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What to do?

The UvA regards all forms of sexual intimidation, bullying, aggression, stalking, violence and discrimination as unacceptable. Nevertheless, you may be confronted with this behaviour during your employment or studies.

What should you do?

  • As a first step, try to resolve the situation yourself, possibly with the help of a fellow student, colleague or supervisor.
  • You should also contact a confidential adviser for undesirable behaviour, who can record your complaint and help you find a solution where necessary. A confidential adviser for undesirable behaviour can also provide support during a complaints procedure.

Whatever happens, it is important that you do not just keep the situation to yourself as this will not resolve anything. Talk to others about the problem, visit the contact person within your faculty or executive services unit, or report your complaint to the UvA confidential adviser.

It is always a good idea to report the problem!

Complaints reporting and handling procedure

Complaints regarding sexual intimidation, bullying, aggression, violence, stalking and discrimination can be handled in different ways. No two complaints are the same and there is therefore no standard way of dealing with them. The person experiencing the undesirable behaviour will help not only to identify possible solutions but also to determine how the complaint will be handled. No action will be taken without the express consent of the complainant, and he or she can stop the process at any time.

Informal complaint

An informal complaint is a complaint reported to the UvA confidential adviser or a faculty contact person but not the Executive Board. Please note that confidential advisers are neither entitled to investigate nor responsible for investigating the validity of complaints. This is the task of the Complaints Committee.

Informal complaints may be dealt with in the following ways:

  • discussion with a confidential adviser
  • discussion about how to stop the undesirable behaviour
  • addressing the person who has displayed intimidating behaviour about this verbally or in writing or arranging for someone else to do this
  • seeking the help of an intermediary
  • a mediation meeting

Formal complaint

A formal complaint is a complaint submitted to the Executive Board in writing. The Executive Board cannot instruct the Complaints Committee to carry out an investigation until the complaint is received. If necessary, the Executive Board will ask the Committee for advice on the measures to be taken and any sanctions to be imposed.

The proposed sanctions will of course depend on the nature and severity of the intimidation. For staff, sanctions will be based on Chapter 11 of the CAO NU (Section 1), which states that dismissal is the most severe sanction the Complaints Committee can recommend. For students, denial of access to education or to educational services is the most severe sanction the Committee can recommend to the Executive Board.