Nirmukta’s Anti harassment policy

This anti-harassment policy is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers.

This is a “living document” and will be revised whenever needed.

Short version

Nirmukta’s Anti Harassment policy for footers on announcement emails, event pages, news stories, etc.

Nirmukta’s event is dedicated to be a harassment-free event experience for everyone. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at:

http://nirmukta.com/nirmuktas-anti-harassment-policy/#long

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please inform an organizer immediately.

Medium Version

This is a statement of the organizers’ principles and sets expectations for the tone and style of the event. Suitable for the event website and for compulsory announcements before the start of an event.

Nirmukta event is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, caste, physical appearance, body size, race, region / place of origin or religion . We do not tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. Participants violating these rules may be expelled from the event at the discretion of the organizers. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at:

http://nirmukta.com/nirmuktas-anti-harassment-policy/#long

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please inform an organizer immediately.

Long Version

Nirmukta is an organization dedicated to promote Science, Freethought and Humanism in India. We at Nirmukta are keen on providing a ‘safe space’ for our members to encourage enriching discussions and where no member of a marginalized group’s voice is muffled. To reiterate by ‘safe space’ we mean a forum where marginalized groups like women, LGBTQ community, disabled people and so on do not feel uncomfortable, harassed and unwanted by the unthinking actions of the privileged sections.

Nirmukta members interact in the virtual world as well as in the real world. In our Facebook groups we have strict rules and any person who violates it is warned / banned. Members who are harassed online by other Nirmukta members are requested to inform the administrators of our Facebook groups. Harassers would be banned immediately.

Further we want to ensure that our monthly meets, workshops and seminars are safe spaces and inclusive for women, gender minorities and other marginalized groups. Any person who proposes to attend our events, including the speakers, would be expected to read this policy and adhere to it. Nirmukta does not tolerate harassment of any kind.  Cyber-stalking and harassment via email/social-media of members subsequent to the meets would be dealt appropriately.

Prohibited conduct include but is not limited to harassment related to gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, caste, age, region/place of origin, religion, sexual images in public spaces (not related to convention sessions or materials), deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention,cyber-stalking and harassment via email/social-media of members subsequent to the meets . We  recognize that derision of religion is common at our meets and welcome such discussion. However, the harassment of individuals for his or her religious beliefs will not be tolerated. Racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic conduct will not be tolerated. Participants asked to stop any prohibited conduct are expected to comply immediately.

Please listen to trans* people’s needs and stories when they are volunteered; but please respect people’s privacy and boundaries and do not ask questions that you wouldn’t ask of anyone else. Do not make assumptions about other people’s gender identity or expression. Do respect and call people what they ask you to call them.

Discussions on sex and nudity are limited to scientific studies and topics only. No discussions of personal sexual issues, or posts containing images/descriptions/discussions of sexual acts are allowed. Images containing such nudity is limited to established works of art or in a scientific/medical context.

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please inform an organizer immediately. Organizers’ Phone no. / Email:

Procedure for Handling Harassment

Guidelines for conference staff

This version is intended for use by the conference staff. It defines an example enforcement policy that can be tweaked to suit your conference organization style.

Warnings

Any member of conference staff can issue a verbal warning to a participant that their behavior violates the conference’s anti-harassment policy. Warnings should be reported to info@nirmukta.com [as soon as practical]. The report should include:

  • Identifying information (name/badge number) of the participant
  • The time you issued the warning
  • The behavior that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behavior (if different than the time of warning)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Your identity
  • Other people involved in the incident
  • [Your guideline here]

Presentations

Presentations or similar events should not be stopped for one-time gaffes or minor problems, although a member of conference staff should speak to the presenter afterward. However, staff should take immediate action to politely and calmly stop any presentation or event that repeatedly or seriously violates the anti-harassment policy. For example, simply say “I’m sorry, this presentation cannot be continued at the present time” with no further explanation.

Taking reports

When taking a report from someone experiencing harassment you should record what they say and reassure them they are being taken seriously, but avoid making specific promises about what actions the organizers will take. Ask for any other information if the reporter has not volunteered it (such as time, place) but do not pressure them to provide it if they are reluctant. Even if the report lacks important details such as the identity of the person taking the harassing actions, it should still be recorded and passed along to the appropriate staff member(s). If the reporter desires it, arrange for an escort by conference staff or a trusted person, contact a friend, and contact local law enforcement. Do not pressure the reporter to take any action if they do not want to do it. Respect the reporter’s privacy by not sharing unnecessary details with others, especially individuals who were not involved with the situation or non-staff members.

Expulsion

A participant may be expelled by the decision of any of the above listed entities for whatever reasons they deem sufficient. However, here are some general guidelines for when a participant should be expelled:

  • A [first/second/third/] offense resulting in a warning from staff
  • Continuing to harass after any “No” or “Stop” instruction
  • A pattern of harassing behavior, with or without warnings
  • A single serious offense (e.g., punching or groping someone)
  • A single obviously intentional offense

Hotel/venue security and local authorities should be contacted when appropriate.

A representative team (of say three members) called a Safe Space Squad or Space Safekeepers who will assemble at the first sign of trouble and confront anyone who acts in violation of the policy. (The assumption here is that things won’t get physical and being told to leave by more than one person will do the trick better than being told by just a single person. Another assumption is that the disruptors won’t outnumber those who want to keep the space safe.). It is optional to name the Safe Space Squad members in programme flyers

Public statements

As a general rule, conference staff should not make any public statements about the behavior of individual people during or after the conference.

In general, consult with other staff members when possible but act when necessary.