Sexual and gender-based violence prevention and support


Our University is strongly opposed to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence but is unfortunately not immune to it. A listening and support service has been set up to address any incidents and provide support to students and staff.

Have you experienced or witnessed an incident of sexual and gender-based violence?

Report incidents by contacting the University listening and support service

illustration cellule écoute VSS violences sexistes et sexuelles

The University listening and support service is here to help

Anybody working or living on our campuses (staff and students) can send an email to the support service. We are committed to ensuring that our campuses are a safe place where everyone can study, live and work safely. If a student or member of staff has experienced or witnessed any form of sexual and gender-based violence, harassment or abuse, we are here to help.

Our support service is aimed at fighting sexual harassment or violence, including gender-based violence committed against a person because of their sex or gender.

Our support service also addresses issues of homophobic or transphobic violence which affect people who are perceived not to conform to prevailing sexual and gender norms, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression can be reported to the support service.

It is also possible to report a sexist, homphobic or transphobic “atmosphere” to our support service.

You can contact the service by email:

Your email will be processed by the vice-presidents for equality (Arnaud Travert, Clémence Christin) and by the equality policy officer (Aymma Letellier) who will quickly contact you.

It can be difficult to talk about the sexual harassment or violence you have been subjected to. Talking things through with someone you trust can help – friends, relatives, colleagues, university health service, trade unions. They can also proceed with reporting the incident to us if you would like to.

When you contact the support service, you can choose whether to provide contact details or to report anonymously. You can report for yourself or on behalf of someone else. The support service will provide you with information on your options.

The report you supply will be treated as sensitive personal information and will only be used to contact and support individuals if requested.

However, if you wish to formally report an incident so that the University can launch an investigation and initiate disciplinary procedures, you need to be aware that the anonymity might be lifted. The French supreme court for administrative justice has ruled that certain accounts can be kept anonymous only if supported by other evidence. In such cases, the risk of reprisal must be proven, and the anonymised evidence must not be decisive but support other evidence. The decision cannot be founded solely or predominantly on anonymous statements (case law of the European Court of Human Rights).

Our team are coordinated by the vice-presidents for equality, parity and civic life and are composed of members from the University Equality Commission (academic staff, administrative staff, students) and professionals from the University health services. We encourage you to come forward safe in the knowledge that you will be respected and supported. Our team members are trained and experienced in taking disclosures and offering guidance. They will not be part of your immediate work or study environment. They will listen empathically to you without judgment. They will discuss your options with you and support you to make the best decision for you. Your details and your report will be treated as confidential, which means your situation will not be discussed with anyone outside the service, unless we have your consent to do so.

The role of our team is primarily to listen and link you up with further medical, emotional and advisory support you may need. They will be empathic, compassionate, impartial, supportive and non-judgmental. Our team will provide you with information on all of your options.

The University takes all reports of misconduct seriously. However, the mission of the support service team is not to conduct an investigation or to carry out medical monitoring.

Once you have discussed with one of our advisors, a report will be written and sent to the vice-presidents who may take action, should you wish to.

  1. Contact us
    You can contact our team by e-mail:
  2. Once you have contacted us
    The vice-presidents will be in contact with you to discuss the next steps and collect preliminary information:
    • o Information from the University
    • o Possible protective measures (i.e. pending further investigation)
  3. Make initial contact with one of our University liaison officer
    A preliminary contact will be established within a week with a health worker and a University officer specifically trained to listen and offer guidance.
  4. Get support
    Our team are trained to listen empathically, provide support and discuss the options that are available through external services as well as University services. We can also provide assistance in writing up the facts to prepare for possible investigation, disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings.
  5. Procedure following a disclosure and/or a report
    Our team will complete a form and, with your consent, will pass it to the vice-presidents who will report the case to the University for further administrative action. You will be informed at all times of the next steps to come.
  1. Decision for further administrative action
    Based on the report, our University may conduct an administrative investigation through our own internal procedures.
  2. Investigation
    A team is set up to conduct the administrative investigation. The team is then responsible for preparing the reports to be submitted to the President of the University.
    This administrative investigation team is composed of:
    • administrative staff
    • specifically trained staff
    • staff outside the listening and support service
  3. Submission of the report to the President of the University
    The investigation team submits its reports to the President of the University who will decide on the action to be taken. This may then lead to a referral to the disciplinary board and/or to the Public Prosecutor.

Behaviour that amounts to sexist and sexual violence is not tolerated within the University community and anywhere

Gender-based and sexual violence is defined by the French Labour Code and the French Penal Code.

Gender-based or sexual violence covers a broad range of inappropriate behaviours. Engaging, or attempting to engage, in a sexual act with an individual without their consent is a crime. Sexual misconduct and harassment are also severely punished.

Sexual harassment is defined as “repeatedly imposing on a person comments or behaviours of a sexual or sexist nature, which are intended to or have the effect of:

  • violating your dignity
  • making you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated
  • creating a hostile or offensive environment.”

Sexual harassment also encompasses “any form of unwanted conduct, even if not repeated, exercised with the real or apparent aim of obtaining an act of a sexual nature, whether this is sought for the benefit of the perpetrator or a third party.

Examples of sexual harassment (non-exhaustive list):

  • unwanted physical contact (other than sexual attacks)
  • verbal aggression: invitations, physical remarks, discussions concerning sexual matters, unwanted sexual advances, unwanted sexual comments or jokes, requests for explicit sexual acts etc.
  • but also non-verbal conduct: staring, miming sexual acts, sending text messages, letters, and emails with a sexual content, sharing photomontages and intimate photos etc.