This is a revised version of the Leeds LGBT+ Minds Safer Spaces Policy
Why do we have a Safer Spaces Policy?
Our Safer Spaces policy is here to help empower people with diverse experiences to participate in our work.
We want all our participants to feel confident expressing themselves, asking questions and making their voices heard, without fear of reprisal or humiliation. We want to build positive connections and community through constructive and mindful communication. An important part of this is protecting our participants from prejudice, hate and harm.
Our Safer Spaces policy makes clear what behaviour is unacceptable at our meetings and events and in our online spaces, and how we will respond to that behaviour. It also communicates the kind of behaviour we encourage in our spaces.
Which spaces does this apply to?
This policy applies to:
- Physical meeting spaces including small groups and public events.
- Online meeting spaces, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings.
- Our social media accounts, including comments sections, direct messages, tweets, posts and Instagram/Facebook stories.
- Our team e-mail inbox.
What behaviour is unacceptable?
The following behaviour is unacceptable at our meetings and events, and in our online spaces:
- Violent and aggressive behaviour. This includes physical violence and attempted physical violence, nonconsensual sexual behaviour, aggression and intimidating behaviour.
- Prejudiced behaviour. This includes racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, body shaming, ageism or discrimination based on ethnicity, immigration status, or religious, cultural, and/or spiritual beliefs, or any other oppressive language or behaviour.
- Harassment. This includes any behaviour that disregards others’ boundaries or aims to make them feel threatened and unsafe. Examples include verbal abuse or threats, bullying and deliberate unwanted intrusion into someone’s personal space.
How will we respond to unacceptable behaviour?
During meetings, sessions or events
Session, meeting or event hosts will intervene as soon as they become aware of any unacceptable behaviour. They will remind those involved of the Coproduction Network Safer Spaces policy and ask them to stop, acknowledge their behaviour, make amends and move on. In more serious cases, or if the behaviour continues, they will be asked to leave the physical premises or online space.
Depending on the nature of the incident and the wishes of those affected by the behaviour, we may also contact outside agencies.
As appropriate, session, meeting or event hosts will provide support to the person or people affected by the behaviour during and immediately after the session, meeting or event. Hosts will provide information and signposting if any additional or ongoing support is required.
On social media (Leeds LGBT+ Minds and LS9 Lives)
- Comments and direct messages
We keep our comments and direct messages open on social media because we want to encourage communication and connection.However, we will delete any unacceptable behaviour in the comments sections of our social media accounts. If this happens, we will make it clear that we have deleted comments and explain any steps we have taken as a result. If anyone send us direct messages which exhibit unacceptable behaviour, we will delete the messages. We will only speak about this publicly if we need to deactivate direct messaging.Because we are a very small team, we will block the account(s) of anyone who behaves unacceptably in our comments sections or direct messages. We do not have sufficient resource to engage with or educate people who behave unacceptably on our social media. Similarly, if any of our social media accounts are ‘flooded’ with unacceptable comments or messages, we will deactivate the account.
- Tagged content
If we are tagged in content which violates this policy, or content we consider to be spam, we will untag our account and report the content to the platform.
- Accounts we follow
If an account we follow, or whose content we have liked, exhibits unacceptable behaviour, we will not respond reactively. We will make a decision as a team about what action we will take. We will communicate that decision via the appropriate channels.
What behaviour is encouraged?
Online and offline, if you are attending our meetings, sessions and events, or connecting and communicating in our online spaces, we encourage you to:
- Respect other people’s differences, experiences and life choices.
- Take personal responsibility for managing your own feelings and getting your own support needs met, including giving yourself permission to ask for help.
- Hold others to account for their words and actions.
- Let a meeting, session or event host know if you witness any problematic behaviour or feel unsafe.
- Be aware of any position and privileges you may bring regarding, for example, your race, your class, your gender identity, your ability or your age.
- Remember that it’s okay to say sorry and make amends if someone is upset by your words or actions. We are all fallible humans who make mistakes.