Harassment contact persons

Petra Lindblad
Markus Heikkilä

What are the Student Unions’ Harassment Contact Persons?

Two Student Union employees who you can talk to in confidence to get help and support if you have been subject to inappropriate behaviour and jargon, bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment or violence. 

The Student Union’s harassment contact persons are Petra Lindblad and Markus Heikkilä. You can contact them via trakasseri@studentkaren.fi.

What do the Student Unions’ Harassment Contact Persons do?

We don’t conduct a formal inquiry but we analyze and make clear what has happened. 

We listen and discuss and the person who has contacted us decides how we proceed and what we do.

If you wish, we can contact the person who has subjected you or someone else to something that didn’t feel comfortable, was offensive or lacked consent. 

You can contact the Harassment Contact Persons if you feel a need to talk if:

You have been subjected to violence, sexual harassment, inappropriate behaviour, discrimination or bullying.

You don’t need to have a label for what you have experienced, a feeling that you want to discuss something is enough to be in touch. The person who has subjected you to something that felt uncomfortable or offensive is a student, a member of the ÅAU staff, a participant at an event or someone else who affect your everyday student life. You can be in contact after you’ve graduated about something that happened during your studies. 

You were responsible for an event where something happened.

You were present where something happened and intervened or didn’t intervene.

You have experienced problems at an event organised by a student association.

Your friend has been subjected to something and you need support in helping them.

You are on exchange or a trip abroad and something happened.

Something has happened during a party or other situations where people from the university or an association were present. 

You have attended an event at another organisation as a representative for ÅAU or your association and something happened you feel a need to discuss.

Someone was offended by your behaviour.

Why can it be a good idea to talk to a Harassment Contact Person?

As a person who has experienced something negative you have the preferential right of interpretation, that means that we discuss the situation from your point of view and your experience of what happened.

To put into words an experience can help you deal with and understand something you have experienced. You don’t need to be alone with what has happened, you can get help in deciding how you want to move forward or information about where you can get more help. 

How can you be in touch with the Harassment Contact Persons?

We are available during office hours on weekdays during the ÅAU semesters. The email address trakasseri@studentkaren.fi reaches us both or you can contact either one of us via email, phone or text message. 

If you want to discuss in person we’ll book a meeting somewhere you feel comfortable to talk about what you’ve experienced. 

We don’t keep account of nor report the discussions we have and it’s always up to you how much you want to tell about yourself. 

Examples of how we can help: 

Listening.

Help to put something difficult or a challenging situation into words, regarding something you or a friend has experienced. 

Tell you about which rules or laws apply in connection to the problem or situation you think about.

Help you find the right kind of support.

Help you make a complaint or file a report, if you feel that is the next step.

Examples of how we can raise issues to discussion:

Call attention to problems at ÅAU.

Call attention to the ways the associations can improve equality in their activities. 

Call attention to problems in other organisations the students are dependent on or services they use.

General principles for the Harassment Contact Persons:

  • Quickness
  • Confrontation
  • Discretion
  • Follow-up

How the principles are translated into our work:

We prioritise meetings and discussions with persons who contact us in harassment cases. You’ll get a meeting with us in a few days (applies to both Åbo and Vasa). We follow up the discussion in the way you want.