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Confidential counsellor

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Last updated on 3 May 2022

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam considers it very important that every student can study in a safe and pleasant environment. Sexual harassment and other forms of undesirable behaviour (such as violence or aggression) are, therefore, not tolerated. Unfortunately, undesirable behaviour still occurs. That is why VU Amsterdam has a policy to prevent and counteract it. To this end, among other things, confidential counsellors have been appointed and a complaints procedure exists. An Investigation Committee can also be set up.

If you are confronted with (recurring) intimidating or aggressive behaviour by staff or fellow students, if you are discriminated against or if sexual harassment has occurred and you wish to discuss this in confidence, you can turn to a confidential counsellor.

The confidential counsellors are there to:

  • take care of you, give you advice and support;
  • inform you of the various ways in which you can solve the problem or submit a complaint;
  • guide you in case you want to have the matter mediated or if you want to submit a complaint to the Complaints Committee;
  • ensure that you receive adequate follow-up care, if necessary.

Currently, all conversations with the confidential counsellor are by telephone or via Zoom, but should you benefit from a live conversation, please let us know. You can contact us by e-mail (student.confidentialcounsellor@vu.nl) or by phone:

  • Fatiema Khadje, +31 (0)20 59 82094
  • Mariken Blom, +31 (0)20 59 85027
  • Jos de Haan, +31 (0)20 59 87280

What can you contact the confidential counsellor for?

  • Offering a listening ear

    You might want to be able to tell your story to an independent person within VU Amsterdam. In the first instance, the confidential counsellor offers a listening ear. It is possible to tell your story in confidence. It may concern something you have experienced yourself or something you witnessed, both within and outside VU Amsterdam.

  • Undesirable behaviour

    Undesirable behaviour is behaviour that is perceived as threatening, humiliating or intimidating. Examples of undesirable behaviour are sexual harassment, discrimination, aggression, violence and bullying.

  • (Sexual) harassment

    Sexual harassment is a form of unwelcome behaviour in the area of sex, such as sexist remarks, annoying behaviour or the unwelcome touching of someone, whereby the boundaries of manners are exceeded.

  • Discrimination

    Discrimination is any expression that involves the unequal treatment or disadvantage of people with regard to religion, gender, origin, race, philosophy of life, political opinion or sexual orientation.

  • Aggression

    Aggression and violence are incidents where a person is mentally or physically harassed, threatened or attacked.

  • Bullying

    Bullying is the systematic infliction of physical, verbal or psychological damage. This can take the form of social isolation (ignoring or excluding someone), making studying impossible (withholding information, deleting files, etc.), mockery and gossip.

  • Solution process

    As a reporter, you remain in control. The confidential counsellor will search for a solution together with you. If necessary, the confidential counsellor can refer you to another department, either inside or outside VU Amsterdam.

  • Information and education

    Do you have questions about the work of the confidential counsellor or do you have doubts about the limits of undesirable behaviour? Then please do not hesitate to contact us. In addition to providing a listening ear and searching for the desired solution together with the person reporting, the confidential counsellors also have an informative and advisory role.

  • File a complaint

    You can file a formal complaint to the Inappropriate Conduct Complaints Committee. The confidential counsellor can tell you more about this and, if necessary, assist you in filing a complaint. Your complaint will always be handled in confidence.

Do you have any questions or would you like to talk with someone?

Don't hesitate to contact the confidential counsellors.

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