Anti-Harassment Policy

Nine Worlds is dedicated to providing a great convention experience for everyone, regardless of race, gender (including trans status), sexuality, disability, physical appearance, body size or religion. For this reason, we will not tolerate any form of harassment of convention participants. Con participants found to be engaging in harassment may be sanctioned or expelled from the con without refund.

What is harassment?

Harassment includes:

  • offensive verbal comments about race, gender (including trans status), sexuality, impairment, physical appearance, body size or religion.
  • showing sexual images in public spaces. Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language or similar is welcome if it meets all of the following criteria:
    (a) organisers have specifically granted permission in writing;
    (b) it is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists;
    (c) it is presented in a respectful manner, especially towards women and LGBTQIA people; and
    (d) 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 or unnecessary examples.
  • intimidation (both verbal and physical).
  • photographing or recording someone without their permission.
  • distributing photographs or recordings of someone without their permission.
  • sustained disruption of talks or other events.
  • uninvited physical contact.
  • uninvited sexual attention.

Participants asked to stop harassing behaviour must comply immediately.

Participants must not engage in harassment at any convention venues or convention-related social event, including Nine Worlds online spaces.

What should I do if I am being harassed?

If you feel comfortable doing so, say ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’, or simply walk away. Even if the harassment stops at this point, we would appreciate it if a volunteer was still informed to help us identify any repeat offenders. If you do not feel comfortable interacting with the person harassing you, please contact a Nine Worlds volunteer for help.

If you continue to be harassed or notice someone else being harassed, please contact a convention volunteer immediately. Con 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 staff member.

You do not have to give us details of the harassment, and can choose whether or not to report, either to us or the police. 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, and make you aware before any contact with the police was made.

If you would like to discuss the harassment without making a report, we also offer a listening service staffed by volunteers. 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 the listening service by asking at the Info Desk for an on-call volunteer.

Anti-racism statement

Like society in general, racism permeates geek culture and geek spaces, making them less welcoming and safe for non-white people. At Nine Worlds we want to prioritise the voices of people who are often spoken over or erased in geek spaces, and make Nine Worlds as accessible as we can for people from racial backgrounds that are marginalised and subject to racism. Harassment and racist behaviour non-white attendees of geek events talk about experiencing, which do not affect white attendees include:

  • hearing overtly racist discussions or comments by other attendees.
  • white people critiquing their cosplay costumes without being asked, or trying to dictate which characters a person of colour can cosplay.
  • being expected to be an authority on non-white characters in various shows or comics, without having mentioned an interest in the character or show in question.
  • being talked down to or assumed to be less knowledgeable about topics being discussed, including having professional or academic credentials questioned.
  • being assumed not to belong in convention space and being overly challenged on their right to be there by both white attendees and security/police.
  • experiencing unwanted touching, exotification or verbal comments about their bodies or heritage that are specifically racialised.

These sorts of behaviour and harassment against people of colour / non-white attendees will absolutely not be tolerated. If you are affected by racist harassment during the convention, please contact a volunteer, who will assist you in handling the situation. You do not have to give details of the harassment unless you want to, although if a serious incident has occured, we may be legally required to contact the police. We would make you aware before any contact with the police was made and take into account any concerns you may have around involving them.

Why does Nine Worlds need an anti-harassment policy?

We’ve implemented an anti-harassment policy in response to widespread reports of harassment in geek communities and at conventions. Read more about why action on harassment at geek conventions is necessary.

How can I help make Nine Worlds safer?

  • Join our volunteers!
  • Be aware of this anti-harassment policy, of using non-oppressive language, and of folks' boundaries.
  • Back up others – if you see someone being harassed or appearing uncomfortable, ask if they’re okay. If you do not feel safe intervening, contact a Nine Worlds volunteer to help instead.

This anti-harassment policy is based on an example from the Geek Feminism wiki, and the anti-racism statement came from examples via Race Revolt.

We also have an exclusion policy, detailing how we deal with reports and requests for exclusions both before and during the convention.