Sorry! De informatie die je zoekt, is enkel beschikbaar in het Engels.
This programme is saved in My Study Choice.
Something went wrong with processing the request.
Something went wrong with processing the request.

Inappropriate behaviour

Have you experienced inappropriate behaviour and want to know what VU Amsterdam can do for you? This page lists the hotlines for employees and students.

It is important that you feel safe at VU Amsterdam. A safe environment for working and studying is required where any form of inappropriate behaviour is not tolerated.

Information on inappropriate behaviour at VU Amsterdam

  • What is inappropriate behaviour?

    Inappropriate behaviour is behaviour you experience as threatening, humiliating or intimidating. Examples include (sexual) harassment, discrimination, aggression, stalking and bullying. These actions can be experienced differently by everyone. What is seen as normal behaviour for one person may be perceived as inappropriate for another. Do you doubt whether your situation also falls under inappropriate behaviour? Feel free to ask for advice from the confidential counsellors for students, confidential counsellor for staff and PhD's or the social safety coordinators.

    Below are some examples of inappropriate behaviour. For all these examples, you can contact the confidential counsellor. If the unwanted behaviour you have experienced is not listed here, you can still contact the confidential counsellor. When in contact with the confidential counsellor, you will always remain in control. The confidential counsellor will think along with you and support and advise you with your choices. 

    • Examples of inappropriate behaviour:

      Discrimination, bullying, (sexual) harassment, unwanted sexual advances, cross-border behaviour, threats, aggression, stalking, excluding, condescending remarks, abuse of power, extortion, humiliation, domestic or honour-related violence, online harassment or threats.
  • What can you do in case of inappropriate behaviour?

    If you experience unwanted behaviour and hesitate to confront the person causing it, you can also choose to seek help. As an employee, for instance, you can go to a manager, as a student you can contact the study advisor of your study programme. For both there is also the option of going to the confidential counsellor for students or confidential counsellor for staff and PhD's.

  • What can the confidential counsellor help with?

    Have you encountered inappropriate behaviour? If so, you can contact the confidential counsellor for students or for staff and PhD's.

    The confidential counsellors are there to:

    • Look after you, provide advice and support;
    • Inform you about the various ways to solve the problem or file a complaint;
    • Guide you if you wish to have the matter mediated or if you wish to file a complaint with the Complaints Committee;
    • To ensure that you receive adequate aftercare, if necessary;

    The confidential counsellor is on your side. He or she will initially be there to listen to you and explore together what follow-up steps are possible. The decision on which steps to take always remains with you. However, the confidential counsellor can support you, for instance by accompanying you to a meeting, submitting a complaint about undesirable behaviour, or reporting the incident to the police if you choose to do so.

  • What can the social safety coordinator help with?

    In some cases, it is not possible, too intense or sometimes even dangerous to address the person exhibiting the inappropriate behaviour yourself and help is needed. In addition, it can be difficult to assess how dangerous a situation is and you will need advice on this. Examples include (online) threats, stalking or other forms of violence. The social safety coordinator investigates and gives advice on situations where safety is at stake and can also take action afterwards to restore safety.

    The social safety coordinators are there to: 

    • Keep the campus safe for all students, staff and visitors; 
    • Make a risk assessment of undesirable situations; 
    • Take action to restore safety; 
    • Make contact with internal and external organisations (think police, stay group, Centre for Sexual Violence etc.); 
    • With permission, take over the direction until safety is restored, and offer you support during this process

    In principle, you will first go to the confidential counsellor before going to the social safety coordinators. The latter will involve the social safety coordinators the moment their expertise is needed.

    You can reach the social safety coordinators at

  • Active bystander training

    A safe and pleasant work environment at VU Amsterdam includes being able to address undesirable behaviour and conduct when it occurs. In the Active Bystander training you will learn to recognize inappropriate behaviour. Also, the training gives you concrete tools to address inappropriate and undesirable behaviour. VU employees can participate in this interactive training course of 1,5 hours.

    Sign up