Anti-Harassment Policy

The BSLS is committed to creating an hospitable setting for scholarly discourse, and a culture of kindness where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. This includes providing an environment free from bullying and harassment. Our antiharassment policy applies to all events and meetings held under the auspices of the BSLS and to all participants, regardless of individuals’ membership status. It applies to events held in-person, remotely, or in hybrid formats. It also applies to activities such as email, letter, or social media posts.


Harassment is unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, where that conduct violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person, even if this effect was not intended by the person responsible for the conduct. Harassment can include, but is not limited to: verbal harassment, threats, intimidation; using offensive spoken, written, visual, or bodily language related to, but not limited to protected characteristics; sexual misconduct, unwanted sexual attention, inappropriate physical contact including, but not limited to non-consensual touching with any part of the body or an object; stalking, unwanted online communication, and the creation of new accounts to harass persons encountered through BSLS events and meetings; and physical or verbal abuse and bullying. (Protected characteristics are: sex, gender reassignment, race (which includes colour, nationality, and ethnic or national origins), disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and age.) Bullying or harassment need not be limited to protected characteristics to be opposed by the BSLS.


This requirement for a hospitable environment does not infringe upon scholarly engagement with potentially offensive material or with discriminatory language or practices. However, such engagement must be proportionate and relevant, and the tone and language of the presentation should be conducted with care to avoid harm to the audience.


Someone who experiences or witnesses harassment might feel able to raise the matter with the person who is creating the problem. In this case an informal discussion might help the person to understand the effect of their behaviour and change it. In other instances, persons who experience or witness harassment should seek out any members of the BSLS executive committee or the organiser(s) of the event, and they will deal with the matter in consultation with the Chair. Contact information is available on the BSLS website ( and/or the event webpage. The executive committee and event organiser(s) will listen and take your concerns seriously with every effort at confidentiality.


Harassment will not be tolerated at the BSLS. The BSLS Chair and/or the lead organiser(s) of the event may impose any sanction they deem appropriate to deal with harassment, ranging from a warning to expulsion without refund from an event, or future bans on attendance at BSLS events and/or membership of the organisation.


If you have a question about this policy please raise it with the Chair.