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Bouchercon Code of Conduct and Antiharassment Policy


Bouchercon, Inc. is a national organization which for over fifty years has organized and conducted Bouchercon®, an international event bringing together all aspects of the mystery and crime fiction community. We welcome people from all backgrounds, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, citizenship, marital status, family/parental status, military/veterans status, political beliefs and/or medical condition.

Bouchercon® events are run by fans, for fans, and are intended to be a safe, relaxed and inclusive environment to celebrate the genre and the community of readers, writers, and publishing professionals.  As such, we believe Bouchercon® events should be free of any and all discrimination, abuse, microaggressions and/or harassment of any type. This Code of Conduct  & Antiharassment Policy applies to any and all Bouchercon® members, Board members, Committee members, at-large members, attendees and/or guests of attendees at all times, as well as during attendance at Bouchercon® sponsored or produced events, whether in-person, virtual and/or otherwise.

For over fifty years, we have observed all applicable laws and regulations, and have practiced strict adherence to the highest standards of conduct. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.  We view harassment as any behavior, whether physical, verbal and/or emotional, direct and/or indirect, that threatens, alarms, or makes someone uncomfortable. Examples may include, but are not limited to the following: verbal or written comments and/or innuendos of a sexual or violent nature, unwanted physical and/or sexual contact and/or advances, ethnic and/or racial slurs or epithets, recording or photographing individuals without consent, following or stalking and/or unwanted coercive behavior of any kind. Microaggressions are everyday slights, insults, putdowns, invalidations, and offensive behaviors that even generally well-intentioned individuals can sometimes engage in. Examples may include deliberately challenging an attendee’s identification, race/ethnicity, or gender identity.

Any member who believes that they have been or are being subject to a violation of Bouchercon’s Code of Conduct & Antiharassment Policy, or who witnesses a violation, is encouraged to immediately report any such violation to the event organizer or a Bouchercon® Board member. Contact with the hotel, convention event space owner and/or operator or police is also encouraged. All such reporting shall remain confidential. In the event there is a formal legal investigation, all contact information shall remain confidential and protected against unnecessary disclosure—including the identity of the accused individual, the individual reporting the violation, and that of any witness. Should they desire to do so, individuals may consent in writing to Bouchercon® event Local Organizer Chair(s) to disclose their identities.

Any attendee asked to stop any behavior deemed to be harassing, is expected to comply immediately.  If the situation is of an urgent nature, such as the fear of immediate, physical danger, the victim of the harassment should immediately contact hotel staff, convention event leaders, or the police.

Consequences of violating this Code of Conduct & Antiharassment Policy will be governed by the circumstances of any particular incident, but we reserve the right to enforce any and all forms of discipline deemed appropriate, including, but not limited to, a verbal or written warning, cancellation of current event participation, prohibiting attendance at and/or participation in future Bouchercon® events and/or permanent expulsion from Bouchercon®. This is a professional organization and as such we expect all members to conduct themselves in a professional, respectful and lawful manner. Those who do not adhere to these strict standards will be expelled. In addition, Bouchercon® reserves the right to terminate or replace any vendor or sponsor not in compliance with this Code of Conduct & Antiharassment Policy.  In some cases, regarding violations of this Code of Conduct & Antiharassment Policy, Bouchercon® may, at its sole discretion, decide to make a public statement to its members and community on the subject.

Bouchercon® will not publicize, comment, or otherwise disclose the allegations, investigation, or consequences imposed by the Board in response to an investigation to its members, any outside organization, or the media for the protection of this organization and its members.

If you are a victim, or know of a violation of this Code of Conduct & Antiharassment Policy, you are provided an opportunity to report the incident at our Incident Email:

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