November 30, 2017 | Caitlin Bishop in About

Anti-Harassment Policy

Open Rights Group is dedicated to creating an environment where people with an interest in digital rights can come together, learn from each other, and contribute their skills, ideas and energy. Everyone is entitled to enjoy a respectful and inclusive environment; men, women, non-binary; straight, gay or otherwise; cis or trans; people of all religions and ethnicities, and none; 14-year-olds and 99-year-olds; able-bodied, neurotypical or not. We will not tolerate harassment behaviour that detracts from that goal.

How to help create pleasant and safe environment

  • Be aware of the kind of environment you are creating around you with your speech and actions.
  • Read and abide by the harassment policy.
  • Support other event attendees - if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they're okay.
  • Report incidents of harassment to ORG staff or volunteers immediately.
  • Be excellent to each other - and party on!

What is harassment?

  • Offensive verbal comments, including about gender, gender identity and expression, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race, religion or political affiliation.
  • Showing sexual images in public spaces.
  • Intimidation, stalking or following.
  • Photographing or recording someone without their permission.
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • Unwanted physical contact.
  • Unwanted sexual attention.
  • Any other unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual's dignity or creating an interrogating, degrading, hostile, offensive or humiliating environment for the person in question.

This list is not exhaustive.

What to do if you experience or witness harassment?

If you experience harassment, are not comfortable confronting a harasser, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a volunteer or a member of the event staff as soon as possible.

In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say “no” or “please leave me alone”, or walk away. We would appreciate it if a member of staff were still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.

How will ORG respond to reports of harassment?

Volunteers are the most visible first-line of support for those who experience harassment. They'll note down the details of what has happened, make sure a member of staff is informed, and back you up.

Event staff will be happy to help participants contact venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, event staff may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expelling them from the conference, with no refund.

Incidents of harassment during an event will be recorded and shared between event staff and volunteers. This is so we can spot and challenge patterns of unwanted behaviour or repeat offenders.

After the event, all reported incidents of harassment will be reviewed by the ORG Board. Details of incidents that were resolved satisfactorily, did not recur, or were minor will be discarded. Details of repeat or serious transgressions may be retained by ORG for as long as the Board deems them relevant and used to restrict admission by those responsible to future ORG events.

We hope this strikes the right balance between our strong privacy and data protection principles and our desire to prevent harassment at our events.

Why do we have this policy?

We want everyone to have a great time and we won't tolerate behaviour that detracts from that goal. Spelling out exactly what we expect and deserve in our behaviour towards one another helps to reduce harassment and gives us a framework within which to respond should anyone's behaviour fall short. We want people to feel comfortable at our events and to be confident that we will act to protect the fun and inclusive atmosphere we want everyone to experience.

 

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