Safer Spaces Policy

The Women’s Department seeks to build a culture founded upon mutual respect and a commitment to learning and growing as individuals and as a community.

As such, we have a Safe Spaces policy aimed at framing what we, as a community, believe is acceptable behaviour.

ANU Women’s Department Safer Spaces Policy


PRINCIPLES

At the ANU Women’s Department, we want to create a community where our members are free to be themselves without judgment or discrimination. We use the language of Safer Spaces because we believe that spaces are not safe simply because we designate them as such – it’s a goal that requires the constant and unceasing effort of the community. This policy is fundamentally about treating one another with respect. When attending a Women’s Department event, visiting the Rapunzel Room, or posting/commenting on our Facebook Groups, it is expected that you will act in a respectful way towards every person you encounter.

SOME SPECIFICS

By entering our Safer Spaces, you agree to:

  • Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, and differing points of view. This includes:
    • Recognising that as individuals we have specific sets of ideas and experiences within different social and cultural contexts, and that our views are formed by these complex backgrounds.
    • Speaking for yourself, and not claiming to speak for certain groups you may identify with.
    • Not judging or dismissing others’ views out of hand, but exercising empathy and imagination in conversing with others, even when respectfully disagreeing.

  • Respect the physical and emotional boundaries of others, and limits of understanding someone might have. This includes:
    • Providing content warnings before discussing distressing topics, and make sure that there are no image thumbnails, which are prominent and unavoidable before the content warning. (Consider placing the content in the comments.) An example of a content warning – CW: Sexual Assault and Self Harm.
    • Refraining from discussing topics in a way that might promote risky or unsafe behaviours (e.g. methods of self-harm, drug-taking, suicide etc.)
    • Being particularly careful when engaging in explicit discussions on sensitive issues in depth and/or personal experiences of them online, whether you are engaging with the thread or disclosing your personal experience. You must respect that individuals have the right to define their experiences themselves.

  • Respect everyone’s right to live without intimidation, harassment, or discrimination
    • This includes not engaging in any behaviour that is ableist, racist, sexist, ageist, transphobic, homophobic, queerphobic or sizeist.
    • Critique that occurs in discussion should be aimed at deconstructing themes and issues, not victimising certain individuals.
    • Respect people’s right to privacy and self-determination
    • This includes not disclosing another person’s disability, sexuality or other personal information without their permission. No screenshots.
    • Do not reveal people who are part of the group, (safety). It is an individual’s right to self identify within the group and that identification to remain within the group.
  • This Policy is not an exhaustive list of every single thing people ought to do or not do. As such, there are going to be times when each of us make mistakes. These mistakes are opportunities to learn from each other, and grow as individuals and as a community.

Below, you’ll find our dispute resolution procedure, and the moderation processes when the Policy is breached.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Where you feel someone has done something that contravenes the Policy, you have a variety of options, including; approaching the person, removing yourself, or reporting a dispute.

Remove yourself from the event, space or conversation
If you feel uncomfortable approaching the individual, or don’t have the energy to do so, you may decide to remove yourself from the event/space/conversation. Seek self-care. If you’d like to attempt to approach the individual, but don’t feel comfortable doing so by yourself, you may ask the Officer or Deputies to accompany you.

Report the act to the relevant bodies
We encourage members to try and have a discussion where possible, but if that is not an option (due to capacity or safety concerns) please contact the following people:

For in-person disputes, please contact either the Women’s Officer (sa.womens@anu.edu.au) or the Deputy Women’s Officers (anu.womens.dept@gmail.com). Please include details of what happened, who was involved, where it happened, and why you felt it was against the SSP.

For online disputes, please contact the Moderator Team or the Social Media Officer at (anu.womens.social@gmail.com) or message any of them on Facebook. Please include details of what happened, who was involved, screenshots and why you felt it was against the SSP.


ONLINE SPACES – FACEBOOK GROUPS & PAGE

The Women’s Department Facebook Groups and Page are spaces for open, intelligent, and respectful exchanges relating to women. When you participate in these spaces, be aware that many members share this space, and although they may not choose to directly engage through comments or likes, your words may have an impact on them.

At the discretion of the Moderator Team, comments and posts considered to be breaching this Policy can be deleted without any prior warnings. The person who made the breaching comment/post will be informed that their comment/post has breached the Policy. Where the person ignores the direction of the Moderator Team, and continues to perform the breaching act, the individual may be banned or blocked from the group.

The Moderator Team should be your first port of contact for any disputes. If you require clarification on the dispute outcome or anything else relating to the dispute, you can then contact the Women’s Officer or the Deputy Women’s Officers.

SOME SPECIFIC ONLINE RULES:

Do’s

  • Place content warnings at the start of posts with sensitive content, including but not limited to suicide, violence, sexual assault, racism/sexism/queer*phobia, or NSFW. An example of a content warning: (CW: violence/gore)
  • If you are going to put sensitive content in a comment, consider asking the original poster to put a content warning on their original post.
  • Ensure that graphic images (e.g. violence, vore or other distressing imagery) are presented in link form, and avoid having them in the main post

Dont’s

  • Taking screenshots of the content in the safe space and spreading it.
  • Targeting individuals
  • Making personal attacks or unprovoked attacks.