Transgressive behaviour and discrimination: Trustpunt is listening!

As Ghent University, we want to treat each other with respect. Transgressive behavior and discrimination will not be tolerated. Are you confronted with it? Trustpunt is there for you.

If you are in an emergency at a UGent location or if you need urgent help, you can call the Security Department and Emergency Centre around the clock on 09/264.88.88 for immediate assistance. In the case of sexual violence, you can go to the Sexual Assault Center for medical help, psychological care and if you want to file a complaint. The Sexual Assault Center is located at Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent), C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, entrance 26c and can be reached by telephone on +32 (0)9 332 80 80.

What is transgressive behavior?

Some boundaries are clear and leave no room for discussion. However, other limits are personal. What is (still) OK for others, might be crossing your limits or vice versa. The most important? That everyone in and around Ghent University respects each other's personal boundaries.

We distinguish between four forms of transgressive behaviour in the work or study context:

  1. Aggression: you are physically or verbally threatened, harassed, stalked, attacked, etc. Or you have been a witness to the above.
  2. Bullying: you are repeatedly the victim of or witness to hostile, offensive or abusive language, actions, gestures or texts (e.g. cyber-bullying).
  3. Sexual harassment: you are confronted with or witness sexually inappropriate behaviour – from suggestive comments or inappropriate touching to sexual assault or rape.
  4. Discriminationyou are treated unequally or are confronted with statements based on a personal characteristic such as sex, gender identity, gender expression, family composition, birth, marital status, skin colour, nationality, descent and national or ethnic origin, physical or genetic characteristic, disability, functional limitation, medical history , state of health, age, sexual orientation, social origin, wealth, religion or belief, political opinion.

Do you doubt whether what you are experiencing is transgressive behaviour or do you still have questions? Contact Trustpunt.

What can I do?

Do you feel uncomfortable with someone's behaviour or a particular situation? Know that you can discuss this. You can talk to the person himself, share it with someone you trust or you are always welcome to have a confidential conversation with a confidential counsellor from Trustpunt. So you are not alone.

We need everyone to create a safe environment at Ghent University. Be aware that everyone has limits. We call each of you to respond if you are witnessing someone that is uncomfortable with certain behavior or a certain situation or if you think it is not OK. You can contact Trustpunt with personal questions about how you can respond appropriately to inappropriate or undesirable behaviour.

If dialogue doesn't work or if it does not feel safe, then you have several options. You can choose to work with Trustpunt on security and recovery in a confidential and informal way. For example, we can guide a conversation between you and the person crossing your limits or we can help you in how you can approach that person yourself.

Is this not possible or do you think formal measures are needed? Do you want to request a sanction? You can contact the rector for this. You cannot do this anonymously, nor decide for yourself about the outcome. Formal steps can weigh on you. Trustpunt can support you during these procedures. However, Trustpunt has no impact on formal procedures, measures or sanctions.

Several forms of transgressive behavior and discrimination are punishable in Belgium. You can file a report with the police, regardless of the Ghent University procedures. Do this especially if your physical safety is at risk. In the case of sexual violence, you can go to the Sexual Assault Center for medical assistance and psychological care, as well as to file a report to the police if you wish.

Where can I go? Trustpunt is listening

Did you experience behavior that went beyond your limits, did you witness it or are you in doubt whether your behavior was inappropriate? You can always contact Trustpunt. Even if you don't know whether you can call it transgressive behavior or discrimination.

Conversations are confidential. You decide whether and which steps are taken. Confidential counsellors adopt a neutral attitude and do not judge. Do you just want to vent your heart? Would you like to receive tips on how to respond yourself or on how to handle a situation respectfully? Do you need specific help? You don't know? Don't hesitate to get in touch.

What can Trustpunt do in response to your question?

  • a listening ear,
  • information or advice on potential procedures,
  • advise,
  • support in personally addressing the issue,
  • mediation with the other persons involved,
  • a referral.

Not sure what you want to do yet? Discuss it with the confidential advisor, you do not have to decide immediately.

Conversations therefore always remain confidential. You decide who you share information with.

Questions? Ask them without obligation via trustpunt@ugent.be

Making an appointment with Trustpunt? Here's how

There are two ways to contact Trustpunt:

  • E-mail
  • Call 09 264 82 82 between 9 am and 12 noon.
  • An appointment will be made for you as soon as possible in person or by video-call.
  • Where to go to for an appointment in person? Go to Campus Ufo, Rectorate Building, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, floor -1, room 27 (check this route)

The Team

Het team van Trustpunt
From left to right: Sara Drieghe, Pieter Detombe, Joke De Clercq, Marina Dhossche, Danielle Wouters, Lore Vermeulen, Sigried Lievens, Nona Beele, Stephanie Bouckenhove, Gunther Groenwals

Code of conduct

Within Ghent University we want to encourage a caring, positive and respectful way of interacting with each other. In our code of conduct we outline what this means in concrete terms.

Do you have a different problem and are you looking for someone to listen?

The Trustpunt confidential counsellors are there for you for all your questions about and reports concerning transgressive behaviour. If you have other questions or problems, our experts are ready to lend a hand (and an ear):

Or take a look at the Study support webpage.