Anti-Harassment Policies at Anime-ZAP!
Our convention has established policies against harassment because we care about our community.
Harassment hurts our fan community. We don't tolerate it.
If it makes someone feel uncomfortable, it's not okay here.
How we understand Harassment
Intentionally making someone uncomfortable will be taken extremely seriously. Accidents, such as accidentally bumping into someone, are not considered harassment. However there are also behaviors that an individual may not be aware are harassing, such as inappropriate flirtation. We take even these behaviors very seriously, because ignorance is not an excuse. Whilst many of unacceptable behaviors would be easily recognizable as unacceptable to the majority of people, some conduct can constitute harassment or bullying even where the person did not intend their behavior to be offensive. The key point is that everyone has the right to decide what behaviour is acceptable to them, and have their feelings respected by others.
Some samples of unacceptable behavior.
Unwanted touching. Physical intimidation. Unwelcome lewd comments, innuendo, or sexual advance. Inappropriate conversation. Threats. Obscene gestures, leering, whistling. Demeaning comments. Unwelcome jokes and language. This is by no means a comprehensive list.
In general we will, whenever possible, remove individuals who we believe cause serious harassment. This can include but is not limited to revoking badges, removal from the premises, or the police being called. We don't want the harassed to feel afraid to report a situation that may only be "mildly annoying" to them, so we will try to tailor our actions appropriately. In very minor cases an individual may be given a warning and allowed to return to events, but this only applies to situations where there was a genuine misunderstanding between the parties that we feel won't be an indicator of future problems.
Most other conventions fail to address harassment before it happens, and instead address it reactively. We work to proactively prevent harassment by using smaller indicators to plan ahead. For example, we will watch people who act "suspiciously" but have not had a complaint filed against them. We require parties to register with our event so we know their location and can monitor them. We may kick out individuals for loud, violent, creepy, or disorderly behavior which may be indicators of future problems.
False reports are a concern of some people as they may happen from time to time. In general we try our best to treat the reports we receive as true unless evidence proves they are not. Individuals who make false reports with the intent of causing harassment will be treated under this policy in the same manner as harassers, however we will never seek punishment on an individual for making a report that was in their perspective honest or genuine. Situations may appear different to different people from the outside, and we would rather the information be reported to us than for it not to be.
We don't want anyone to be afraid of false reports affecting them at our events - and we will do the best we can to thoroughly investigate reports made to us.
How to report harassment
During the convention, please come to or get in contact with our Operations Room. All of our general staff are trained to escort you to report harassment in our operations room. In our operations room we have access to the managerial staff that are able to handle harassment situations.
If an individual fears for their safety, we do encourage them to also contact the police. Our staff may help with this. Reporting incidents to our staff is not the same as filing a police report and does not have the same legal effect or protection that can be offered by the police.