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, discrimination, violence or sexual harassment? Call in Trustpunt's confidential advisors for personal support.

If you are in an emergency at a UGent location or if you need urgent help, you can call the Security Department and Emergency Centre around the clock on 09/264.88.88 for immediate assistance. In the case of sexual violence, you can go to the Sexual Assault Center for medical help, psychological care and if you want to file a complaint. The Sexual Assault Center is located at Ghent University Hospital (UZ Gent), C. Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, entrance 26c and can be reached by telephone on +32 (0)9 332 80 80.

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 four 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.
  4. Discrimination: you are treated unequally or are confronted with statements based on a personal characteristic such as sex, gender identity, gender expression, family composition, birth, marital status, skin colour, nationality, descent and national or ethnic origin, physical or genetic characteristic, disability, functional limitation, medical history , state of health, age, sexual orientation, social origin, wealth, religion or belief, political opinion.

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People who suffer sexual intimidation can also find it very difficult to talk about it. Many people are ashamed about what they experienced. Eliane, herself once a victim of sexual harassment, and researcher Lotte De Schrijver explain where the source of this shame lies. “Your initial reaction tends to be highly subconscious.” Jane (fictive name) once experienced sexual harassment from a fellow student. “I immediately realised that the situation was inappropriate. Yet even if you think beforehand how you would respond in such a situation, it can still be difficult to do what you thought when it actually occurs. While some people say something or become angry about it, others are so shocked they are unable to say or do anything.” 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 in person or by video-call.
  • Where to go to for an appointment in person? Go to Campus Ufo, Rectorate Building, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, floor -1, room 27 (check this route)
  • 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.
  • It goes without saying that the confidential advisor will treat your report discreetly and without bias.
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.’
Ann 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.