Protocol for preventing and resolving conflicts involving gender-based violence, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
Resolution of the Board of Governors of 11 April 2018
The purpose of the Protocol for Preventing and Resolving Conflicts Involving Gender-Based Violence, Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia is to define the essential, minimum criteria for managing behaviours perceived as discriminatory, violent or harassing on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression within the context of the management and organization of the administrative or academic unit to which the person or persons targeted by such behaviours belong, whether in the discharge of their professional or educational duties or as a consequence thereof.
The specific purposes are:
a) To prevent the occurrence of discriminatory, violent or sexually harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender amongst the members of the university community.
b) To establish guidelines for detecting behaviours such as those described in section 2 below; investigating them; and, where applicable, initiating the necessary administrative actions to deal with them and determine potential disciplinary liability.
2.1 Based on the definition of the behaviours laid down in Catalan Act 5/2008, of 24 April, on the right of women to eradicate gender-based violence, this protocol will be activated in the event of the occurrence of any of the following forms of gender-based violence, irrespective of whether it occurs a single time or repeatedly:
Physical violence: any action or omission involving the use of force against a woman’s body that results in or risks causing her physical injury or harm.
Psychological violence: any intentional behaviour or omission that undermines or causes suffering in a woman by means of threats, humiliation, degrading treatment, demands of obedience or submission, verbal coercion, insults, isolation or any other constraint placed on her freedom.
Sexual violence and sexual abuse: any act of a sexual nature performed on a woman without her consent, including exhibition, observation and imposition of sexual relations – through violence, intimidation, taking advantage or emotional manipulation – irrespective of whether or not the alleged aggressor has a sentimental relationship with the woman.
Gender-based violence in the social or community sphere includes the following forms:
a) Sexual assault: this consists of the use of physical and sexual violence against women, determined by the premeditated use of sex as a weapon to demonstrate and abuse power.
b) Sexual harassment consists of any unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical behaviour of a sexual nature intended to or having the effect of violating the dignity of a woman or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, offensive or unpleasant environment for her.
Gender-based violence also includes any other analogous form of violence that harms or could harm the dignity, integrity or freedom of women.
It should be noted that behaviours in the form of recriminations, ridicule or insults intended to belittle or disparage a woman are often directed at women as a whole. These sexist behaviours will not be tolerated either.
2.2. Based on the definition of the behaviours laid down in Catalan Act 11/2014, of 10 October, to guarantee the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people and eradicate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, this protocol will also be activated in the event of the occurrence of any of the following forms of LGBTI-phobia, whether it occurs a single time or repeatedly:
Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression: any behaviour based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression intended to or having the effect of violating that person’s dignity or physical or psychological integrity or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, offensive or unpleasant environment for them.
3. Scope of application
3.1. Objective scope of application: any of the behaviours defined in section 2 of this protocol occurring verbally, in person, or by electronic means (e-mail, social media, WhatsApp, etc.).
3.2. Subjective scope of application: the person or persons concerned and the perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour must be members of the university community or, where applicable, employees of one of the university’s external partner companies or contractors. However, in all cases at least one of the people involved in the events must be a member of the university community.
This protocol will likewise apply if it has been less than one year since the person concerned ceased to belong to UPF’s administrative and service staff, teaching and research staff or student body, for whatever reason, provided the perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour continue to belong to the UPF staff or student body and the reported events took place prior to the date on which the person concerned ceased to be linked to the university.
3.3. Territorial scope of application: the behaviour must occur within the scope of the university’s organization and/or its provision of services, i.e. anywhere on campus or at a university facility or anywhere off campus, provided that the behaviour occurs in the context of an activity or service organized by UPF or is linked to a relationship arising from the professional or educational activity of the parties involved.
3.4. In accordance with the obligations regarding the coordination of corporate activities established under Spanish Act 31/1995 and Spanish Royal Decree 171/2004, of 30 January, implementing Article 24 of the aforementioned Act, the university’s external suppliers of works and services will be notified of the existence of this protocol.
Should a conflict arise between members of the university’s staff and staff from an external contractor, the parties will notify each other of the case, so that each one can apply the respective action protocol and take the corrective measures it deems fit.
3.5. UPF staff and students who participate in a mobility programme or agreement are required to comply with the laws of the host country in matters of gender-based violence and homophobia, as well as the rules of the host university or organization with regard to such matters. When a conflict occurs between a UPF staff member or student and a staff member or student from another university, the parties will notify each other of the case, so that each one can apply the respective action protocol and take the corrective and sanctioning measures it deems fit.
4. Bodies responsible for ensuring the protocol
4.1. General bodies
With regard to the implementation of this protocol, the specific obligations for preventive management are distributed amongst the bodies of this university as follows:
The rector, as the highest university authority, is the competent authority to initiate and resolve the relevant administrative proceedings in order to investigate and determine potential disciplinary liability, when there is evidence of sexually discriminatory, violent or harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
- The UPF Committee for Gender-Equality Policies will be informed of the actions taken to monitor and control any proceedings initiated in relation to such behaviours.
4.2. Specific bodies
- The Equality Unit will manage the receipt of complaints; it will assist, inform and interview the complainant or complainants; it will issue a preliminary assessment report of the reported events and will collaborate on the implementation of the preventive measures provided for in this protocol.
- The Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia, as the body responsible for conducting any preliminary investigations that may be opened, will investigate all cases in which there is evidence of possible violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviour. It will moreover monitor the implementation of corrective measures and the effectiveness thereof.
- The Office of the Deputy General Manager of the Human Resources and Organization Area will proceed in accordance with the resolution issued by the rector, based on the conclusions and recommendations of the Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia, and will ensure that the corrective measures are applied, together with the Equality Unit, upon conclusion of the intervention.
- The personnel management sections of the Human Resources and Organization Area will provide any information they may have in the context of the investigative actions carried out by the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts.
- The Development Section of the Human Resources and Organization Area and the Center for Learning Innovation and Knowledge( CLIK) will take the appropriate measures to include specific training programmes on preventing, detecting and responding to violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviours in the training plans for administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff.
- All other university bodies, offices and managers will:
- Work to reduce and eliminate risk factors conducive to the occurrence of discriminatory, violent or harassing situations and other psychosocial risks.
- Be familiar with this protocol, enforce it and detect any needs to update or improve it.
- Ensure that employees are properly informed about their rights, as well as about the content of this protocol and of all related occupational hazard prevention and disciplinary regime regulations.
- Encourage the initiation of the procedure established in section 7 below when there is evidence of the possible existence of the covered behaviours, collaborating on the implementation thereof when activation of the protocol affects staff from their respective unit.
- Take, where necessary, any corrective or preventive measures that can be applied and are recommended by the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts with a view to resolving the conflict and/or preventing the occurrence of new cases.
- The remaining staff will be aware of and comply with this protocol and notify middle management of any shortcomings they may detect in its application.
4.3. Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia
4.3.1. The Committee will consist of:
- The vice-rector responsible for equality matters, or the person to whom he or she may delegate this task, who will chair the Committee;
- A person employed by UPF, specialized in the prevention and treatment of situations of violence, appointed by the Committee on Gender-Equality Policies;
- A student representative from the university’s representative bodies, to be appointed by the Student Council, when one of the parties to the conflict is a member of the student body;
- A representative of the teaching and research and/or administrative and service staff, who is also a prevention officer, to be appointed by the Committee on Gender-Equality Policies, when one of the parties to the conflict is a member of either of these two groups; and
- An officer from the UPF Equality Unit, who will act as secretary of the Committee.
- The head of the UPF Equality Unit will participate in an advisory, non-voting capacity, except when he or she chairs the Committee by delegation of the vice-rector responsible for equality matters. Substitutes will be proposed simultaneously to the appointment of the officers. They will be appointed by the rector and the term of the appointment will be four years (two in the case of students), unless they cease to belong to the group they represent, in which case the vacancy will be covered by the corresponding substitute. Should the substitute also cease to be a member of the corresponding group, he or she will immediately be replaced. The appointments may be renewed through consecutive appointments.
The members of the Committee may seek the advice of external or internal third-party specialists in the specific subject matter of each case. These parties may participate in the discussions but will not be entitled to vote.
The members of the Committee will guarantee the confidentiality of the data and information obtained throughout the process.
4.3.2. The Committee’s procedures will be governed by the regulatory provisions of the legal framework for collective bodies under Catalan Act 26/2010, of 3 August, on the legal framework and procedure for Catalan public administrations.
5. Action procedure in the event of sexually violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression
5.1. Stages of the plan
In the event of the detection or reporting of a possible violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviour on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression between employees and/or students, the objective facts will be examined in order to determine whether they meet the necessary requirements to initiate an inquiry. To this end, the process will consist of the following three stages:
- Initiation of the process.
- Conducting of the proceedings.
- Resolution of the proceedings.
5.2. First stage: initiation of the process
5.2.1. This part of the process will be initiated ex officio:
- At the rector’s own initiative.
- In response to a reasoned request by another body.
- As a result of the filing of a complaint by the person concerned or any member of the university community or third party with direct or indirect knowledge of the behaviour.
5.2.2. When a person believes that there is possible evidence of any of the behaviours provided for under section 2 above, he or she may file a complaint in writing or orally.
- Orally, the complaint must be filed with the Equality Unit. The officer from that unit will issue a record of the meeting, including the place and date, the name and surnames of the complainant, the allegations, the issuing authority, and the signatures of those present.
- In writing, the complaint, addressed to the Equality Unit, may be filed at any of the university’s General Register offices. It may also be filed at those places listed in the applicable regulations of the common administrative procedure.
If the complaint is filed with any other authority or academic or administrative service or unit (Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia, Committee on Gender-Equality Policies, Human Resources Area, academic coordination units, academic management units, student information desks (PIEs), University Community Assistance Service (SACU), etc.), it will be forwarded to the Equality Unit.
The complaint must include, at least: the identity of the claimant, including his or her name, surnames and ID document (Spanish ID card (DNI) or passport); the identity of the perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour, including their name, surnames and position; and a detailed description of the situation the party or parties concerned are experiencing and the specific actions of which they have been the recipient, as well as any evidence the parties concerned may have, where applicable; the date the written complaint was filed; and the filer’s signature. The facts must be stated in list form with well-established dates and places, making the offensive content and the witness statements clear.
The Equality Unit will make a standardized form available to concerned parties, which will be posted on its website.
5.2.3. Within a maximum period of five working days from the time the complaint is filed with the Equality Unit, an officer will interview the complainant in a suitable location to ensure the necessary confidentiality.
Over the course of the interview, the reported information will be confirmed or expanded upon. To this end, where applicable, technical tools of proven effectiveness may be used. Additionally, the complainant or complainants will be provided with the necessary advice and guidance.
5.2.4. Upon conclusion of the interview, the officer who conducted it will inform the person concerned of the various possibilities going forward:
- If no clear evidence is found of any of the violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviours provided for in section 2 above, or if the reported behaviour does not fall within the scope of this protocol, the officer will inform the complainant of the complaint’s lack of viability. Nevertheless, the officer will also inform the complainant of the advisory and support services available at the University.
- If evidence of any of the violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviours provided for in section 2 above is found, but it is in an early stage and could feasibly be corrected, as long as the behaviour is not constitutive of any kind of gender-based violence, the officer will inform the complainant of the possibility of referring the conflict to a mediator agreed to by both parties.
For the purposes of this protocol, mediation is understood to mean the application of a voluntary and confidential non-judicial procedure aimed at facilitating communication between the parties and overcoming the emotional component of the relationship in order to enable them to find their own solution for the conflicts in which they are involved. This is achieved with the assistance of a mediator who discharges his or her duties with impartiality and neutrality, ensuring the equality of the parties. The process makes it possible to reach creative and certain solutions, based on the mutual agreement of the parties. The different bodies and administrative units intervening in the application of this procedure will preferably assign the role of mediator to the UPF Ombudsperson, provided both parties so agree.
- If possible evidence is found of one of the violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviours provided for in section 2 above but a preliminary investigation is required to better understand the specific circumstances of the case, the officer will inform the complainant of the possibility of the opening by the rector of a preliminary investigation, in order to verify the facts and, depending on the conclusions reached, decide on the actions to be taken.
- If sufficient evidence is found of potential disciplinary liability, the officer will inform the complainant of the possibility of the initiation by the rector of disciplinary proceedings, by virtue of his or her disciplinary authority.
5.2.5. Within a maximum period of five working days from the date of the interview, the officer specialized in ergonomics and applied psychosociology from the Equality Unit and the prevention officer will issue a preliminary technical assessment report on the nature and scope of the reported behaviours.
5.2.6. If, according to the technical report, the behaviour can be corrected through mediation, the head of the Equality Unit will contact the complainant. Only if the complainant agrees to this system will the head of the Office contact the person reported, for the sole purpose of informing both parties of the facts examined to date and of proposing mediation as a system for going forward with the processing of the complaint.
If the parties concerned freely agree to the proposed mediation, the head of the Equality Unit will submit the technical report to the Permanent Investigative Committee on Conflicts and notify it of the parties’ agreement.
Should this recommendation be agreed to, within a maximum period of ten working days, the Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia will issue a resolution providing for the use of mediation as the means for settling the conflict and will appoint a mediator, offering such technical and administrative support as may be required for the proper discharge of his or her duties. The mediator will initiate those actions that he or she judges may help the two parties reach an agreed solution for the reported behaviours, in accordance with the criteria of dispatch, objectivity and impartiality.
Should the parties not agree to this alternative conflict resolution system, the possibility of initiating the relevant administrative proceedings, where applicable, will be studied.
5.2.7. If, according to the technical report, sufficient evidence is found to make it advisable to open a preliminary investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings, the head of the Equality Unit will submit the technical report to the rector so that, based on the report, he or she may decide whether to open a preliminary investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings.
The rector must issue this decision within a period of ten working days, and it must be communicated to the complainant or complainants.
The decision to open a preliminary investigation or initiate disciplinary proceedings must, in all cases, also be communicated to the person or persons who were reported, who will be apprised of the facts for the first time at that moment and who may exercise the rights inherent to their status as parties to an administrative proceeding.
5.2.8. When applicable and advisable on grounds of urgency, in the decision to open a preliminary investigation or initiate proceedings, the rector may prescribe such corrective or protective precautionary measures regarding the parties concerned as he or she deems fit. These measures may also be adopted over the course of the investigation or proceedings. In all cases, the decision must be well-reasoned and must be communicated to all of the parties involved.
Any measures taken must make it possible to separate or prevent contact and/or academic and/or organizational dependency between the person or persons concerned and the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators, as well as enable support for the person or persons concerned.
The precautionary measures taken shall not at any time prejudice the final outcome of the proceedings.
No provisional measures may be taken that could cause harm that is difficult to remedy or irreparable to the interested parties or violate their rights.
The precautionary measures may be lifted or modified during the proceedings, in light of the emergence of new circumstances or of circumstances that were not taken into account at the time the measures were adopted.
At all times, these measures will be lifted as soon as the decision terminating the proceedings takes effect.
5.3. Second stage: conducting of the proceedings
5.3.1. Disciplinary proceedings
Should the rector decide to initiate disciplinary proceedings directly, the proceedings will be governed by the applicable current regulatory provisions on disciplinary matters. In that case, this protocol will cease to apply, with the exception of any necessary preventive measures, in accordance with current regulations governing the Equality Unit
5.3.2. Preliminary investigation
22.214.171.124. Should the rector decide to open a period of preliminary investigation, the resolution opening the investigation will name the Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia as the authority responsible for conducting the investigation.
126.96.36.199. The Committee will meet within a maximum period of five working days from the time it is notified of the opening of the preliminary investigation and will appoint one of its members to conduct the actions required for the investigation, reporting to the Committee in the established terms. This person may seek the assistance of internal and/or external advisors.
188.8.131.52. Notwithstanding the rights of the interested parties to propose such actions as they may deem appropriate, the member appointed by the Committee to conduct the investigation will decide ex officio which investigative actions he or she feels are necessary to determine the circumstances of the specific case and will carry out the appropriate verifications and inquiries.
As an initial step, he or she will call in the person or persons concerned and the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the violent, discriminatory or harassing behaviour triggering the application of this protocol to give statements. He or she will call them in on different days and at different times and in a suitable location to ensure the necessary confidentiality so as to allow them to give their version of the reported events and provide any proof and/or evidence they may have to support it.
Once they have made their statements, he or she may decide to gather any other evidence he or she considers relevant, whether witness statements or documentary evidence, to check and clarify the events.
Likewise, he or she will proceed to seek any information that might make it possible to verify the evidence based on observable facts, and not opinions, that other concerned parties, witnesses or managers of the unit or units involved might be able to provide, in addition to that which the person or persons involved in the events might be able to provide at any time.
All members of the university community are required to cooperate with the investigating body and to provide such information as may be requested during the preliminary investigation process.
184.108.40.206. By way of example, the investigative actions may include:
- The conducting of structured personal interviews to verify information on aspects related to task execution (definition of duties, effective discharge of duties, excess or shortage of tasks, employee awareness of duties, training or capacity of employees to perform duties) and to the conflict (possible verification of the existence of behaviours, other people’s versions, explanations and assessments of the behaviours, victims of the behaviours, other current or previous conflicts).
- The conducting of interviews with direct superiors, peers and subordinates of the person or persons concerned or of the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour, with employees from other units or sections, and with such people as might be proposed by the person or persons concerned or the alleged perpetrator or perpetrators of the behaviour.
The information thus obtained will be used in the final assessment of the case. To this end, at the start of each interview, the interviewee will be informed of the use to which the information provided may be put.
- Where necessary, different external experts may participate in the process. These experts may include a specialist in gender-based violence or homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, a psychologist specialized in the treatment of these situations, or any other type of specialist in the nature or scope of the reported behaviour or behaviours, who will determine the origin of the conflict and will assess the potential psychological effects. To this end, he or she will confirm the data obtained from the party concerned by means of a structured interview and any other instruments the specialist might consider necessary.
The external experts will prepare confidential overview reports, which they will submit to the investigating body for safekeeping.
220.127.116.11. Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia will promote the preliminary investigation stage to ensure that it is conducted as fast as possible, in keeping with the specific characteristics of the facts.
18.104.22.168. Once the records of the preliminary investigation have been concluded, the Committee will submit a report on its conclusions to the rector, containing, at least, the following points:
- A list of the names of the Committee members issuing the report and the identity of the person who conducted the proceedings and of the parties involved.
- Background: complaint, where applicable, and attendant circumstances.
- Record of the preliminary investigation: witness statements, evidence and reports obtained in the framework of the preliminary investigation.
- Conclusions and proposed measures, in coordination with the units and organizations involved in the management and treatment of the victims.
5.4. Third stage: resolution of the proceedings
5.4.1. In consideration of the report on the conclusions of the Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia, the rector will issue a well-reasoned decision.
5.4.2. The maximum period for reaching and communicating the decision regarding the preliminary investigation may not be more than two months from the date on which the investigation was opened.
5.4.3. The decision must necessarily be one of the following:
a) When the alleged perpetrator of the behaviour is a member of the administrative and service staff or of the teaching and research staff.
- Closing of the investigation, due to a lack of sufficient evidence to prove the existence of the behaviour or when the complaint is manifestly false.
- Mediation between the parties involved to resolve the conflict, provided the behaviour does not constitute a crime or misdemeanour and that both of the parties involved have so agreed. This decision is not applicable in the case of behaviours involving gender-based violence.
- Initiation of disciplinary proceedings, when evidence is found of the existence of inappropriate behaviour subject to disciplinary sanction.
In order to prevent unnecessary duplications and to strengthen the notion of dispatch as a guiding principle, the actions conducted previously as part of the preliminary investigation will be included in the disciplinary proceedings for consideration by the person conducting them within the framework of said proceedings. This person may perform the necessary verifications to accredit the circumstances highlighted in the preliminary investigation, verifying, where appropriate, the content of the undertaken actions and proceeding to their definitive inclusion in the disciplinary proceedings. Should it be deemed necessary to repeat any of the actions, well-reasoned grounds for this decision must be provided.
b) When the alleged perpetrator of the behaviour is employed by one of UPF’s external partner companies or contractors or by a university with which UPF has signed an agreement:
- Communication of the facts to the alleged perpetrator’s external employer, so that it can take the corresponding measures within the sphere of its organization.
- Communication to the UPF unit responsible for managing the partnership or contract, so that, where necessary, it can propose the relevant measures with regard to the contract or partnership agreement with the external company or the corresponding university.
If facts or actions are determined to exist that could constitute a crime or misdemeanour, the case will be forwarded to the Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office.
6. Monitoring and control of developments in the case
6.1. The Equality Unit will monitor the developments in the case from the filing of the initial complaint to the final resolution and will provide, where necessary, personalized support and rehabilitation for the parties concerned.
It will likewise try to prevent potentially hostile situations in the workplace environment, especially in cases of a return to work following a leave related to these circumstances.
6.2. The Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia will monitor developments in the case once the proceedings have been concluded and, to this end, will verify the absence of the behaviour that provided the grounds for opening the preliminary investigation or initiating the disciplinary proceedings and, where applicable, will evaluate the suitability of the adopted measures. It will interview the parties involved in the events every three month, calculated from the date of the resolution of the rector that terminated the proceedings, for at least one year, and it will issue a report on its conclusions, which it will submit to the Committee on Gender-Equality Policies, in cases of sexual harassment, gender-based harassment or harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.
6.3. The Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia will annually review all the preliminary investigations opened and disciplinary proceedings initiated as a result of the behaviours covered under this protocol with a view to properly monitoring them and, if necessary, will propose the adoption of the appropriate preventive and corrective measures.
7. Procedural principles and guarantees
7.1. Respect and protection. The necessary discretion will be exercised to protect the privacy and dignity of the parties concerned. The actions and proceedings will be conducted with the utmost respect for all parties involved. All parties participating in this protocol will be informed of its content and the victim must always consent to its application.
7.2. Confidentiality. The information generated and provided as a result of the actions for the proceedings established in section 5 below will be confidential and will only be accessible to the staff directly responsible for processing it. Therefore, the confidentiality of complaints is guaranteed. The dissemination of documents related to any submitted query or complaint is prohibited.
Only the parties involved in the events, in their capacity as interested parties, will have access to the documents included in a given case. Exceptionally, information may be provided to the corresponding legal authorities, when so requested in the context of legal proceedings being conducted in relation to the same events. When the requested information is a police report, it may only be provided when the request is made in the exercise of the duties of the judiciary police.
All persons participating in any of the actions for the proceedings established in section 7 below, whether as one of the parties to them, a Committee member, or in any other capacity, have the obligation not to disclose any information to which they may have access as a result thereof. The complainant must act in accordance with the requirements of good faith.
7.3. Diligence and dispatch. The information-gathering process will be conducted as quickly as possible and with the utmost sensitivity and respect for the rights of all parties concerned. The investigation and resolution of the conflict will be carried out with professionalism and diligence and without undue delays, so that the proceedings can be concluded in the shortest time possible, notwithstanding the guarantees. The information obtained in the proceedings provided for in this protocol must be included, where applicable, in any administrative proceedings initiated by the corresponding authority.
In any case, the maximum period to complete the actions provided for in this protocol may not exceed three months from the start of the proceedings as set out in section 7.2.1 below, except in cases that, due to their special complexity, require more time.
7.4. Hearing, impartiality and contradiction. The proceedings must ensure the hearing, fair treatment and defence of all parties involved, who may be accompanied by the person of their choice, including a trade union representative or legal counsel, should they so request.
7.5. Protection of the dignity of the concerned parties. The university will take appropriate measures to safeguard the right to the protection of the dignity of the concerned parties, including the victim of the alleged harassment and the alleged harasser, providing them with support in the various stages of the proceedings.
7.6. Protection from possible reprisals. Measures will be taken to ensure that no reprisals are undertaken against anyone who files a complaint, testifies as a witness, or participates in an investigation into behaviours such as those described herein, except in cases in which they have acted in bad faith, which may result in disciplinary liability.
7.7. Non-duplication of proceedings. The initiation of disciplinary proceedings or opening of a preliminary investigation at UPF is entirely independent of any legal actions the person concerned may wish to undertake in court and of any cooperation that may be requested in the context of a judicial investigation.
When the same events are the subject of criminal proceedings, the rector will suspend the disciplinary proceedings or preliminary investigation, pending the final court decision in the criminal proceedings. Findings of fact in criminal proceedings will be binding in the resolution of the administrative proceedings.
The actions for the proceedings established in section 7 below will likewise be suspended when other administrative proceedings have been initiated in relation to the same events and such proceedings have not yet been resolved.
8. Preventive measures
The University will promote prevention, information, training, detection and awareness-raising actions with regard to gender-based violence, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia with a view to eradicating these types of behaviours from the university environment completely and helping to raise awareness amongst the university community. These measures will be taken within the UPF Equality Plan and will be promoted by the Equality Unit, with the collaboration of the university’s other units and services.
To this end, the following measures are proposed:
8.1. Development of a communication plan to ensure that all members of the university community are aware of this protocol, providing them with translations in all of UPF’s official languages. The plan will be disseminated through the following channels:
a) The University’s website.
b) The websites of the Equality Unit and of the Technical Office for Occupational Hazard Prevention.
c) Intranet and mailing lists.
d) Internal University newsletters (Breus UPF and FUÀ!).
e) Onboarding handbooks and administrative and service staff and teaching and research staff guides.
f) Student folder.
g) Union sections.
8.2. Develop and disseminate codes of both good professional practices (both for teaching and research staff and for administrative and service staff) and good academic practices (for students).
8.3. Conducting of regular information and awareness-raising campaigns, aimed at the entire university community:
- Preparation of informative documents on preventive actions, the Code of Conduct, rights and duties, responsibilities, and the effects of breach of the Protocol.
- Organization of annual conferences and campaigns.
- Dissemination of tools that might be used as guides for recording specific instances of the alleged conduct.
8.4. Implementation of specific training programmes within the training plans for the university community’s various groups.
a) Development of a programme of specific courses and seminars for the university community’s various groups with content related to gender equality, sexual diversity and non-discrimination.
b) Scheduling of specific courses on preventing, detecting and responding to discriminatory, violent or sexually harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression for all persons responsible for management or team leadership tasks, including both teaching and research staff and administrative and service staff, as well as for the members of the Student Council and the university’s student associations.
c) Provision of specific tools for preventing, detecting and responding to discriminatory, violent or sexually harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression to all persons who join the university, whether as administrative and service staff or teaching and research staff, as well as inclusion of specific content on this matter in the Introduction to the University Course.
d) Scheduling of specific courses on preventing, detecting and responding to discriminatory, violent or sexually harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression for all employee representatives.
8.5. Implementation of a specific training programme for the members of the Permanent Committee against Gender-based Violence and LGBTI-phobia with content related to gender, gender equality, sexual diversity and non-discrimination on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
8.6. Conducting of studies to determine the incidence of situations or discriminatory, violent or sexually harassing behaviours on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression at the university and the characteristics thereof, as well as to look for identifiers of such problems and analyse their impact on people’s health and well-being and on organizational efficiency.
8.7. Preparation and publication of reports on the number of interventions and the consequences thereof. Specifically, an internal database will be created reflecting, anonymously and without references to personal information, all information requests, complaints, actions and resolutions.
9. Support measures for people in situations of sexual violence on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
9.1. The Equality Unit is the university unit responsible for providing the concerned parties with access to different support services, including psychological counselling. These services will be offered to the entire university community, whether or not a complaint has been filed or the procedure provided for in section 5 of this protocol has been activated.
9.2. The Equality Unit will provide information about potentially useful social and support resources to the offended, assaulted or harassed person.
9.3. Likewise, the university will provide information about the rights of women in situations of domestic or family violence and their dependent children under current law.