Helpline against harassment and violences
How the Helpline against harassment and violences works
The Helpline against harassment and violences offers a safe space to talk and obtain information:
- Its purpose is to make it easier to report cases of sexual or gender-based violence, harassment, hazing or discrimination.
- It has no disciplinary powers and cannot impose penalties.
Anyone who contacts the Helpline will receive a preliminary response within seven working days. When incidents are reported, a counseling group will be appointed, in consultation with the person who filed the report, within a few weeks. That group will listen to the person who filed the report, offer guidance and, if appropriate, convene the meeting of the Helpline's staff. Once convened, the Helpine staff members will meet and issue an indicative recommendation regarding further action, then guide the person through any subsequent steps to be taken. If, in the view of the Helpine staff members' staff, the situation should lead to disciplinary proceedings, your contact person will guide and assist you throughout the process.
The Helpline against harassment and violences will conduct all proceedings within a reasonable period of time and in complete confidentiality and transparency with regard to the person who filed the report, as required under Articles 8 and 9 of its bylaws.
The Staff of the Helpline against harassment and violences
The Helpline against harassment and violences is a joint initiative encompassing all of Université PSL. It brings together all of PSL’s component and associate schools behind a shared goal of combating discrimination and allowing victims to speak out. PSL’s Helpline against harassment and violences do not replace the programs operated by each school; instead, they serve as an additional resource for counseling, education and documentation, available to all.
Regardless of your status or school, if you have been the victim of, or a witness to, situations that in your opinion constitute sexual or gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination or hazing, you may contact the Helpline or any of its staff members directly (see the dropdown list below). They can listen to you, provide information and advice and support you through any administrative proceedings.
All of the Helpline’s staff members listed below have received training. This list will be supplemented as more training sessions are conducted.
- Florence Benoit-Moreau, Vice President for Student Life and Social Responsibility, Université PSL
- Sarah Asset, Student Life Officer, Université PSL
- Louis Dang Ngoc, Director of Legal Affairs, Université PSL
- Valentine Zuber, research professor, advisor on equality issues, EPHE - PSL
- Benoit Collignon, Manager, Training, Competitive Examinations and Admissions Office, EPHE - PSL
- Chloe d'Arcy, doctoral student, EPHE - PSL
- Egina Santoromito, advisor on equality issues, ENC - PSL
- Carine Robert, research professor, advisor on equality issues, ENSCP - PSL
- Teresa Lopes-Leon, research professor, advisor on equality issues, ESPCI ParisTech - PSL
- Charlotte Jacquemot, research professor, ENS - PSL
- Juliette Salles, Activities and Events Production Manager, CNSAD - PSL
- Eliott Marès, Human Resources Manager, advisor on equality issues, CNSAD - PSL
- Walid Caid, student, CNSAD - PSL
- Marie-Sylvie Poiny-Vaity, Director of Human Resources, advisor on equality issues, Observatoire de Paris - PSL
Sexual and gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination, hazing... none of these are recent phenomena. But while they have always existed, changing mores and recent scientific research have made it possible to define them more precisely and establish a set of concepts. The PSL Helpline against harassment and violences offers definitions, links to websites and contact information for relevant organizations to help you learn more.
Training and awareness-raising
PSL’s component schools offer training courses and conduct campaigns to raise awareness of sexual and gender-based violence among PSL students, faculty and staff.
To attend a training session:
- If you are a student, contact the office of student life and/or academic studies at your school.
- If you are a PSL faculty member or employee, visit the course catalog for PSL’s staff training program.
Definitions and resources
Legal experts, sociologists, psychologists, physicians, nonprofit organizations and more have jointly documented and defined the concepts specific to sexual and gender-based violence. These key concepts can be used to eliminate any ambiguity. Below, you’ll find an overview of the main concepts in each of these areas, as well as a list of the leading bodies and organizations active in each one.
Some key concepts
Consent is clear, explicit and enthusiastic agreement, given by one person or group while in full possession of their faculties to another person or group.
A person may withdraw consent at any time, and that decision must be respected. A person may give consent only for specific acts, and it is important that a new request be made for other acts.
Sexual and gender-based violence
Gender-based conduct is defined as any action connected with the gender of a person or group of persons that has the object or effect of violating that person’s or group’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment is defined as the act of repeatedly subjecting a person to statements or behavior relating to sex that either are an affront to that person’s dignity because they are degrading or humiliating, or that create an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation for the person addressed.
Moreover, any exertion of severe pressure in any form (whether in return for a benefit or accompanied by threats), even on only one occasion, for the actual or apparent purpose of obtaining an act of a sexual nature, constitutes sexual harassment.
Sexual assault is a sexual offense committed with violence, force, threats or surprise (e.g., nonconsensual massage, sexual touching, etc.).
Rape is an act of sexual penetration committed against a person using violence, force, threats or surprise. Any act of penetration of a sexual nature that is committed violently without the victim’s consent is considered rape.
Discrimination is unfavorable treatment according to one or more criteria defined by law, in circumstances defined by law (work environment, access to goods and services, access to places, access to training and education). French law recognizes 25 criteria for discrimination, which are listed here.
The presence of any of these criteria represents an aggravating factor in cases of assault or abuse. France’s Defender of Rights is the primary resource for combating discrimination. You can contact the Defender of Rights for more information on these issues at: https://www.antidiscriminations.fr/
Hazing and harassment
Harassment is defined as repeated verbal, psychological and/or physical abuse that has an adverse impact on the victim’s physical or mental health. It can take a wide variety of forms, but it has three main characteristics: it involves conduct that is repeated, abusive and contributes to the isolation of the victim(s).
Control is a form of domination in which one person exerts total control over another person’s mind and/or will. It is a form of psychological and/or intellectual control in which the victim is unaware of the stakes involved.
This type of abuse is most commonly found in intimate relationships (couples, friendship) and also occurs in certain hierarchical relationships (coaching, apprenticeships, professional life). The principal signs of a controlling situation are, for the victim, ongoing self-denigration, social isolation and a tendency to define oneself in terms of the person exercising control. One good indicator for relationships is the le violence meter.
Hazing occurs when one person leads another person, either willingly or unwillingly, to undergo or commit humiliating or degrading acts or consume excessive amounts of alcohol during events or meetings connected with an academic, athletic or socio-educational environment. Hazing is punishable by law, even without aggravating circumstances such as abuse, threats or sexual assault.
Sexual and gender-based violence
- CLASCHES is a collective that combats sexual harassment in higher education and research. It offers a array of guides, educational content and resources for fighting sexual harassment and sexual and gender-based abuse.
- « Arrêtons les violences » (Let’s stop abuse) is a website operated by the French government for combating sexual and gender-based abuse. Visitors can find documents, legal information and organizations they can contact.
- Nous Toutes is a non-profit organization that combats violence against women in general. Its website offers informational resources as well as hotlines and contact information for professionals who provide support to victims of violence.
Psychological harassment in the workplace
- The website for France’s INRS (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) offers informative documents on psychological harassment in the workplace.
- You can read this guide to learn more about resources regarding psychological harassment in France’s public sector.
Psychological harassment and hazing during your academic career
- You can find information and documentation on legal aspects of hazing and related forms of psychological harassment at this website.
- For more comprehensive information and to view reports from the French Ministry of Higher Education on the subject, you can also visit this website.
- The Defender of Rights is the French government agency responsible for combating discrimination. You can find out how to contact the agency and review definitions of important terms at the agency’s website.
The Defender of Rights has also prepared this informational guide to raise awareness in the fight against discrimination.
Helpline against harassment and violences
Contact us by email or fill out the form
Answer will be given within 7 working days
Emergency phone numbers:
- Gender-based violences: 3919 - 17
- Harassment, bullying and hazing: 3020 – 116 006
- Digital violence: 3018
Counsel and assistance
- Fil santé jeune: 0 800 235 236
- Nightline: 01 88 32 12 32