Applying The Safer Spaces Policy

This section explains how to use the safer spaces policy.

What are our “spaces”? Where does this apply?
This policy should be considered to apply wherever members of the Social Centre collective meet together, be it at the social centre itself or in another space. It applies to both meetings and social events. It also applies to our online spaces: the mailing lists, Facebook pages and even our private communications with other members of the collective. It is not OK for us to abuse one another just because it’s a personal e-mail rather than the mailing list, or a party rather than a meeting.

Who does this apply to?
This applies to everybody who uses the social centre: collective members, their friends and guests, visitors and attendees. Some of the behaviours listed shouldn’t be considered acceptable by a member of the collective (or anybody else) at any time, to anybody, e.g. sexual assault, or sexually or racially charged verbal abuse. This behaviour makes the space around the person displaying it unsafe for everybody and reinforces an oppressive culture, even if the behaviour is aimed at people with whom we are in direct confrontation, such as the police or members of fascist organisations.

How do I enact the policy?
Contact a member of the Safer Spaces team on to begin a process to deal with a behaviour you have experienced. The processes are outlined in our Conflict Resolution and Survivor-led Processes document.

You will be offered anonymity and confidentiality for all complaints, and given the opportunity to nominate trusted members of the collective to mediate for you in any process that follows (though you are also welcome to speak for yourself directly if you prefer).

Complaints involving physical violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment will be dealt with through a survivor-led process, and need not involve any members of the collective who the survivor(s) have not nominated. Anybody who has been named as a perpetrator of these or other violent and serious abuses will be asked not to enter the social centre or post to its lists while the process is ongoing.

Complaints not involving violence will be dealt with through the Conflict Resolution procedure, and both/all parties will be encouraged to communicate their concerns in constructive ways – with mediation, if required – with a view to restoring the ability to work together effectively in a space safe for all concerned.