Offensive behavior

What to do if you experience offensive behavior or harassment – directly or as a by-stander?

24 November 2022

At the Department of Political Science, we are committed to treating each other with decency and respect. Yet, despite this, employees occasionally find themselves subjected to offensive behaviour or harassment from colleagues and students in and outside the department or from the public in general. If this has happened to you or you observe such behavior, we encourage you to seek advice and support. This is important to maintain a secure, pleasant and productive work environment.

Everyone is responsible for ensuring that offensive behavior does not occur and to react by objecting or saying no to offensive behavior. It is important to react instantly if possible in order to be able to handle the incidence while it is still present in the minds of the involved.

What type of offensive behavior or harassment did I experience? 

You should not worry about definitions. You have the opportunity to speak to one of the persons mentioned below – regardless of what you experienced or whether you are unsure it counts as offensive behavior or harassment. Offensive behaviour may involve hurtful remarks, discrimination, or ridiculing. Read about offensive behaviour at the workplace.

Persons to contact

  • The department encourages you to contact one of the following persons: The union representatives (Martin Vinæs) or (Merete Bech Seeberg), the acting head of department (Christoffer Green-Pedersen), the PhD-coordinator (Lasse Lindekilde), the deputy head of department (Helene Helboe Pedersen), CFA center director (Carter Bloch), or the leader of the administration (Pernille Højgaard-Hansen). You are welcome to bring a trusted person to the meeting.
  • Any contact is confidential and will only be shared with others in agreement with the person feeling harassed.
  • See also the university web page 'Offensive behavior'.
  • You can also contact the Danish Agency for the Working Environment anonymously on 7022 1280 (Mon.-Thur.: 8:00-15:00 and Fri.: 8:00-14:00).
  • If you hesitate reporting on an incident – as bystander or directly involved - please discuss the incidence with a trusted colleague who can help you assess the situation and possible actions. You have the responsibility to keep these conversations confidential and respectful.
  • If a colleague contacts you about offensive behavior, it is important to guide your colleague to take further action and contact one of the persons mentioned above. 

What happens if I take my case further?

  • Actions taken are always coordinated with the person reporting on an incidence. Some cases can be resolved during the first meeting. You and the person you contact decide whether to involve the head of department, which is needed to take the case further.
  • The management will take all reports seriously and make efforts so resolve the issue at hand. This does not necessarily involve sanctions or assignment of blame. All cases will be treated with respect and based on their individual characteristics. The person reporting an incidence will always get a feed-back.
  • If the case demands further action, the management will coordinate with HR to make sure that all rules and regulations are followed carefully for all parties involved.