|Motion:||INTERNAL RULES OF PROCEDURE|
|Proposer:||FYEG Executive Committee (decided on: 07/14/2019)|
B1-837-4 to INTERNAL RULES OF PROCEDURE
Insert after line 837:
7.4.3 Guidelines for persons of contact
Read the protocol and understand every aspect
What is sexual harassment? It is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which:
- Violates your dignity
- Makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated
- Creates a hostile or offensive environment
Sexual harassment “can include, but is not limited to”, these examples:
- Touching, pinching, stroking, squeezing, or brushing against someone
- Leering or ogling
- Making LGBTIAQ+-phobic or GSRM (Gender, Sexual and Romantic Minorities)-phobic comments and sexually suggestive signals, winking
- Sending unwanted e-mails, text messages, posting sexually-explicit jokes or content on FYEG communication channels
- Sexual comments or jokes
- Making insults based on a person’s sex or rating their sexuality
- Turning work discussions to sexual topics
- Physical behaviour, including unwanted sexual advances, touching and various forms of sexual assault
- Displaying pictures, photos or drawings of a sexual nature
Remember: Whether harassing intentionally or unintentionally, we all have a responsibility to monitor our behaviour and respect each other. Anyone who reports an incident has the right to remain anonymous. They also have the right to feel safe and respected.
Listen and Support
It's tough to be prepared when someone tells you that they have been the survivor of sexual harassment. Remember, you can only provide support
- Support and understanding are essential. It takes a lot of courage for a survivor to share their experience;
- Try to provide a safe/non-judgmental environment, emotional comfort and support for the survivor to express feelings;
- Let them know that they can talk with you. Listen. Don’t rush to provide solutions.
The most common reason people choose not to tell anyone about sexual abuse is the fear that the listener won’t believe them. People rarely lie or exaggerate about abuse; if someone tells you, it’s because they trust you and needs someone to talk to.
- People rarely make up stories of abuse. It is not necessary for you to decide if they were “really hurt.” If the survivor says they were hurt, that should be enough
- Believe what the person tells you. It may have been difficult for them to talk to you and trust you. Unless proven wrong harassment has happened.
● Sexual assault is NEVER the survivor’s fault. No one asks to be sexually assaulted by what they wear, say or do. Let the survivor know that only the perpetrator is to blame;
● The survivor needs to hear that fears, anxieties, guilt and anger are normal, understandable and acceptable emotions;
● Remember, no one ever deserves to be abused or harassed.
- Don’t press for details – let the person decide how much to tell you. Ask them how you can help;
- Survivors have to struggle with complex decisions and feelings of powerlessness, trying to make decisions for them may only increase that sense of powerlessness;
- You can be supportive by helping them to identify all the available options and then help them by supporting their decision making process (here refer to the protocol).
- The survivor can’t just “forget it” or just move on. Recovery is a long term process and each individual moves at their own pace
- Encourage the survivor to seek medical attention, report the assault, and or contact a professional if needed. Remember, the survivor must ultimately make the decision as to what to do. They are the experts in their own lives. Don’t push. Remember, support their choices no matter what they decide.
Respect Privacy - Confidentiality
- Don’t tell others what the survivor tells you. Let the individual decide who they will tell. It is important not to share information with others who are not involved;
- If you do need to share information for their safety, get permission by letting them know what you will share and with whom it will be shared; ie. the rest of contact points in case of a formal complaint
- An important part of helping the survivor is to identify ways in which the survivor can re-establish their sense of physical and emotional safety. You are a step in the process. Ask them what would make them feel safe and how you can help them accomplish this.
- If the stalking or harassment is ongoing, help them to develop a plan of what to do if they are in immediate danger. Having a specific plan and preparing in advance can be important if the harassment escalates.
Things you can say
It is hard to know what to say to a person when they confide in you. Refrain from asking a lot of questions, instead, support them with these phrases. Let the person know that you believe that they have the strength and capacity to heal.
● It’s not your fault
● I’m sorry this happened
● I believe you
● How can I help you?
● I am glad you told me
● I’ll support your choices
● You’re not alone