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Code of Conduct & Contact (CCC)

We invite you to enter into the VAHA community and spaces in a spirit of curiosity, open-mindedness and respect. This CCC outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our community and activities, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behaviour. The spirit of VAHA is envisioning and co-creating together the alternatives to the existing discriminative, oppressive, exploitative and colonial power structures. Thank you for your compliance and cooperation with our ethical guidelines to protect our space and community.


VAHA community is dedicated to providing a non-violent, harassment-free, and fair experience for all members of the community and the coordination team regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, and religion. 

This code of conduct applies to all VAHA spaces, including our website, mailing lists, partnerships within the programme, meetings and events, as well as any other spaces that the VAHA programme hosts, both online and offline. Anyone who violates this CCC may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the VAHA Coordination Team and the community members.

Some VAHA spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech, discrimination, harassment or threats. If your speech and behaviour, in person or online, are in violation of VAHA CCC, we will use our best judgment to assume good intentions first and ask for further clarification. If it is determined that you are not acting from a respectful place, we reserve the right to ask you to leave our space and community.

We prioritise the physical and emotional safety of our community members. Our goal in creating a safe (enough) space is to have a place where we can be vulnerable, learn from each other, collaborate, empower each other, and show mutual support. Those not respecting the space and the experiences of others will be asked to leave our space and community.


At a VAHA-hosted space, meeting or event, you agree to:
  • Respect the boundaries of others. 
  • Set any communication or physical boundaries you personally need.
  • Be conscious of the space you take, your privileges, and the position you speak from.
  • Give everyone the space to express themselves.
  • Be open to criticism and willing to hold yourself accountable when called out.
  • Avoid aggressively pushing your own services, products, views or causes.
  • Respect confidentiality requests by speakers and other attendees.
  • Not assume other people’s gender, ethnicity, nationality or other aspects of who they are. Respect their choices to disclose or not to disclose information about themselves, and refer to them only in the way they want to be referred to (pronouns, names, etc.). 
  • Look out and care for one another — this may include offering assistance, but not speaking on behalf of others.
  • Take all responsibility for the impacts of your words and actions (do not hide behind good intentions).
  • Review and follow VAHA CCC.

Unacceptable Behaviours*

  • Sexism, transphobia, homophobia, racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, anti-migrant discrimination, ableism and behaviour or language that discriminates against a marginalised group or class of people.
  • Offensive comments related to gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Language or actions that perpetuate stereotypes (positive or negative).
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviours in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Sexual harassment of any kind including unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Abuse of power (including abuses related to position, wealth, race or gender).
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Being disruptive in a meeting/event or sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect other VAHA members or other vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Invasion of privacy, including taking photos (or requesting selfies) of people you don’t know, publication of non-harassing private communication.


If you have been involved in or have witnessed an incident that violates the CCC in the VAHA community and spaces, or you have any relevant concerns, please contact the VAHA Coordination Team on behalf of the VAHA community. Share as much information as you are comfortable and feel free to request anonymity. We will respond as promptly as we can. We take all reports seriously and will treat them with discretion and confidentiality. If the complaint concerns one of the team members, they will be excluded from handling your case.

This CCC applies to the VAHA community spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member of the community outside of our spaces, we still want to know about it. The VAHA Coordination Team and community members reserve the right to exclude people from the community based on their past behaviour, including behaviour outside VAHA spaces and behaviour towards people who are not in the VAHA community.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting the targets of abuse or violation. At our discretion, we may publicly disclose a person’s name about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of VAHA community members or the general public. 

The VAHA community prioritises marginalised people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. VAHA Coordination Team will not act on complaints regarding:
  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’ (because these things don’t exist)
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries
  • Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts
  • Criticising racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behaviour or stereotypical assumptions.


Anyone asked to stop their unacceptable behaviour is expected to comply immediately. The VAHA Coordination Team on behalf of the VAHA Community and/or with the representatives from the community may take any action they deem appropriate, including verbal or written warning, temporary or permanent expulsion from the VAHA events and/or community, and identification of the participant as a harasser to the other VAHA members, the implementing organisations Anadolu Kültür and zusa, or the general public.

*The list of ‘unacceptable behaviours’ and the overall CCC is a living text; therefore, it is open to suggestions from the VAHA community members and revisions in time that are informed through lived experiences. 

This anti-harassment policy is largely based on the example policy from the Geek Feminism wiki, created by the Geek Feminism community. The other sources of inspiration are the Feminist Oasis Code of Conduct and zusa’s Safer Spaces Guidelines.