What to do in cases of sexual harassment and violence

If you have experienced sexual harassment or violence at the University of Göttingen, you can contact the advice services and contacts below at any time. They are there to provide you with advice.

The University encourages you to report your experiences and observations.

All staff, students and visitors at the University of Göttingen who have experienced or observed sexual harassment and violence have the right to get advice. The basis for this is in the guideline on the prevention of and protection against sexual harassment and violence of Göttingen University, including the University Medical Center Göttingen (see § 8 counseling).

Sexualised harassment and violence are behaviours that violate the dignity of the affected person and create an environment of intimidation, hostility, humiliation, degradation and offence. This includes any sexually tinged behaviour that is generally considered undesirable and/or that affected persons declare to be undesirable. Such behaviour can also be an expression of abuse of power for which sexuality and sexual acts are instrumentalised. These are in particular:

  • physical touching and assault
  • solicitation of sexual contact
  • degrading and sexualised remarks, also when declared to be 'jokes'.
  • remarks about someone’s body, intimate life, sexual orientation or gender identity
  • sexually tinged gesture and behaviour
  • displaying, posting or disseminating a pornographic and/or sexist text, voice and text message and/or image, regardless of the means of communication used
  • exhibitionist behaviour
  • persecution, stalking and coercion with a direct or indirect sexualized context

(see § 3 Definitions Protection Guideline)

If you have experienced or observed sexualised harassment or violence, you can turn to a counselling service or contact person (see below) at any time. There you can talk about incidents, your experiences and your situation in a protected space. Counselling follows the principles of confidentiality and partiality. The focus is on you as the person seeking advice, your perspectives and your concerns. You can also be accompanied by a person you trust.

The initial contact can be made by you as the person affected or represented by a third party, both anonymously if you wish. It is important that you do not have to follow official channels (which may be prescribed)!
You will receive support and information from the counselling services and contact persons. If you wish, you will also be accompanied in the development and implementation of strategies for action. This can also be the initiation of a formal procedure through a written complaint (see § 9 Complaint Protection Guideline). However, it is also possible that you initially simply seek advice or report an incident and take no further action. You alone decide on the further course of the counselling or complaint.

The counselling services and contact persons can also refer you to (external) support services, for example for psychological support or legal information, or accompany you in the event of a criminal complaint. Regardless of whether or when you receive counselling, it is a good idea to keep a memory log of the experience/incident in a timely manner. You can use a sample template for this.

The important thing is that you decide which path you want to take.

You can find more information in the „Guide: Dealing with Discrimination“ under "What can I do?".
At the University of Göttingen and the UMG, there are various counselling services and contact persons available.

Equal Opportunities Officer

  • University Equal Opportunities Officer (excluding UMG), Dr. Doris Hayn
    E-mail: doris.hayn@zvw.uni-goettingen.de, Tel.: 0551 39-26321
  • Equal Opportunities Commissioner at the Faculty of Humanities, Jana Pasch
    E-mail: gleichstellung@phil.uni-goettingen.de, Tel.: 0551 39-25580
  • Equal Opportunities Commissioner at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Dorothee Konings
    E-mail: gleichstellung@wiwi.uni-goettingen.de, Tel.: 0551 39-28807
  • Equal Opportunities Officer at the University Medical Centre, Anja Lipschik
    E-mail: anja.lipschik@med.uni-goettingen.de, Tel.: 0551 39-69335
    Information and contact details for other UMG positions can be found here.
  • Decentralised Equal Opportunities Officers in the Faculties, Central Facilities and Central Administration
    Contact details can be found here.

Other counselling services at the University

  • for students:
    Representative for Academic Quality: Confidential advisor/Ombudsperson, Meike Gottschlich
    E-mail: meike.gottschlich@zvw.uni-goettingen.de, Tel.: 0551 39-28882
  • for employees with disabilities:
    Disabled persons' representative of the university (without university medicine)
    Information and contact can be found here

External bodies
You can also contact external agencies:

In emergencies, e.g. acute threats, you should always contact the police directly: Tel. 110