Safer Space Guidelines 

KVT aims to promote a culture in which prejudices and stereotypes are recognised and prevented. When our employees, volunteers, members and stakeholders are aware of and committed to the principles of safer spaces, we can ensure that people involved in our activities can be themselves and are treated with respect and without prejudice.

Respect everyone’s right to self-determination and avoid assumptions and generalisations. Try not to make assumptions about others’ gender, ethnicity, sexuality, experience or opinions, for example. Pay attention to your choice of words and be aware of people’s diversity. Do not generalise your own experience to others.

Respect the personal, physical and mental space of others. Respect self-determination. Do not touch others without asking for permission. Remember that you cannot know someone’s limits without asking them and that “no” means no. Don’t comment on anyone’s appearance. Everyone decides for themselves how much they want to share about themselves with others. Don’t pressure others to share personal things. Ask for space for yourself when necessary.

Recognise and acknowledge the existence of discrimination and harassment. Believe people who say they have been discriminated against because of their ethnicity, appearance, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other characteristic.

Talk about others with respect. Don’t use offensive or racist names or slurs about people or groups of people, even jokingly, in passing or in quotes in conversations. Even if they seem neutral to you, they may provoke trauma and anxiety in others’ stemming from experiences of discrimination. Do not use offensive language about or against others. Do not talk badly about others behind their backs or spread gossip.

Address harassment and inappropriate treatment. If you witness harassment or other inappropriate treatment, do not remain a bystander. Show someone who is being harassed, discriminated against or treated inappropriately that they are not alone. By speaking up, you are also setting an example for others.

Give and make space for others’s presence and participation. Identify your role and position in different situations. Be actively present, listen and allow others to participate and be heard. Use language that is as understandable as possible.

Remember, everyone is human: It’s OK to make mistakes and ask questions. You don’t have to know everything in advance! Discussions are encouraged, but remember to respect and listen to others when discussing.