Code of Conduct

Expectations

All Grove spaces are intended to be SAFE spaces and we ask participants to be guided by the following:

  • Be respectful
  • Listen actively
  • Be respectful of others view even when you disagree
  • Be collaborative
  • Recognise diversity
  • Respect privacy
  • Ask for consent for photography and audio-visual recordings
  • Be aware of language diversity
  • Handle disagreement constructively
  • Act fairly, honestly, and in good faith

We expect people to treat one another with respect and to acknowledge that everyone can make a valuable contribution. We may not always agree, but the space and conversation must always have openness to positions that may not be aligned or in agreement. Frustration cannot turn into a personal attack. It’s important to remember that a space where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a healthy one. It is our collective responsibility, to ensure that we create a safe, creative, productive and welcoming space that can hold us all.

Harassment and Abuse

The Grove is committed to providing a safe, respectful and harassment-free space for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of or prejudice towards participants in any form.

This code of conduct applies to all Grove spaces, including online spaces. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the Grove or Grove representative.

Everyone is responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments or jokes related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including his or her sex life.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Physical contact without consent* or after a request to stop.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Violence or Threats of violence.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording.
  • Any other unlawful conduct toward others or their property.

The Grove prioritises marginalised people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The Grove reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticising racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behaviour or assumptions

Reporting

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the Grove or a representative.

The Grove reserves the right to exclude people based on their past behaviour, including behaviour outside Grove spaces and behaviour towards people who are not in Grove spaces.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse.

At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety others. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Consequences

Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behaviour, the Grove or a representative may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Grove spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other communities or groups.

The Grove is responsible to contact the police and make a report of unlawful conduct in consultation with any person that is hurt or injured.

Consent

What Consent Looks Like

While the legal definitions of consent may vary by location and circumstance, the general concept is always the same: Consent is an ongoing process of discussing boundaries and what you’re comfortable with. Let’s get specific about how consent plays out in real life.

What is consent?

Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. A verbal and affirmative expression of consent can help both you and your partner to understand and respect each other’s boundaries.

Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious. If someone agrees to an activity under pressure of intimidation or threat, that isn’t considered consent because it was not given freely. Unequal power dynamics, such as engaging in sexual activity with an employee or student, also mean that consent cannot be freely given.

How does consent work?

When you’re engaging in sexual activity, consent is about communication. And it should happen every time for every type of activity. Consenting to one activity, one time, does not mean someone gives consent for other activities or for the same activity on other occasions. For example, agreeing to kiss someone doesn’t give that person permission to remove your clothes. Having sex with someone in the past doesn’t give that person permission to have sex with you again in the future. It’s important to discuss boundaries and expectations with your partner prior to engaging in any sexual behavior.

You can change your mind at any time.

You can withdraw consent at any point if you feel uncomfortable. One way to do this is to clearly communicate to your partner that you are no longer comfortable with this activity and wish to stop. Withdrawing consent can sometimes be challenging or difficult to do verbally, so non-verbal cues can also be used to convey this. The best way to ensure that all parties are comfortable with any sexual activity is to talk about it, check in periodically, and make sure everyone involved consents before escalating or changing activities.

What is enthusiastic consent?

Enthusiastic consent is a newer model for understanding consent that focuses on a positive expression of consent. Simply put, enthusiastic consent means looking for the presence of a “yes” rather than the absence of a “no.” Enthusiastic consent can be expressed verbally or through nonverbal cues, such as positive body language like smiling, maintaining eye contact, and nodding. These cues alone do not necessarily represent consent, but they are additional details that may reflect consent. It is necessary, however, to still seek verbal confirmation. The important part of consent, enthusiastic or otherwise, is checking in with your partner regularly to make sure that they are still on the same page.

Enthusiastic consent can look like this:

    • Asking permission before you change the type or degree of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this OK?”
    • Confirming that there is reciprocal interest before initiating any physical touch.
    • Letting your partner know that you can stop at any time.
    • Periodically checking in with your partner, such as asking “Is this still okay?”
    • Providing positive feedback when you’re comfortable with an activity.
    • Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m open to trying.”
  • Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable taking things to the next level (see note below).

Note: Physiological responses like an erection, lubrication, arousal, or orgasm are involuntary, meaning your body might react one way even when you are not consenting to the activity. Sometimes perpetrators will use the fact that these physiological responses occur to maintain secrecy or minimize a survivor’s experience by using phrases such as, “You know you liked it.” In no way does a physiological response mean that you consented to what happened. If you have been sexually abused or assaulted, it is not your fault.

Consent does NOT look like this:

    • Refusing to acknowledge “no”
    • A partner who is disengaged, nonresponsive, or visibly upset
    • Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting, or kissing is an invitation for anything more
    • Someone being under the legal age of consent, as defined by the state
    • Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol Pressuring someone into sexual activity by using fear or intimidation
  • Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you’ve done it in the past

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Thank you collaborating in creating and sustain a safe and vibrant space for all.

Jacqui, Profth and Darren (the Grove)

Reference
geekfeminismdotorg.wordpress.com/about/code-of-conduct/
rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent