Tekko 2017: Elephant At The Con Report

The Questions

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The Data

We received 151 survey responses. Not a large sample of the convention, by any means, but a vocal group of people who care about Tekko and are passionate about making the event even better in the future. 98% of people surveyed said they usually or always felt safe at Tekko. The number of people comfortable sharing their sexuality or gender identity was even higher, though as you will see in the demographics section, a majority of the surveyed con attendees were cisgender and straight.

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4% of attendees were verbally harassed, 2% were touched without their consent, and < 1% were sexually harassed or assaulted.
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Stories

The graphs give us a high-level overview of . The following are attendee responses to the question:

At any point in the weekend did you feel uncomfortable at Tekko or see others in a difficult situation? Tell us about it.

Bystander Intervention

Cosplay

The cosplay community is a huge part of Tekko. Meeting a cosplayer dressed as your favorite character or having someone compliment the cosplay you worked so hard on can be an incredibly positive experience that creates the community at Tekko that keeps people coming back from year to year. However, the harassment faced by cosplayers (especially women) can detract from the experience as discussed at the Cosplay: Confidence and Consent panel.

Other Harassment

Of course, harassment was not limited to cosplayers.

Recommendations

Synthesizing the feedback, there are some actionable trends we have noted. Your staff can determine the feasibility of implementing some of these, but based on the feedback, these would lead to a safer con atmosphere and a higher rate of reports to incidents in the future.

  1. Offer an anonymous reporting mechanism. Tekko offers a variety of ways to report harassment today, but some of the stories here highlight that people avoided reporting because they were worried about backlash or the awkwardness of discussing the scenario with someone on staff. While having someone’s contact information allows staff to better gauge the situation, identify the perpetrator, etc. anonymous reporting would make some people more comfortable. Integrating anonymous reporting into the app or creating a simple anonymous form on your website could result in a higher ratio of reports f0r incidents.
  2. Communicate that people should report issues without a clear resolution. The explanation of the harassment policy in the bathroom stalls were a great feature that led to more people being familiar with the harassment policy. Adding a line in there that you encourage reporting even if they don’t think staff will be able to do anything or even if they feel the incident was minor will make people more comfortable reporting. Examples can help here.
  3. Ask for feedback from people who reported — Were they satisfied with the resolution? Did they feel it was worth reporting?
  4. Offer more panels on these topics. The Confidence and Cosplay panel could have reached higher attendance if it were offered later in the weekend when more people had arrived. Offering panels as safe places to discuss topics like fatshaming or accessibility in the cosplay community could provide a forum for people to brainstorm solutions to these topics while creating a supportive community.
  5. As you make positive changes, communicate these out. Whether through the website, social media, the unofficial facebook groups, etc. it is important to share progress that you are making with the broader Tekko community. Tekko has been going on for years and your policies have certainly improved over time, but one bad experience or mishandled situation can leave people thinking things like “I know from experience that Tekko staff isn’t very good at handling that.” To earn the trust back from attendees like that, you need to communicate changes.

UpliftTogether

Stories, campaigns, and initiatives by Uplift, a nonprofit…

Uplift: Online Communities Against Sexual Violence

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We are Uplift, a non-profit formed to combat sexual abuse, emotional manipulation, and other forms of violence in online communities.

UpliftTogether

Stories, campaigns, and initiatives by Uplift, a nonprofit dedicated to combatting sexual abuse, emotional manipulation, and other forms of violence in online communities. Submissions are welcome.

Uplift: Online Communities Against Sexual Violence

Written by

We are Uplift, a non-profit formed to combat sexual abuse, emotional manipulation, and other forms of violence in online communities.

UpliftTogether

Stories, campaigns, and initiatives by Uplift, a nonprofit dedicated to combatting sexual abuse, emotional manipulation, and other forms of violence in online communities. Submissions are welcome.

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