Sexual Harassment at the University

The university does not tolerate sexual harassment and discrimination

“The university does not tolerate any form of sexual violence or sexual harassment, which it views as violating personal rights. Therefore, within its jurisdiction, the university will counter any case of sexual violence and harassment with possible sanctions” („Die Universität duldet keine sexuelle Gewalt und keine sexuelle Belästigung, die sie als Verletzung der Persönlichkeitsrechte von Menschen in ihrer Situation versteht. Sie übernimmt daher in ihren jeweiligen Zuständigkeitsbereichen die Verantwortung für die Sanktionierung von sexuelle Gewalt und Belästigung (...)”), from § 13 of the JGU’s Plan for the Advancement of Women (Rahmenplan zur Frauenförderung JGU).

Sexual harassment and discrimination is not to be tolerated. It is an undesired violation of the victim’s personal rights, which – depending on the violation – can be subject to prosecution. The university is obligated under the Rhineland-Palatinate Higher Education Act to implement measures against sexual harassment and issues guidelines.

For these reasons, the Policy on the Protection Against Sexual Harassment was decided upon by the Senate. In addition, the defining terms, the policy includes specific instructions for what to do in case of harassment. The jurisdictional area includes all members of the university – employees and students. The linked brochure includes – in addition to the policy – contact persons at JGU and outside of campus, as well as further sources of information.

The topic of sexual harassment has been the focus and responsibility of the Equality and Diversity office since 1991, and university leadership and management act with a high level of responsibility in concrete cases, as well. During the last several years, there have been various informational events and campaigns, and campus inspections regularly take place, which take into account security considerations.

In 2014, JGU started a safety campaign on the Gutenberg campus with the slogan “Community Creates Security” ("Gemeinschaft schafft Sicherheit"). Students and employees are encouraged to move around campus in groups after dusk. Communal responsibility and safety-conscious behavior were advertised with a large poster and postcard campaign. Additionally, stickers were added in most of the toilets on the campus in Mainz and in Germersheim.

In 2015, a Day of Safety (link in German) took place for all members of the university on the topics of “Violence in Close Social Relationships”, “Sexual Harassment”, and “Date-Rape Drugs”.

In 2016, the brochure on the Policy was revised and an English version created.

The General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG) on “Sexual Harassment”

The General Act on Equal Treatment, which was discussed at length regarding its implementation of four EU-guidelines on equal treatment, came into power on August 18th, 2006. It defines sexual harassment in Article 1, Section 3 (4) as follows:

„Sexual harassment shall be deemed to be discrimination in relation to Section 2(1) Nos 1 to 4, when an unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, including unwanted sexual acts and requests to carry out sexual acts, physical contact of a sexual nature, comments of a sexual nature, as well as the unwanted showing or public exhibition of pornographic images, takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of the person concerned, in particular where it creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment."

The AGG includes a prohibition on discrimination and understands violations of this ban as a violation of contractual obligation.

In addition to defining the term, the Act regulates employee rights such as the right of appeal, the right to refuse performance, and compensation and damages.

Employer duties span measures to protect against discrimination, including preventative measures.