Protocol against gender-based violence – The Basque Country University (UPV) (ES)

The Basque Country University (UPV/EHU) undertook a one-year participatory process to design a protocol against gender-based violence that responds to the needs and reality of the university community. In June 2018, the protocol was approved, with the goal of promoting a safe environment for all in the university community. The protocol has several innovative aspects. Its broad definition of gender-based violence covers all sexist violence, including violence against LGBTIQ+ persons. The protocol can be activated when someone in the university community experiences gender-based violence, whether on or off campus. It can be initiated by a person other than the affected person or by university services (with the consent of the affected person) and a police or judicial report is not necessarily required. The protocol features a support process for victims to seek reparation and to ensure that they can continue their lives and academic or professional careers. A specially trained Gender Violence Advisor is dedicated full-time to both the protocol and preventive awareness-raising actions. A Commission on Gender-Based Violence has also been created, bringing together the Gender Equality Office, security, labour risk prevention service, and employees’ legal representation. These innovations have successfully offset the key issue of underreporting and the protocol has become an inspiring practice for other universities.