Safer Spaces Policy and Process

Bay Area Women in Publishing Harm Response Committee and organizers are committed to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We will not tolerate harassment at Bay Area Women in Publishing events, virtual meetings, or programming in any form. Individuals violating the Safer Spaces Policy below may be sanctioned or expelled from the space or the event at the discretion of any Bay Area Women in Publishing Harm Response Committee Member. 

 

Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Respect peoples’ opinions, beliefs, differing states of being, and differing points of view.

  • Always get explicit verbal consent before taking someone’s photo or crossing other personal boundaries. Please be aware that BAWiP members may photograph individuals attending events. If you prefer that your photo not be taken, please let a BAWiP member know upon checking in for the event.

  • Be responsible for your actions and aware that they may have an effect on others regardless of your original intent.

  • A safe and respectful community is everyone’s responsibility, therefore we encourage you to look out for one another, and speak up if you see someone who might be in trouble, or needs assistance.

Bay Area Women in Publishing Harm Response Committee Members are available to support attendees who are having an issue at Bay Area Women in Publishing-specific events/programs. BAWiP has a zero-tolerance policy. We take things seriously and will do our best to remedy the situation. We are not liable for or able to mediate outside issues. Should an issue arise with a participant or attendee during an event or program, we will do our best to remedy the situation, either immediately or at a later time. It is highly encouraged that you speak to a BAWiP organizer if you feel that any part of the Safer Spaces policy has been disregarded.


Bay Area Women in Publishing reserves the right to ask attendees who are violating the Safer Spaces Policy to change or address their behavior(s) or language. If individuals violating the policy are unable to change or address their behavior(s) or language, they will be asked to leave the event or program.
 

How does our policy operate:

There are a range of solutions to Safer Spaces concerns. Please understand that any policy-related decisions made by BAWiP event/program organizers will be precipitated by a serious discussion with multiple viewpoints represented. Decisions are not made hastily or lightly. Our Safer Spaces Policy operates as a “call in” mediation process. [Details around this to be fleshed out more as we finalize details of Harm Response Committee Members’ roles and if anyone with mediation experience is available to step in] Complaints can be submitted to safespaces@bayareawomeninpublishing.com. This email address is the official email address for the Harm Response Committee and is monitored by them only.


Please be aware that Bay Area Women in Publishing Harm Response Committee Members cannot promise that public statements will be made in relation to any Safer Spaces decisions.

 

STEP 1


A complaint regarding the safety of a fellow member is lodged with a member of Bay Area Women in Publishing’s Harm Response Committee. Here are just a few examples of possible complaints:

 

  • Offensive verbal comments

  • Deliberate intimidation

  • Stalking

  • Following

  • Photography or recording without consent. Please be aware that BAWIP members may photograph individuals attending events. If you prefer that your photo not be taken, please let a BAWIP member know upon checking in for the event.

  • Sustained disruption of talks or other events

  • Inappropriate physical contact

  • Unwelcome sexual attention

  • Disruptive or disrespectful behavior

STEP 2


The Harm Response Committee Members will respond to the complainant within 24 hours to schedule a meeting with the complainant to gain a deeper understanding of the harm they experienced if the individual is comfortable and consents to share more information. The Harm Response Committee Members will also alert the involved persons who caused harm to let them know a complaint has been filed. The Harm Response Committee Members will do their best to maintain the anonymity of all involved parties.


STEP 3


Conversations with the Harm Response Committee Members and both parties will be held separately. The involved parties will not speak directly to each other unless it seems possible or helpful. Non-violent communication and de-escalation techniques will be employed to give each party ample time to speak their truths and “I” statements will be asked to be used throughout. 


STEP 4


If the affected individual does not feel safe being in the same (physical or virtual) room as the person who is the subject of the complaint, each party will be spoken to separately and each the Harm Response Committee will share detailed notes they have taken from each meeting. If the affected individual feels safe being in the same room, this conversation will be held together.


STEP 5


These may be uncomfortable conversations but we will actively hold safe space for all parties to share and engage openly with each other. Forms of resolution will vary and are largely dependent on what feels right to the parties involved. It may be impossible at that time to reach any form of resolution, but hopefully, each person will have engaged and understood something within the other. 


STEP 6


A need for further time together will be decided on by all parties. If further conversations are requested, the date and time for the next mediation will be set via email.


STEP 7


Escalation to the relevant committee chair (Events, Membership, etc.) AND escalation to Governance Committee
Please note that this process is in process. Updates will be made and shared with our community as we learn and grow. We will solicit feedback from involved parties who participate in this process to see where improvements can be made. We will always welcome feedback from our community as well.