Safer Spaces Agreement


The Art House is committed to a working and social environment where people can be comfortable, feel safe and be able to express their identity without fear of negative consequences.

We acknowledge that the opportunity to volunteer at The Art House, or attend The Art House, can become an important part of an individual’s life and that the space needs to be kept safe so that people do not lose the social and creative connections they make here for unfair reasons.

Why have a Safer Spaces Agreement?

The Art House wants to be an active part of addressing and challenging the root causes of social inequality, particularly inequality which excludes people from the Arts.

It is recognised that everyone who engages with our space will have grown up surrounded by structural oppression, inequality and injustice, and that anyone can maintain these structures intentionally or unintentionally.

We recognise that many behaviours which are accepted in wider society uphold systems of oppression and hold people back from reaching their true potential.

The Art House is committed to the ongoing work needed to be radically inclusive – to be a place where nobody experiences prejudice or disadvantage because of their ethnicity, class, gender, gender expression, sexuality, age, income, ability, appearance, immigration status or any other forms of difference or any other perceived difference.

We also recognise that people may be new to these ideas and that complex rules and ever-changing language and ideas can also serve to exclude people who have not had the opportunity to engage with these things before. 

Our aim is to create an inclusive an atmosphere as possible that facilitates learning, growing and moving forwards together in a trusting community that actively embraces diversity.

 Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to all volunteers, paid staff, Directors, members, freelance workers and paid professionals working at The Art House, customers and people attending workshops or events. It also applies to all of our social media platforms and any event we hold outside of The Art House.


‘Harassment’ is defined as any behaviour or comments which:

  • Violates an individual’s dignity
  • Undermines an individual’s right to express their lifestyle, culture, beliefs and passions freely and without fear of negative social or professional consequences.
  • Create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

We commit to creating a safer environment by

Encouraging an environment where it is clear that tolerance and respect for others is the norm, and that harassment and hate speech of any kind is unacceptable.  

Having in place a mechanism to resolve complaints where it is felt that harassment has occurred, via our grievance policy.

We recognise that within our community there are a range of different lived experiences and identities (gender, race, class, sexuality etc) that people will have and that making sweeping assumptions about people can be very harmful.

This policy extends not only to the prevention of harassment or harm, but aims to create a radically welcoming and accepting space for all, which involves an ongoing process of learning and adjusting language and behaviour.

We accept that it is our responsibility to:

Provide and maintain an environment where it is clear that harassment is not acceptable;

Take action when we are aware that harassment may be or is taking place;

Action including the termination of employment, the cessation of volunteering activity or excluding a customer from attending The Art House, may be taken to deal with actions or behaviour, intentional or unintentional, that results in a breach of this policy.

Similar action may also be taken if allegations of harassment are found to be malicious or vexatious.

For the purpose of this policy, harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct or comments which:

Violate an individual’s dignity, and/or

Create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Some examples of harassment

The examples given below, which include unacceptable physical and verbal conduct, are not exhaustive. Harassment on grounds of race, sex and disability now constitute forms of discrimination under the law.  In general, harassment refers to behaviour directed against an individual or group.

Gender-related harassment

Examples include displaying power over a woman or non binary person because of gender through disparaging gender-related remarks and threatening behaviour.

Harassment of Transgender people

Examples include deliberately using the wrong pronouns or name for a transgender person, transphobic remarks and jokes, inappropriate questions.

Sexual harassment

Examples include non-consensual touching of any kind, unwelcome jokes of a sexual nature, inappropriate use of suggestive visual material, persistent unwanted sexual attention.

Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation

Examples include homophobic remarks or unwelcome jokes, threats to disclose sexuality and intimate questions about sexual activity.

Racial harassment

Examples include inappropriate questioning and/or jokes about racial or ethnic origin, offensive graffiti and intimidating behaviour, including threatening gestures.

Personal harassment

Examples include making fun of personal circumstances or appearance.

Religious harassment

Examples include ridiculing an individual’s religious beliefs, excluding members of certain faiths from activities or attempting to convert somebody to a new or different faith.


This can be physical or psychological. Examples of psychological bullying include unmerited criticism, isolation, gossip, essential information withheld, or behaviour that is intimidating or demeaning.

Harassment of disabled people

Examples include unnecessary discussion of or assumptions about the effects of a disability on an individual’s personal life, uninvited touching or staring, and inappropriate questioning about the impact of someone’s disability.

Age harassment

Examples include derogatory age-related remarks and unjustifiable dismissal of suggestions on the grounds of the age of the person.


This can be physical or psychological. Examples include leaving repeated or alarming messages on voice mail or e-mail, following people home, or approaching others to ask for personal information.

Things to remember:

If people wish to bring an issue to the directors attention, please do so, and we will try to resolve any issue or conflict together.

We hope that this Safer Spaces Agreement will be evident in the overall feel of The Art House, however we recognise that simply having an agreement is meaningless if it cannot be held to account in an open and honest way.  It as a complex task to create a safer space for all and we actively encourage transparency and the ability of people to raise any issues in a way that feels safe and possible for them. 

The Art House Southampton Community Interest Company

Registered Company number 6577217

178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, Hants SO14 7DW    Tel: 02380238582