clothes and mobile phones that they cannot or will not explain,
- underage or excessive drinking or drug taking,
- spending more time online, or on their devices,
- being upset, withdrawn, or distressed,
- sexualised behaviour,
- spending more time away from home or going missing for periods of time,
- making unusual or alarming comments or statements,
- image changes, such as dressing differently or new tattoos.
- Are they in immediate danger? If they are in immediate danger or injured on campus they can call the Brunel Security Team on 01895 255786. If they are off campus, contact the Emergency Services on 999.
- Find a safe space. If an incident has just happened, try and find somewhere they feel safe. If this isn't possible and they are scared or fearful they can call the Brunel Security Team on 01895 255786 or the Emergency services on 999.
- Listen. Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them.
- Give options. When they have finished talking ask them if they are ok to talk through some possible options and next steps. Remember, it is important that they decide what they want to do.
- If you’re worried that a friend or fellow student is being groomed online or sexually exploited you should report your concerns to the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Command CEOP.
- If you’re worried that someone is at risk of radicalisation, call the national police Prevent advice line 0800 011 3764, in confidence, to share your concerns with a specially trained Prevent officer. Further information can be found on the ACT Early website.
- If you or the person you are worried about is in immediate danger, find a safe place and ring 999.
- Students and staff can report an incident or concern using the University’s Report and Support system. You can choose to do this anonymously or you can make a report with contact details. If you choose to report with contact details, a member of the Student Support and Welfare Team will be able to talk through the options and support available to you.
- Call 999 if the person you are worried about is at immediate risk or call 101 if you think a crime has been committed
- Call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online to report a crime.
- If you are worried that someone is at risk of radicalisation, ACT Early and share your concerns with a specially trained officer. https://actearly.uk/
Mental Health and Wellbeing
1 in 4 people is affected by a mental health problem in any year and it is estimated that around 1 in 5 people has contemplated suicide or self-harm.
- Find out more on the support available for mental health and wellbeing.
- Take care of yourself. It’s important that you take care of yourself. If you’ve heard something distressing or if something is troubling you, you can let us know via this site or contact the Student Support and Welfare Team.