Harassment is discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age, or disability. It can also refer to unwelcome physical contact. Harassment is defined by the Canadian Human Rights Commission as: "a form of discrimination. It involves any unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends or humiliates you. Generally, harassment is a behaviour that persists over time. Serious one-time incidents can also sometimes be considered harassment."
What does Harassment look like?
The Regroupement québécois de la danse (RQD) created a graphic story to raise awareness about harassment in the dance community. It features ten problematic situations experienced in the context of training and professional practice, presented by illustrator Sarah Arnal. The story helps facilitate the identification of abusive behaviours in this field, where the body workload, the overcoming of physical and mental limits and precariousness are important risk factors for psychological and sexual violence. It can be viewed in English or French - links below:
These pages list emergency services, 24-Hour help lines, resource centres, programs, and legal support for folks in crisis and survivors of trauma. If you find yourself in crisis and need someone to talk to, please take a look at our emergency resources for:
Creating a Harassment Policy
A Harassment Policy is a written policy specifically stating that harassment will not be tolerated at work. As an independent producer or independent theatre company, you are required by law to have a Harassment Policy and a Health and Safety Policy. Click here for information on how to create your company’s own harassment and human rights policy.
An accountability process occurs when members of a community organize to respond to harm that has occurred. Click here to learn more about the different types of accountability processes, and why they are relevant to your artistic producing practice.
Harassment Training and Educational Resources
Everyone has the ability to further their education on preventing and responding to harassment. Our resource pages for Toronto, Ontario, and Canada offer online programs and information about harassment prevention. You may also wish to expand your training and knowledge as a space-maker and artist producer. Here is a list of relevant courses and tool kits:
- Mental Health First Aid (~$175)
- Cultural Human Resources Council HR Management Toolkit: developed especially for the Cultural Sector with a free PDF download of the Workplace Harassment and Violence section ($199.99)
- Canada Safety Council Course on Workplace Violence & Harassment ($29)
- Hollaback Bystander Intervention Training ($5-$50)
- It's Your Shift eLearning Course - about stopping harassment in the service industry ($9.04)
- Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is a voluntary standard that specifies requirements for a documented and systematic approach to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. It can be accessed via free PDF download (FREE)
- TransformHarm.org is a resource hub about ending violence. It offers an introduction to transformative justice. Created by Mariame Kaba and designed by Lu Design Studio, the site includes selected articles, audio-visual resources, curricula, and more (FREE)
- Creative Interventions Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Stop Interpersonal Violence a free, downloadable toolkit containing a basic model for violence intervention, useful information, worksheets, and stories based upon the experiences of Creative Interventions during its development and pilot stages (FREE)
- The Dandelion Initiative is led by survivors of sexual violence for survivors of sexual violence. They prioritize the voices of women, 2SLGBTQ+ survivors, racialized and marginalized survivors and believe in the power of education as a form of resistance to violence. They offer a series of workshops like "Safer Artistic Spaces", "Empowered Bystander Intervention", "Anti-Harassment Lead Training", and "Community Accountability & Safety". Prices vary by workshop topic and group size.
- Dealing with Harassment in Cultural Workplaces Report from Respectful Workplaces in the Arts which explores current existing reporting, investigates mechanisms, and studies other solutions to be implemented to assist cultural sector workers and employers.
Anti-Harassment Campaigns, Movements and Petitions
- Me Too
- After Me Too (Symposium and Report)
- #metoo March Toronto Facebook Page
- White Ribbon Campaign
- Moose Hide Campaign
- UNiTE – United Nations Women
- Heart Mob
- Draw the Line
- Time’s Up
- Stop Street Harassment
- Not Surprised - campaign website no longer active, but you can read about it here
- Alberta Bullying Resource Centre - Workplace Bullying Support
Responses from the artistic community
Roundtables, townhalls, statements, talks, magazines and blogs
- Generator's #UrgentExchange: Who is a Monster? What is a Monster? Am I a Monster? #metoo what next? - listen to a range of speakers discuss different topics in relation to workplace safety, sexual harassment and more.
- PACT Anti-Harrassment Roundtable Statement
- Red Gate Arts Society Townhall on Consent & Accountability
Looking for legal support or mediation services? Here are a few resources for residents of Toronto and Ontario:
- Barbra Schilfer Commemorative Clinic
- Brook Thorndycraft Conflict Mediation Services
- Competence Consultants
- Ontario Women’s Justice Network
- Meditation Services
- Human Rights Legal Support Centre
A full list of legal support organizations for artists can be found on our resource page.