How do I know if I've had enough?

I am scared to take this further, since my supervisor is quite powerful (millions in funding) and goes back and forth with abusive behavior. Plus, I only have a couple months left to write up.

What would be considered an unrefutable evidence of abuse? I am experiencing all sorts of difficulties at the moment, but I'm unsure of their significance in this generally challenging academic environment.

Thanks, EE

  • 2
    Could you provide the country you are in? What can be done can differ a lot.
    – Emilie
    Aug 28, 2018 at 15:49
  • was there any similar cases with other students ? did anyone tried to do anything ?
    – N00
    Aug 28, 2018 at 15:51
  • Emilie - In the UK, but I'm an international student. N00 - Yes. attempts to speak up have been done before, but no sucess. They all were international students too. Aug 28, 2018 at 16:19
  • Have you consulted your ombudsman?
    – JWH2006
    Aug 28, 2018 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


Unless the abuse is legally actionable (sexual discrimination or abuse, racist comments, etc), it is likely that your best course is to put your head down and just write. You may be able to get some advice from a local office at your university, however, or, in some cases, from the head of department.

If it is legally actionable, then you need to talk to a lawyer, either inside the university system or on your own.

It is difficult to deal with powerful bad actors and difficult to avoid all negative consequences. But you probably need advice and support from someplace closer than this forum and with whom you can be more open.

But if you can just finish, somehow, you can leave the situation behind, though you may still need allies to deal with recommendations, etc.

However, if the abuse is continuing, you should try to document it, even if it is in a journal in which you date occurrences with a clear description. If there are witnesses, it would be good, if possible, to get statements from them as well.

I also wonder if the professor's colleagues recognize this as an issue and could serve as your surrogate in correcting the problem. He or she may have power over you, but not over the entire faculty. Allies.

  • 1
    Thank you. I am recording every meeting now..in case it keeps escalating.. Aug 30, 2018 at 15:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .