FantasyCon is dedicated to providing a safe and comfortable convention experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, ability, physical appearance, body size, actual or perceived race, national origin, family, marital status, socioeconomic class or religion. In order to offer a welcoming and safe space for everyone, we require participants to be respectful of all others and their space, be it physical or social. We’ve implemented an anti-harassment policy in response to reports of harassment at conventions and in order to meet our goal.
Harassment includes (but is not limited to):
- Offensive verbal comments about gender, sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size, race or religion.
- Racist behaviour
- Showing sexual images in public spaces. Discussions or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language or similar is permitted if it meets all of the following criteria: organisers have specifically granted permission; it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists; it is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards women and LGBTQIAH people; and attendees are warned in advance in the programme and respectfully given ample warning and opportunity to leave beforehand. This exception does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices (such as clothing or costumes in the dealers’ room) or unnecessary presentation or panel examples.
- Intimidation, stalking or following.
- Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
- Uninvited physical contact and/ or uninvited sexual attention.
Participants must not engage in harassment at any convention venue or convention-related social event at any time. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. This includes not only anyone involved in the incident, but any onlookers contributing to the disruption. As a general rule, practicing common sense in physical and social interactions with strangers will ensure everyone has a comfortable convention experience.
This policy encompasses everyone involved with the convention. This includes all participants, staff, hosts, guests of honour, exhibitors or anyone present at the convention at that person’s request. Paying membership at the convention is not required to be subject to the policy.
What should I do if I am being harassed?
In some cases you may find the harassment stops if you clearly say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply walk away. We would appreciate it if a volunteer was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders.
If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please contact a convention volunteer immediately. The volunteers will help participants contact venue security or law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe during the con. The first convention volunteer or organiser you report to will take whatever steps they can to assist you in feeling safe, and will put you in contact with or bring you to an appropriate senior staff member. We value your attendance.
You do not have to give us details of the harassment, and can choose whether or not to take a formal report. If you wish to report, we will take details of the harassment and work with you to respond to the issue in a way that assists you in feeling safe and maintains the safety of the wider convention environment, as well as enforcing our anti-harassment policy. If you report a serious criminal matter, please be aware that we may be obliged to contact the police. We would however take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.
If you would like to discuss the harassment without making a report, we will help you meet with the designated on-call senior staff member. Please bear in mind that this is for informal emotional support only; our volunteers don’t have counselling training, and we can’t promise confidentiality. You can access this service by contacting any convention volunteer.
Our convention volunteers are called Redcloaks, and can be easily identified by their red hi-vis vests. Any one of them can be your first point of contact. The volunteer may need to involve a more senior staff member to assist with your issue.
Senior staff reserve the right to take any action they deem appropriate, including: issuing the offender with a warning if, in the determination of senior staff and/or the person reporting the incident, the incident is considered accidental or minor; making an internal note of the incident to document repeat offending; making a formal report of the incident available to volunteers, senior staff or all convention participants at the discretion of senior staff; contacting hotel security; contacting law enforcement; removing the offender from the convention with no refund; and reporting the offender’s behaviour to other convention or regulatory organisations.
In order to make FantasyCon a safe event, be aware of this harassment policy, of using non-oppressive language, and of boundaries. Back up others: if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they’re okay.
A note on photography.
Photographing and recording events are a natural and historic element of science fiction and fantasy conventions. Photographers will check with individuals before they take an image but it is inevitable that other people will feature in the background. With the best will in the world, it is something than cannot be avoided.