E3: Situations you might encounter
Even though all efforts should be made to ensure that events are safe spaces for contributors to meet, congregate, and collaborate, there may be instances where you may observe situations that may make you or others feel uncomfortable, in a minor or major way. All of these violations can and should be addressed whether they occur against you or whether you observe them occurring against another person. This list is not meant to be exclusive – rare or unusual cases can always come up.
- Minor to moderate safe spaces violations usually consist of inappropriate comments, on-wiki arguments becoming a hostile or heated in-person debate, or inappropriate content that may be displayed in a presentation. These violations, especially, may not always be intentionally designed to upset others, but should nevertheless be addressed if they occur.
- Major safe spaces violations are situations where someone experiences a great deal of stress or feels threatened because of abusive conduct such as targeted harassment, explicit verbal personal attacks, implicit physical or sexual threats, or repeated unwanted actions after an explicit request to stop.
- Locally or globally banned users are not permitted to attend events. If you become aware of one being present at an event, keep in mind that the presence alone of a locally or globally banned user is considered to be a friendly space violation and should be reported to the EOT. Even if you don't feel immediately threatened by the individual, it's very possible that there are concerns outside of your knowledge and/or other attendees who could feel significant concern.
- Critical safety violations such as physical or sexual assault and abuse are extremely rare; however, when such incidents are observed or reported, they must be taken extremely seriously.
- Medical emergencies may also be encountered. Even though a medical emergency may not necessarily be the result of altercations with another person while at the event, it also needs to be treated as a matter of priority by the EOT.
Bear in mind that you, as the event organizer or as a volunteer, are also entitled to feel safe at an event. Incidents involving you should be treated just as seriously. Having a backup investigator to help in such a case is important. We'll talk more about this later in the training.