Boundary-crossing behaviour: Trustpunt is listening!

At Ghent University, everyone has the right to a safe study environment characterised by mutual respect. Do you believe you are the victim of or have you witnessed bullying, threats, violence or sexual harassment? Call in Trustpunt's confidential advisors for personal support.

Crossing personal boundaries

Some boundaries are clear and leave no room for discussion. However, others depend on a personal case-by-case basis. What someone else may (still) think is normal, you might actually experience as boundary-crossing or vice versa. What takes priority above all else? Everyone at and around Ghent University must respect one another’s boundaries. 

We distinguish between three forms of boundary-crossing 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 are a witness to sexually inappropriate behaviour – from suggestive comments or inappropriate touching to sexual assault or rape.

Sexual harassment is a common problem among students. Yet many victims do not report it to supporting organisations.Trustpunt: seksueel grensoverschrijdend gedrag
This was revealed in a study by Ghent University among first-year students. Anyone needing to talk about such experiences can turn to Trustpunt.

“Sexual harassment is remarkably common,” concludes Joke Depraetere after her study at Ghent University between April and July 2019. “Among the students in the first year of their bachelor degree,16.1% of the men and 28.5% of the women experienced harassment in the past 12 months. Women are much more often the victim: 34% of them had already been kissed or touched in a sexual manner against their will.”

Read the article.

Trustpunt aan het werkYou can go to Trustpunt

Have you been faced with boundary-crossing behaviour at Ghent University? Remember that you are not alone. Trustpunt is there for you. Their team of confidential advisors offer the following services discretely and free of charge: 

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

 

Would you like to make an appointment? 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. A confidential advisor will be waiting for you when you arrive. They will then listen to your account. You should count on about an hour and a half for your appointment.
  • You need us the same day? Go to Campus Ufo, Rectorate Building, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, floor -1, room 27.
  • It goes without saying that the confidential advisor will treat your report discreetly and without bias.
During the pandemic Trustpunt follows the containing measures of covid-19. Therfore all appointments will be held by phone or videocall (Skype, Teams, Zoom). These conversations are of course also strictly confidential. Any physical conversation with a counselor will be postponed until the measures are enlightered.
Lisa tells her story...
‘During my work placement, I was touched inappropriately by my mentor. Because the incident continued to haunt me, I went to Trustpunt. The confidential advisor took the time to listen to me and explained the steps I could take, without looking down on me. It was such a relief to share my story with someone.’
Steve underwent a practical joke ...
‘At the student association, they briefly locked me in a toilet a couple of times for fun. It made me feel bad, but was it serious enough to report? At Trustpunt, the confidential advisor explained that borders are subjective and individual. I also didn’t know that behaviour could be experienced as crossing a border without it being intended that way.’
An does not feel safe...
‘A guy at my student residence has a short fuse. There have been several different occasions where he’s yelled at other residents. From time to time, there’s even some pushing and shoving. I've never personally been involved, but I don't feel safe anymore. I sat down with the confidential advisor to see how I could respond appropriately and what the possible solutions might be.’

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

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

What is Ghent University's policy on boundary-crossing behaviour?

At Ghent University, our goal is for everyone to treat one another with respect, consideration and a positive attitude: employees, students and external parties who come into contact with the university. In our code of conduct, we outline what this means in concrete terms.