Sexual and gender-based violence prevention and support

Our university is firmly opposed to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence but is unfortunately not immune to it. A helpline with staff ready to listen to and support victims or witnesses has been set up to address any incidents and provide support to students and staff members.

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

Report incidents by contacting the University helpline

illustration cellule écoute VSS violences sexistes et sexuelles

The University helpline is there to help you out

Anybody working or living on our campuses (staff members and students) can send an email to the 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 a staff member 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 combatting sexual harassment or violence, including gender-based violence committed against a person because of their sex or gender.

Our helpline’s services also address issues of homophobic or transphobic violence which affect people who are perceived not to conform to prevailing sexual and gender norms, including people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression can be reported to the helpline’s services.

You can also report sexist, homophobic or transphobic “atmospheres” to the helpline’s support service.

You can contact the helpline’s services 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 contact you on short notice.

It can be difficult to talk about the sexual harassment or violence you may have experienced. Talking things through with someone you trust can help – whether with friends, relatives, colleagues, the university health service, or representatives of a trade union. These people can also proceed with reporting the incident to us if you would like them to do so.

When you contact the helpline’s services, you can choose whether to provide contact details or to report anonymously. You can report an incident you have experienced or report on behalf of someone else. The Helpline’s support service will provide you with information on the existing 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 need 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 anonymized evidence must not be decisive but support other evidence. The decision cannot be founded solely or predominantly on anonymous statements (following precedents set by the European Court of Human Rights).

Our team is managed by the university’s Vice-Presidents for equality, parity and civic life and is composed of members from the University Equality Commission (composed of academic staff, administrative staff, and students) and professionals from the University health services. We encourage you to come forward in the safety of knowing that you will be respected and supported. Our team members are trained and experienced in taking statements and offering guidance. They will not be part of your daily work or study environment. They will listen to you empathically and without judgment. They will discuss your options with you and provide you support so you can make the best decisions. Your personal information 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 mainly to listen to you and to put you in contact with any further medical, emotional and advisory support you may need. The people you may meet will be empathic, compassionate, impartial, supportive and non-judgmental. Our team will provide you with information on all your options.

The university takes all reports of misconduct seriously. However, the mission of the support service team is not to investigate or to carry out medical monitoring.

Once you have talked to 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 :
    • Information from the university
    • Possibility to take preventive measures of protection (i.e. pending further investigation)
  3. Contact one of our university liaison officers
    A preliminary contact will be established within a week with a health care worker and a someone from the university who has been specifically trained to listen to you and offer guidance.
  4. Get support
    Our team is trained to listen to you with empathy, to provide support and to 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 a possible investigation, and for disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings.
  5. The procedure following a statement 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, the university may conduct an administrative investigation through our internal procedures.
  2. Investigation
    There is a team dedicated to conducting the administrative investigation. This team is responsible for preparing the reports to be submitted to the President of the university.
    It is composed of :
    • administrative staff members
    • specifically trained staff members
    • 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 lead to a referral to the disciplinary board and/or to the Public Prosecutor.

Behaviour amounting to gender-based and sexual violence is not tolerated within our community – or anywhere else

Gender-based and sexual violence is defined by the French Labour Code and the French Criminal Code as follows :

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 by law.

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 encompassesany 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 (the list is not exhaustive):

  • 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 or emails with sexual contents, sharing photomontages and intimate photos, etc.