Tag Archives: Policy against sexual harassment

Qashti’s policy against sexual harassment and abuse

1 Jun

Qashti’s policy is that all its events, parties and meetings should be safe spaces, free from sexual harassment and abuse. Qashti volunteers (also known as Masti) and members of its core group (also knoqashti-logown as Basti) are responsible for ensuring this. Because of Qashti’s strong disapproval of non-consensual sexual behaviour in our spaces, all members and participants of our events must avoid any action or conduct which could be viewed as sexual harassment in order to continue being a part of these spaces.

 What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexually harassing nature. The harassment has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s comfort level or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Remember, your harmless flirting can be harassment for someone else.

Who can be harassed?

Anyone can legitimately feel harassed, regardless of their age, appearance, gender identity, how popular they are in the community or even if they are a core member or volunteer with Qashti! There is no such thing as being too young/old, too butch/masculine, too effeminate/femme, too strong/popular/important/respectable, too anything to be harassed. We encourage anyone and everyone attending Qashti events or spaces to come to us if they experience harassment.

What should I do if I feel harassed in a Qashti space?

Speak up and tell us about it! You can talk to Rituparna and/or Tanmay at any time about this. You can bring it up immediately, privately if you like, or come and talk to us after the event and please refrain from spreading rumours about the person. We are committed to making Qashti a safe space for everyone and will take you and your experience seriously.

What if someone from the core group or a volunteer is harassing me?

Qashti is fully committed to having all its events be spaces free from sexual harassment. We will take an accusation against a volunteer (part of Masti) or a core group member (part of Basti) seriously and will follow the same procedures as for any other case. If you feel harassed by a Qashti member from Basti or Masti, it is even more important that you tell one of the two people handling harassment issues as soon as possible.

 What if someone from Qashti harasses me somewhere else?

If you are feeling harassed by a Qashti core group member OR a Qashti volunteer, in any space at all, please come and talk to Rituparna and/or Tanmay about it immediately. Being part of Qashti’s groups, Masti and Basti, means that the members have to abide by sexual harassment guidelines even if they are not in a Qashti space, so harassment of any kind anywhere will be taken seriously by us. Please understand though, that we can’t influence the behaviour of people whom you may have met at Qashti events but who are not part of Basti or Masti, in other spaces — only in Qashti spaces.

What will Qashti do about it?

  • Listen to you carefully, without judgement or prejudice.

  • Ask you how we can make the space safer for you to be a part of.

  • IF you are ok with it, we will talk to the person who has made you uncomfortable and warn her/him/ze about their behaviour. We will NOT reveal who has made the complaint.

  • In some cases, the person feeling harassed prefers to talk to their harasser themselves, but needs support. IF you prefer this, we can mediate a conversation between you and the person who has made you uncomfortable.

  • IF the person has had a prior complaint against her/him/ze, we will let them know that they are no longer welcome in Qashti spaces in the future. We will NOT reveal to you or anyone else that such a complaint has been made in the past.

 What if I don’t want anybody to know about it?

Qashti is committed to maintaining strict confidentiality in all the matters related to harassment and abuse. Only the persons involved in the complaint and the Qashti members in charge of handling the complaint will be involved. Nobody else outside of the Qashti core group will learn of it from us.

What if someone has accused me of harassing them?

You can directly speak to any of the core members of Qashti. Please get it touch with us to know Qashti’s core members.