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(Last updated: 22/10/2020)
If you have experienced or witnessed sexualized harassment, discrimination, or violence, or you need more information about this issue, then you should reach out and seek support from a professional or institution specialized in this area. We are here to help you find a way out of a situation of sexualized harassment, discrimination, or violence in a way that works for you. You can start by getting in contact with a counselor over the phone, via online chat, or by email during our office hours to arrange a follow-up, more extensive consultation. Feel free to get in touch with the Office of the Standing Working Group on Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence or another counseling point. People of all genders and sexual orientations are welcome at the Office of the Standing Working Group on Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence. There are many counseling centers within and outside of Freie Universität Berlin that offer support to people of all genders, not to mention specialized counseling points for women, men, transgender people, and people with different sexual orientations.
Confidential Counseling Services
You can get in contact with the Office of the Standing Working Group on Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence, one of the Gender Equality Officers, the Center for Academic Advising and Psychological Counseling, or another counseling point if you would like to attend a confidential counseling session. Our representatives will listen to you, develop a solution that is tailored to resolving your issue, and only take direct action with your prior consent. Please get in touch with Brigitte Reysen-Kostudis if you are primarily interested in receiving psychological counseling. If you are most concerned with an incident of this nature impacting your studies or employment situation or you wish to seek a remedy within an institutional and/or legal framework, then you should reach out to your Local Gender Equality Officer or the Chief Gender Equality Officer. The Office of the Standing Working Group on Sexual Harassment, Discrimination, and Violence can help you to select the best counseling point for your needs. All counseling sessions are subject to strict confidentiality. You do not need to share your name in this case.
Submitting an Official Complaint
You can contact anyone who occupies a managerial or supervisory role at Freie Universität Berlin if you wish to make a complaint relating to a specific incident (or series of incidents). Employees are also entitled to file a complaint with the Complaint Center for Employees pursuant to Section 13 of the General Act on Equal Treatment (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz AGG). However, the Complaint Center as well as anyone who occupies a managerial or supervisory role is required to look into every piece of evidence in the event of sexualized harassment, discrimination, or violence and take appropriate measures for the purposes of investigation, monitoring the situation, and prevention. This means that confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed. It is not possible to remain anonymous if you submit an official complaint. The wishes of the person(s) submitting the complaint will nonetheless be factored in and they will not suffer any negative consequences to their personal or professional lives or to their studies.
We recommend that you seek support from a counseling point before submitting an official complaint.