Harassment Policy

The Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) and Austin Poets International (API) seek to celebrate poetry with integrity and respect for the safety of staff, volunteers, presenters, audience members, and the community.

As an organization we do not tolerate harassment or any violation of our code of conduct.

Examples include:
•Unwanted sexual or romantic advances.
•Unwanted advances of any kind.
•Threats made in any form or fashion.
•Inappropriate gestures and statements.
•Hate speech directed towards groups of people (women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, etc.).
•Cyber-bullying, harassment.

Our events are open to the public. When our events are designed for youth participants any individual with a sex-offender status is required to disclose this to the Board of Directors prior to any involvement (including reading/presenting, working, volunteering) with AIPF.

We expect those involved with or associated with AIPF to respect the boundaries of others, to engage only in consensual interactions, and to refrain from offensive or libelous comments.

AIPF will support an individual if they would like to notify the police due to perceived misconduct during an event. A board member will be on hand during the reporting process, if requested. Individuals engaging in misconduct during any event will be asked to leave; if they refuse, the police will be notified.

See below for definitions. Please email aipfest@outlook.com if you have any questions or concerns, or if you’d like more details regarding our policies.
1. Harassment: Unwanted attention (specifically unwanted attention that continues even when asked to stop). No more than one request to stop unwanted attention should be required. Unwanted attention includes sexual attention (physical, verbal, or written), as well as defamation of character.
2. Consent: Verbal or written agreement to an action, situation, or experience. Consent can be revoked at any time. Consent should not be perceived as granted if no response is given (i.e., silence does not equal consent). Consent should not be perceived as granted when an individual is vulnerable, intoxicated, or unconscious.
3. Boundaries: The physical, emotional and/or mental limits an individual establishes in order to feel safe and comfortable interacting with others. This includes but is not limited to verbal, written and physical interactions. Individuals over the age of 18 are responsible for setting their own boundaries, and clearly communicating boundaries to others.

Additional Policy and Procedures around harassment violation and Code of Conduct:

If it has been confirmed* that an individual involved with AIPF has violated our code of conduct, engaged in harassing behavior, or withheld information that may infringe on the safety of others, the board will proceed with one or more of the following actions:
1. Mediation provided by a qualified board member between offender and offended individuals. Mediator will be required to offer a full report of their meeting to the board.
2. Therapy that addresses the concerning behavior. The board will request a written letter from a qualified therapist identifying the issues that are being addressed and offering recommendations for resolving the conflict.
3. A detailed letter of apology to the offended party, and/ or a private and public apology.
4. Behavioral contract to be written and signed by the offending party. If the offending party violates this contract (s)he will be asked to leave and not return to any future AIPF events.

*If there is any ambiguity or doubt in regards to whether or not misconduct has taken place AIPF will support the offended party.

Some examples of proof of misconduct include: evidence in writing (emails, notes, text messages), witness accounts, or legal documentation (restraining order or court minutes).

Further thoughts and clarification for board members:

In the case of a recurrent harassment issue beyond the scope of AIPF it may be appropriate to request mediation and/or clarification around our code of conduct and non-tolerance policy.

It may be also wise to have a lawyer consult with the board before we proceed with mediation.

It can be traumatizing for individuals to make a police report. If possible, a witness is also eligible to make a report. Pressuring an individual to report may not be advisable.

Inappropriate relationships between minors (those under 18) and adults (those over 18) and underage drinking will not, under any circumstance, be tolerated.

Reporting Harassment: We want to continue to promote a healthy and safe space where poetry is celebrated in the Old Pueblo. If for some reason you feel, for any reason, that is not your experience please report to us by clicking here.

Investigation of Sexual and Other Unlawful Complaints: We are dedicated to investigate every report and/or concern promptly. Each report, along with disciplinary action, is handled on a case by case basis. Out of respect for your privacy an official board member will be in direct contact with you regarding the specific steps taken, and disciplinary action regarding your investigation.