Free education/SOAS Occupation/Safer Spaces Policy

Safer Spaces Policy If you feel threatened or know of someone who breached this policy, you can send an anonymous message to this tumblr. Our Safer Spaces Policy is:

  • e.g. harassment: Different people interpret and define harassment in a number of different ways. They might include threats or verbal abuse, such as use of derogatory language intended to undermine or insult. Harassment can include wilful misinterpretation of someone’s desires, e.g. not leaving them alone when they clearly want you to leave them alone, or inappropriate touching or invasion of personal space.**

- Racism, as well as ageism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, language ability, asylum status or religious affiliation is unacceptable and will be challenged. - Respect each other’s physical and emotional boundaries; always get explicit verbal consent before touching someone or crossing boundaries.

- Be aware of the space you take up and the positions and privileges you bring, including racial, class and gender privilege.

- Avoid assuming the opinions and identifications of other participants.

- Be aware of the language you use in discussion and how you relate to others. Try to speak slowly and clearly and use uncomplicated language.

- If someone violates these agreements a discussion or mediation process can happen, depending on the wishes of the person who was violated. If a serious violation happens to the extent that someone feels unsafe, the perpetrator can be asked to leave the space and/or speak with a person or process nominated by those present.

- **Undermining the experiences of survivors of any of these violations is unacceptable. Our space seeks to be inclusive and any behaviour which creates a hostile environment for survivors is unwelcome and will be challenged.

- Whilst ground rules are collective responsibility everyone is also personally responsible for their own behaviour

- “Respect the person; challenge their behaviour.” – everyone is responsible for calling in; this space aims to be horizontally run

- This occupation is an alcohol and drugs free space

- Raising hands to speak/mutual respect – listen to everyone

- If you feel threatened there is a box/team/anon email

Language/assumptions/biases complaints 1. If oppressive language is used it should be challenged as soon as possible 2. Generally, if people feel able, it should addressed immediately and called out, with appropriate explanations as to why it is oppressive and what language might be used instead 3. If the offender apologises and changes their language immediately, and this is their first or one of their first offences, the matter need not be pursued any further 4. If, however, this person refuses to change their language and/or is a repeat offender the matter should be taken up by the working group who will discuss further measures to take including: 5. Issuing the offender with a formal warning (written or verbal) and explanation of how their use of language is offensive, reminding them of the Safer Spaces Policy 6. Asking the offender to leave the group entirely if it is felt that they are not at all receptive, after the formal warning 7. If it is felt this is a widespread or commonly misunderstood issue there should be discuss of a workshop to inform others on the issues surrounding this particular complaint Physical/Sexual harassment, assault and violation of boundaries 1. If members or the working group witnesses or hears of any form of coercive, non-consenting physical or sexual assault they should encourage the victim to come forward and report it. Only if the victim is comfortable should this be taken to the official working group, they are under no obligation to report it. 2. This matter should be dealt with by as few people as possible. One person on the working group should be involved directly with the complainant. They should remain anonymous to all other members of the working group to try and avoid bias. The case should be presented in a neutral, victim-led way. 3. The case should be reviewed by the working group taking into consideration statement from both the victim and the accused, but with the understanding that this process should always depend on the victim’s wishes. It is NOT for the working group to decide whether or not the accused is guilt they ONLY decide if they consider them a threat to others and the victim’s safety. 4. The working group may decide to take any or all of the following measures: 5. Issue a warning to the offender that their behaviour has made others uncomfortable and that any further breach may lead to more serious action being taken 6. Banning the offender from all future events and online forums 7. Banning the offender for a fixed period of time 8. Ensuring that the offender and the victim (and those affected) are not in the same spaces 9. Supporting the victim in either legal action or restorative justice