Safer Space Policy

ReFiG is committed to cultivating safer spaces at all its events, affiliated events and shared online spaces. A safer space aims to foster an environment of respect which makes ALL participants, and notably those who are typically marginalized or excluded, feel welcome. This aspiration requires collaboration of all participants, working together to mitigate and disrupt behaviors that are marginalizing and/or offensive. Together we can work to take over spaces that have been inhospitable, and to reduce harm, particularly to those who are more often the targets of harassment, violence, and silencing.

Towards a Safer Space Policy
Unacceptable behaviour in person and online includes, but is not limited to:
– Verbal communication (public or private) that demeans, devalues or is derogatory towards ones gender, sexuality, physical appearance, body size, appearance, race, religion, language, age, ability, and/or socio-economic status.
– The display of sexually demeaning imagery in public spaces. (Sexual imagery can be acceptable provided it is clearly contextualized as critical work and explicit forewarning is provided, but such imagery should not be offensive or demeaning to any of the identificatory attributes listed above).
– Bullying, stalking, following and other such intimidating behaviour.
Photography or recording without consent.
– Explicit mentioning of individuals on open social media using the official event hashtag without their consent.
– The use of potentially harmful hashtags and terms on official event hashtags (e.g. #GamerGate, #GG, #Deatheaters).
Disrupting or hijacking conversations (during talks, in question times or in general discussion).
– Inappropriate non-consensual physical contact.
– Unwelcome attention of any kind.
– Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviours.

Because there are a variety of reasons, circumstances and contexts that might make an individual feel unsafe, ReFiG recognizes that the above list is not all-encompassing and may be effected by subject matter under discussion, the individual and group identities present in a space and the space itself. It is crucial that the participants in ReFiG events/spaces should be considerate, mindful and respectful of other participants’ safety, both physical and psychological, rather than literally policing the ‘don’t-do’ list above.

Participants asked to stop any harassing or harmful behaviour are expected to comply immediately or they will be required to leave the space (either physically or blocked on social networks).
In the case of repeated offending behaviour, ReFiG will take any action deemed appropriate to resolve the situation and make the space welcoming. Examples of such action include: verbal warnings, written warnings, temporary or permanent barring from ReFiG events and online spaces.

If you feel that someone is making you or the space feel uncomfortable, if you see that someone else is being made to feel unsafe, or if you have any other concerns, please contact the organizer. You may do this in person (staff will be identified at the opening sessions) or via one of our online resources (below). Our representatives will be happy to assist you with action, the provision of security or appropriate next steps.

We love our community and value your participation.

Email: [email protected] (use the subject title ‘safer space’)

The safety and comfort of our participants is important to us and all reports will be taken seriously, dealt with expediently with all efforts to protect the identity of those reporting. It is understood that respect is due to all participants, and that surveillance and policing “on behalf of” others is often seen by them as unhelpful and unwelcome. Those whose safety and comfort is being compromised are, therefore, expected to play the ‘leading role’ in reporting adverse occurrences.

This policy is inspired by the policy for MRGS.

If you are hosting a ReFiG affiliated event you are required to have a safer space policy in place. You may use or adapt this REFIGSAFERSPACEPDF to share with your participants and/or print and post at your events.