The Institute has created an anti-harassment unit, referred to as “Antenne H”. It was established for students as well as collaborators and is intended to foster and promote a welcoming and inclusive environment where any form of harassment is deemed unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All members of the Institute’s community are expected to value equality and diversity and to treat each other fairly, with dignity, respect and consideration.
The Antenne H, guided by the Gender Center and the Director of Human Resources, is a Committee of trained and dedicated individuals who can act as a first point of contact for students and staff experiencing any form of harassment. This includes sexual harassment, bullying, victimization, invasion of privacy and stalking as well as any behaviour that creates tension, intimidation and a hostile or offensive environment for the victim.
Antenne H members are there to help. They will offer support and guidance in complete confidentiality. They can also advise you by clarifying which options are available to facilitate resolution. Whenever possible, efforts will be made to resolve complaints through informal procedures. However, if the victim chooses to file a formal complaint, The Antenne H can offer appropriate support throughout the process.
Do you feel offended, hurt, degraded, intimidated? Is your dignity violated? Are you consistently humiliated or discredited? You may be a victim of harassment, bullying or victimization. Do you feel insecure and afraid? Your privacy is invaded and you feel anxious or distressed? You may be stalked and need to take action.
Reporting any type of harassment takes a lot of courage and determination. You may be concerned about your future employment or job opportunities, your career prospects or your reputation. Those who have suffered harassment may often feel:
1. A lack of confidence
2. Loss of self esteem
3. Anxious, intimidated, threatened and humiliated
4. Unable to deal with the situation
5. Frustrated and angry
6. Isolated and stressed
7. Traumatised and/or may unreasonably blame themselves
8. Loss of motivation
9. Depressed and/or physically ill
People who have experienced any form of harassment often do not complain because they feel embarrassed, they are worried they will be victimised, or they do not want to get the harasser into trouble. Antenne H members are there to listen, to provide help and support, and to explain the option for both a formal and informal complaint. Names and addresses of external support are also available and can be contacted if deemed more appropriate. Members of the Antenne H can accompany the victim in this process.
The Antenne H is strongly committed to stop any type of harassment. In order to reach that goal, we need to be informed about any inappropriate behaviour or incident. All members of the Institute’s community who have experienced any type of harassment are strongly encouraged to report it by filling a short form. This can be done anonymously and does not imply that you must discuss your experience any further if you don’t want to. However, talking through the events and your feelings can help you decide on the best way to deal with the behaviour and will clarify the options available to you.
Antenne H members represent both the student body and the teaching and administrative staff.
All members have signed confidentiality agreements and have followed training and refresher courses on handling sensitive issues and developing listening and counselling skills. Antenne H is not a disciplinary body, but rather a place to be heard and to receive information and support.
The process remains strictly confidential and no action will be taken without your consent.
In instances where further investigation is necessary, the Director of the Gender Centre and the Director of Human Resources will be consulted in order to decide the course of action.
All complaints will be taken seriously and will be investigated promptly. All parties involved will be treated fairly and with respect.
There are two ways in which harassment may be dealt with: the informal approach and the formal approach.
Although there is an expectation that every effort will be made to resolve complaints of harassment through informal procedures, there are situations in which the victim feels at serious risk of harm. In such cases, the complaint will be regarded as a matter of urgency and the police might get involved if necessary.
Choosing an informal approach: If at all possible any person who feels subjected to any kind of harassment should consider telling the individual(s) concerned that their behaviour is offensive and ask them to stop, indicating that such behaviour is interpreted as harassment and that the Institute does not tolerate it as stipulated in both the Code of Conduct and the Policy. Such action may be sufficient to stop the offensive behaviour.
If, however, this approach does not work or is not appropriate, support and guidance on how to take the matter further in an informal way can be given by the Antenne H who may also take the role of a mediator.
In this case, the Designated Antenne H member (or 2 members) will conduct informal meetings with the victim and the alleged harasser separately, and will advise of the outcome of the discussions in writing, within one week of the meetings, setting out clearly what was discussed and the decision made. It should be noted that full background details of the discussions may sometimes not be fully disclosed in order to protect confidentiality.
In some cases more formal action might be required. The Antenne H will then:
- Investigate the complaint
- Inform the individual causing offence in writing and, if possible within one week of receipt of the complaint, that a formal complaint has been made
- Call separate meetings with the victim and the alleged harasser in order to attempt to resolve the matter. If both parties agree, a joint meeting may be convened instead of separate investigatory meetings. If witnesses are to be involved, they will be contacted and reminded that all matters are dealt with strict confidentiality.
- Reply in writing to all parties advising of the outcome of the investigation and the decision.
If the outcome is not satisfactory and the harassment continues, the matter may be taken further by the victim as described in the formal procedures.
In order to get in touch with a member of the Antenne H, you may either contact any of its members or complete the anonymous short form. You may also request a meeting through this form if you would like us to take the matter any further.
A victim should not be forced to tell her/his story over and over again, you may choose who you wish to talk to or be assigned to a particular person. Although members of the Antenne H work together, you will only have one person at the receiving end, unless specified differently.
Once you contact the Antenne H, you should expect:
- An acknowledgment that your case has been received and will be treated within 3 working days
- That all matters will be treated in complete confidentiality
- That you (the victim or witness) will be heard and listened to. Please note that you may be asked to describe the facts-writing down the facts can be very helpful
- To be given information about external and specialised services/organisations or help networks such as LAVI and/or Viol Secours
- To be informed about both informal and formal procedures
During the first appointment, a few points will be addressed such as:
- If possible make a chronology of the facts and their negative impact
- Exploring together possible ways and means to bring the harassment to an end and planning the follow up actions (personal actions, discussion with the implicated person, mediation, conciliation, intervention to the hierarchy or colleagues, etc.)
- You will decide together which actions the Antenne H member will take and the expected timeframe. If agreed, the Antenne member may approach the alleged harasser
- A new appointment will be scheduled
During the second appointment, the situation is re-assessed:
- The results of the actions taken by both parties (victim and Antenne H member) will be communicated and evaluated.
- If the situation persists, the case will be brought to the top level (direction)
- A new follow up is considered in order to find an acceptable solution
Link to the Swiss Secretary of State and Economy website containing information on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Information on Psychologist’s presence at the Institute: when, where, cost of any? How to make an appointment?
Link to GISA page including Tina’s document and appreciations
What the law says on sexual harassment in the workplace
The guide on harassment provided by the University of Geneva includes very detailed and useful information.