Anti-Harassment Policy

This code of conduct is in effect as of April 26, 2019. 

EXARC is committed to providing a harassment- discrimination-free experience for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, physical appearance, body size, age, religion, socioeconomic status, birthplace or any other line of oppression. We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination or violent behaviour of participants in any form.

To this end, everyone attending EXARC activities is required to abide by the EXARC code of conduct. In addition, all EXARC board members, committee members, staff, and volunteers are required to abide by the EXARC code of conduct in EXARC meetings, on EXARC mailing lists and EXARC-branded social media accounts and forums, while conducting EXARC business (which includes all emails sent from EXARCs addresses), and while discussing EXARC-related matters with other board members, committee members, staff, or volunteers.

While attending or volunteering for EXARC in any capacity, you agree to help create spaces that are and feel as safe as possible by respecting other people's physical and social boundaries. 

Physical Boundaries

Do not physically harm or endanger other people. Do not touch people or their personal effects - including clothing, assistive devices, bags, and on-duty service animals - without an express invitation. If you want to invite physical contact, do so verbally or with a friendly gesture, such as holding out a hand for a handshake. When sharing space with other people, engage in active demonstrations of respect and empathy. For example: leave other people a clear path to the exit. Moderate the volume of your voice and the expansiveness of your gestures. Maintain an appropriate physical distance.

Social Boundaries

In all cases where someone has told you or demonstrated that they do not wish to interact with you, do not contact them in any fashion, including through an intermediary, unless and until they approach you of their own initiative. EXARC thrives on vigorous debate, but it is not acceptable to verbally attack people. Do not use slurs or make derogatory comments about a person, group, or category of people. This includes comments based on characteristics such as (but not limited to) actual or perceived race, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, physical appearance, age, religion, ability, family or marital status or socioeconomic class. When interacting with other people, engage in active demonstrations of respect and empathy. For example: Obtain ongoing consent for your interaction. Respect the variety of ways in which people signal that continued contact is unwelcome. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal clues that the other party wishes to end the interaction; these clues can range from "Gosh, look at the time!" to the other person walking away from you. If you're not certain the other person is enjoying your company, end the interaction yourself.

Expected Behaviour at EXARC Conferences

  • Treat all participants, delegates, exhibitors, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, venue staff, service staff etc. with respect and consideration, valuing the diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, giving constructive criticism on ideas rather than individuals.
  • Do not direct any personal attacks towards other participants.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the event organisers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.
  • Respect the rules of the meeting venue, hotels and any other venues.

Unacceptable Behaviour at EXARC Conferences

Unacceptable behaviour includes, but is not limited to:

  • Harassment, bullying or discrimination in any form
  • Offensive, disrespectful, frightening, intimidating or insulting verbal comments or behaviour that reinforces social structures of domination related gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, physical appearance, body size, age, religion, social class, birthplace or any other line of oppression
  • Sexual images in public spaces
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording
  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • Unwanted or unwelcome physical contact
  • Unwanted or unwelcome sexual attention
  • Real or implied threat of professional or financial damage or harm
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour
  • Physical, verbal or psychological abuse, assault or violent behaviour of congress participants in any form


Anyone asked to stop any harassing or unacceptable behaviour are expected to comply immediately. This anti-harassment policy outlines our expectations to all those people who participate in the congress as well as exhibitors, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, venue staff, service staff etc.; they are also subject to the anti-harassment policy. In particular, those people presenting a paper, conveying, showing posters, AV or exhibitors should not use sexualized images or activities that are not strictly related to the content of the congress.

If a delegate engages in harassing behaviour, event organisers can take any actions necessary to maintain the welcoming environment of the events for other participants. This includes warning the offender, debarring them from the conference altogether with no refund or notifying the authorities if necessary. The event organisers may take action to redress anything designed to, or with the clear impact of, disrupting the event or making the environment hostile for any participants.

We expect all participants to follow these rules at all event venues and event-related social activities such as the welcome reception, conference dinner and dance party, mentorship program and coffee breaks. We also encourage people to follow these recommendations beyond the congress scheduled activities! Harassment and other violations of codes of conduct create a negative environment for everyone. We want to be happy and safe at our congress and make our event a better place.


If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome or you have any other concerns, please report it as soon as possible. Call +44 7753 835284 to reach EXARC’s Anti Harrassment Officer, Ms Barnes, any time during the convention, day or night. You can also send email, either during or after the convention, to You can also make a personal/anonymous report by calling or messaging this phone number or filling (this form) with personal or anonymous information.

The organisers in charge will be clearly recognisable. They will receive initial reports of problems related to harassment or disrespectful behaviour and will initiate those actions deemed necessary, in coordination with the EXARC Board and in accordance to the reporting person.

When taking a personal report, our staff will ensure you are safe and cannot be overheard. They may involve other event staff and organisers to ensure your report is managed properly. Once safe, we'll ask you to tell us about what happened. This can be upsetting, but we'll handle it as respectfully as possible, and you can bring someone to support you. You won't be asked to confront anyone and we won't tell anyone who you are. All reports are strictly confidential.
Our team will be happy to help you contact hotel/venue security, local law enforcement or otherwise assist you to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

If you have witnessed any unsafe, unwelcome or unacceptable behaviour, please respond first to the affected person’s needs and safety. Support that person if they choose to report the incident, but respect their decision if not. 

You can make a report either personally or anonymously. We can’t follow up an anonymous report with you directly, but we will fully investigate it and take whatever action is necessary to prevent recurrence. 

If possible, gather the following information:

  • Identifying information (name/badge number, appearance) of the participant doing the harassing
  • The behaviour that was in violation with codes of conduct
  • The approximate time of the incident (if different than the time the report was made)
  • The circumstances surrounding the incident
  • Other people involved in or witnessing the incident

All reports will be treated seriously and responded to promptly.
If you are experiencing or witnessing behaviour that constitutes an immediate or serious threat to personal or public safety notify 112. 

Additional Resources

This anti-harassment policy is based on and on

This again is based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers. For more information:

For more resources and information:

On harassment at scientific meetings:

We also considered other policies such as the AAA Policy on Sexual Harassment & Sexual Assault and ASAEE (Spanish Anthropological Association): 


More information, why your meeting should have a harassment policy