Equal Opportunities and Harassment Policy

Equal Opportunities

  • The organisation is committed to equal opportunity of access and experience. This will include but is not restricted to…
    • Choosing “accessible” venues and ensuring accessibility needs are identified and supported. This includes accessibility relating to gender identity, racial and religious identity among other factors.
    • Retaining price controls/constructing subsidies to enable the participation of lower income members or those from countries where income/exchange disparities or travel costs inhibits participation.
    • Ensuring that the conference is advertised in such a way to encourage the participation of people from a range of academic and identity communities.


Anti Harassment Policy: this applies to both the conference space and any associated social space and site experiences.

HFRN is dedicated to providing a good experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, physical appearance, body size, race or religion. For this reason, we will not tolerate any form of harassment of convention participants. Participants found to be engaging in harassment may be sanctioned or expelled from the con without refund.

What is harassment?

Harassment includes:

  • offensive verbal comments about gender, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race or religion
  • showing sexual images in public spaces. Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria: (a) organisers have specifically granted permission in writing; (b) it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists; (c) it is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards women and LGBTQIA people; and (d) attendees are warned in advance in the programme and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand. This exception does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.
  • intimidation, stalking or following
  • photographing or recording someone without their permission
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events
  • uninvited physical contact
  • uninvited sexual attention
  • racial, sexual and religious harassment which may include being expected to be an authority on non-white texts, or being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics being discussed.

Participants asked to stop identified behaviour must comply immediately. Failure to comply will lead to immediate exclusion without refund.

What should I do if I am being harassed?

In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply walk away. We would appreciate it if a volunteer was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.

If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please contact the convention manager immediately. Responses may include:

  • contacting venue security or law enforcement,
  • providing escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe.
  • You do not have to give us details of the harassment, and can choose whether or not to report. If you wish to report, we will take details of the harassment and work with you to respond to the issue in a way that assists you in feeling safe and maintains the safety of the wider convention environment, as well as enforcing our anti-harassment policy. If you report a serious criminal matter, please be aware that we may be obliged to contact the police. We will take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.
  • If you would like to discuss an incident without making a report, we will listen without taking action. Bear in mind that this is for informal emotional support only: we don’t have counselling training, and we can’t promise confidentiality.

Why do we need a policy?

The academic world is no more insulated from harassment than any other community. The networks of mentorship and hierarchies in our world have been demonstrated to shelter it. Please be aware of this policy, think about your colleagues when you prepare your presentations, and if you someone else being harassed/targeted or looking uncomfortable, be prepared to back them up.

This policy is based on an example from Geek Feminism wiki and is adapted from the policy on the Nine Worlds web site.