Unwanted and inappropriate behaviour: report it!

Reporting inappropriate behaviour can be the first step in getting that behaviour to stop. Your confidentiality is guaranteed.

When you report an act of unwanted behaviour at Meldpunt, you will have the opportunity to discuss it with a counsellor. You can tell your story, share your experiences, and ask any questions you want about harassment and inappropriate behaviour. During this intake conversation, Meldpunt staff will explain to you how the reporting process works and go through your options with you. Throughout this process, your confidentiality is guaranteed.

You are under no obligation to speak with Meldpunt staff when reporting an act of unwanted or inappropriate behaviour. If you prefer, you can also make a report without having to take any further steps. Doing so will help to prevent future incidents from occurring and contribute to policymaking at the VUB.

To contact Meldpunt, send an email to: ReportIt [at] vub [dot] ac [dot] be

 

Unwanted AND inappropriate behaviour

What qualifies as inappropriate behaviour?

You are the one who determines which behaviours are acceptable and which are not. Common examples of inappropriate behaviour include: bullying, unwanted sexual contact, sexual insinuations or violence. Other examples include: intimidation, stalking, discrimination and harassment.

When does behaviour cross the line?

Your personal boundaries are important. Determining whether certain verbal or physical actions are unwanted and inappropriate is something that is subjective and personal. Often, there will be a social or cultural component that comes into play. What may be considered normal to some may be considered inappropriate to others. When it comes to personal boundaries, communication is essential to avoid misunderstandings. Always be clear about your personal boundaries and make it clear what is acceptable to you and what is not.

Who can report?

Anyone at the VUB can contact Meldpunt, including: students, staff and visitors to the campus.

You can make a report about the behavior of:

  • a student
  • a staff member
  • a campus visitor

Depending on who is reporting and about whom, different administrative procedures will be followed. Students are subject to special disciplinary measures. Staff members are subject to the public law on prevention and wellbeing in the workplace. There is also a separate disciplinary procedure for staff members.

Why should you report?

Bullying, unwanted intimacy and violence can harm your wellbeing, including your mental and physical health, not to mention influencing the quality of your work and studies. Reporting instances of inappropriate behaviour can be the first step to preventing those incidents from happening again.

Even if you don’t want Meldpunt to launch an investigation into the incident, we still advise you to report inappropriate behaviour whenever it occurs. Documenting the problem will help the VUB to develop more effective prevention policies and stop future incidents from occurring.

How does it work?

The process starts when you file a report. When someone reports an inappropriate behaviour, Meldpunt staff will work with them to find a solution to the problem, including by discussing any further steps that can be taken. Meldpunt will not initiate any procedures without the express permission of the person who has filed the report. Meldpunt is subject to professional secrecy.

There are multiple, progressive steps in the reporting process. While initially Meldpunt staff will look for an informal solution to the problem, you may request a formal procedure or that the proceedings be discontinued at any time in the process.

Reporting

by email, followed by an optional intake meeting.

Informal follow-up

Meldpunt offers information and support, optionally in collaboration with or referring to VUB services or external services.

Informal procedure

a VUB confidential advisor informs you and acts as a neutral mediator (Staff may request informal psychological counselling according to the law).

 Formal procedure

The disciplinary procedure will be launched by the vice rector for student affairs, the rector for academic staff and the general manager for administrative and technical staff (Staff may request formal psychological counselling according to the law).

 

Depending on who the subject of the report is, the type of formal procedure will differ: 

  • when reporting about a student: the disciplinary procedure for students will be used
  • when reporting about a staff member: the disciplinary procedure for staff members will be used

In case of unwanted behaviour by a third party, the police will be contacted to initiate an investigation.

Where can you get help in case of unwanted, inappropriate behaviour or harassment?

For urgent interventions in case of violence or unwanted behaviour, you should call the security or the emergency numbers. Aside from this, a lot of health and wellbeing services are at your disposal on campus. Meldpunt will work with you to determine the best possible solutions for your situation.