August 2, 2012

What Should Be Included in an Anti-Harassment Policy?

policyI have made it a point not to look at any of the anti-harassment policies adopted by a number of atheist organizations to cover attendees at their conventions. Before doing so, I wanted to take a stab at outlining the critical areas I thought should be addressed in such a policy. There has been some lively discussion about this in the comments, and I figured it might be fun to see if what I thought of as the most important things to address would be included in the official policies.

So here is what I think should be the main content areas to include in a brief, informative, and enforceable anti-harassment policy:
  1. A concise definition of what is meant by harassment (i.e., applicable to harassment at large and not only sexual harassment), using behavioral terms if possible.
  2. A clear statement that the behavior described above will not be tolerated at this particular event.
  3. A brief description of what someone should do if they believe they have been a victim of harassment at this event, including who they should inform.
  4. A brief description of the consequences of harassment at the event (i.e., a statement that persons found to have harassed attendees will be dealt with in a particular manner).
  5. Some sort of statement about how false reports will be handled.
Off the top of my head, these are the components I'd look for if I was drafting or evaluating an anti-harassment policy. What do you think? Did I miss any important ones?

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