Sexual harassment and sexualized violence
Table of Contents
No area of society and no working environment is free from sexual harassment and sexualized violence. Of course, this includes the science system, which is very much characterized by hierarchical and interdependent structures.
The importance of protection against undesired behaviour of a sexual nature is also emphasized in a study by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (In German, Factsheet of the study in English):
- 62 % of the respondents experienced harassment in the form of sexualized comments,
- 44 % reported unwanted looks, gestures, or whistles; and
- 26 % reported unwanted touches.
Protection obligation of the employer
As an employer, Forschungszentrum Jülich has the obligation to protect its employees:
- Taking preventive measures to create a safe working environment and informing employees about legal protection against harassment (prevention and information obligation)
- Establishing a complaints office in accordance with Section 13 AGG where employees can file a complaint if they have experienced a form of discrimination or harassment
- Acting promptly by taking complaints seriously and reviewing them, and ensuring that harassment cannot happen again in the future
Furthermore, Forschungszentrum Jülich emphasizes in its Mission Statement that it regards the creativity and motivation of Jülich’s employees as its greatest asset. Motivation and creativity only flourish where people can feel safe and know that they are protected from discrimination and violence. This requires a culture of taking notice and speaking out – a corporate culture with zero tolerance for discrimination, sexism, sexual harassment, or violence.
Measures, offers, and activities
Forschungszentrum Jülich offers various points of contact with different functions for affected persons. Employees can obtain advice and support regarding the topic or learn about legal steps.
The Equal Opportunities Bureau regularly participates in campaigns and organises events to draw attention to the relevance of the topic. Furthermore, the training programme of the Human Resources Development Division offers seminars and trainings for employees, which are intended to both educate and strengthen them in dealing with the topic. The offer is diverse and includes special training for points of contact as well as training for executives on different work levels.
‘Orange Your City’ day of action
On 25 November, the annual UN Women’s day of action ‘Orange Your City’ takes place. On this day, cities and institutions around the world send visible signals against violence against women. In 2021, Forschungszentrum Jülich participated for the first time by bathing the Seecasino and the Central Library building in orange light.
Forschungszentrum Jülich has successfully applied to participate in the EU-funded UniSAFE project. UniSAFE, together with 45 science organizations across Europe, creates a database for research into sexualized violence and develops corresponding preventive measures.
Further information on the project
Leitung Büro für Chancengleichheit (BfC) Head of Equal Opportunities Bureau (BfC)
- Equal Opportunities Bureau (BfC)