Harassment, violence and discrimination

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The University of Bordeaux champions tolerance and respect. It takes a firm stand against all types of sexual or homophobic violence and harassment. It encourages freedom of speech on these issues and strives to ensure that victims are heard and given support in their actions and claims.

Photo : At the first signs of harassment or violence, it is crucial to contact the University's professionals who will offer a listening ear © Gautier Dufau
At the first signs of harassment or violence, it is crucial to contact the University's professionals who will offer a listening ear © Gautier Dufau

What if I am a victim or witness?

There is a watchdog office that combats and monitors sexual, gender-based and homophobic harassment and violence at the University of Bordeaux.

It is a place where victims or witnesses can be listened to, guided and supported. It responds in a practical and confidential manner to situations brought to its attention and acts to prevent and dissuade any and all abusive behaviours.

Contact the watchdog office: celluledeveille.etudiant%40u-bordeaux.fr

Social Services

You can also get help from the CROUS and Student Health Centre social workers.

Learn more

Off-campus resources

Emergency numbers

  • 17: Police 
  • 18: Firefighters
  • 14: In place of 15, 17 & 18 for deaf or hard of hearing
  • 112: European Emergency Services
  • 15: Medical Emergencies (SAMU)
  • 3919: Violence to Women Info (anonymous, free call)
  • +33 (0)1 48 06 42 41: SOS Homophobia
  • 3114: Suicide Prevention
  • Cyberbullying: 3018
  • Police or Gendarmerie Reporting Portal #DontLetAnythingSlide
    This portal offers an immediate interactive discussion with a police officer or gendarme specifically trained to deal with victims of sexual and gender-based violence. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    Website: arretonslesviolences.gouv.fr/ (in French)
  • CAUVA - Emergency shelter for victims of assault
    Open Monday to Friday, 9 am - 7 pm
  • Tel +33 (0)5 56 79 87 77 - cauva%40chu-bordeaux.fr

Find out more

Sexual violence: what is it?

Sexual violence covers situations in which a person imposes one or more acts, one or more comments (oral or written) of a sexual nature on another person. These acts are unwanted by the victim and are an expression of the perpetrator's desire to gain power over the victim.

This violence violates the fundamental rights of the person, in particular his/her physical and psychological integrity. It is prohibited by law and punishable by law.

Sexual violence takes many forms: sexual assault, rape, voyeurism, sexual harassment, etc.
The consequences are substantial, numerous and long-lasting: anxiety, sleep and/or eating disorders, intense fears, guilt, depression, isolation, risky or aggressive behaviour, etc.
The acts can have an impact on your health but also on your social, family or professional life.

The symptoms/signs are specific to each victim and vary over time. They justify seeking help and not becoming isolated.

What does the law say?

  • Rape
    Definition: any act of sexual penetration, or any oral-genital act of any kind whatsoever, committed on someone else or on the person of the perpetrator by violence, coercion, threat or surprise is rape.
    Article 222-23 to 222-26 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: 15 years criminal imprisonment (20 years in the event of aggravating circumstances and 30 years if the act has led to the death of the victim).
  • Sexual assault
    Definition: a non-penetrative sexual act committed with violence, coercion, threat or surprise.
    Sexual assault is an offence.
    Articles 222-22 and 222-28 to 222-31 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: 5 years imprisonment and a 75000€ fine (from 7 to 10 years imprisonment and from a fine of 100000€ to 150000€ in the event of aggravating circumstances).
  • Sexual exhibition
    Definition: imposing sexual exhibition on a non-consenting person in a place accessible to public view. Article 222-32 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: 1 year imprisonment and a 15000€ fine.
  • Voyeurism
    Definition: the act of using any means in order to see the private parts of a person that the latter, due to his or her clothing or presence in a closed place, has hidden from the view of third parties, when committed without the person's knowledge or consent. Article 226-3-1 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: 1 year imprisonment and a 15000€ fine.
  • Administration of substances
    Definition: administering to a person, without their knowledge, a substance of such a nature as to alter their discernment or control of their actions in order to commit rape or sexual assault against them. Article 222-30-1 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: 5 years imprisonment and a 75000€ fine.
  • Sexual harassment
    Definition: the act of repeatedly (= at least twice) imposing on a person comments or behaviour with a sexual connotation which either undermine their dignity because of their degrading or humiliating nature, or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation for them.
    Sexual harassment is defined as the use, even if not repeated, of any form of serious pressure with the real or apparent aim of obtaining an act of a sexual nature, whether this is sought for the benefit of the perpetrator or a third party. Article 222-33 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: 2 years imprisonment and a 45000€ fine.
  • Sexist, homophobic or transphobic insult
    Definition: an insult is a word/comment spoken or written, an expression of any kind of thought addressed to a person with the intention of hurting or offending them. Abuse is punishable by law. Insult can be private or public. It can also be racist, sexist or homophobic. The criminal penalties take these different elements into account. Public insults are subject to a specific procedure that makes it possible to punish them while preserving freedom of expression.
    Article R625-8-1 of the French Criminal Code (non-public insult); Article 33 of French Law of 29 July 1881 (public insult).
    Penalty: 1 year imprisonment and a 45000€ fine.
  • Sexist insult
    Definition: imposing on a person any comment or behaviour with sexual or sexist connotations which either violates their dignity because of its degrading or humiliating nature, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation against them.
    Article 621-1 of the French Criminal Code.
    Penalty: fine of 750 to 1500 euros.
  • Sexist act
    Definition: any act related to the sex of a person, the purpose or effect of which is to undermine their dignity or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It is punishable by a disciplinary sanction as it concerns labour relations.
    Article L1142-2-1 of the French Labour Code; Article 6bis of the 1983 law.


Useful links

  • Stop the violence
    Government website: arretonslesviolences.gouv.fr (in French)
  • CLASCHES, Collective against sexual harassment in higher education
    Feminist student association that campaigns to make visible a reality that is too often hidden and to share tools to help victims to testify, to react and not to be victimised.
    Website: clasches.fr (in French)
  • AVFT, European Association against Violence against Women at Work
    An autonomous feminist association that defends the rights to work and to personal integrity. Its field of action and reflection is all forms of violence against women, although it has specialised in denouncing sexist and sexual violence at work.
    Website: avft.org (in French)