Norwescon 44 Safety Report

The Norwescon Safety team strives to ensure that the convention is a safe space for all of our members and attending professionals. When incidents arise, we perform an investigation to understand what happened. On the basis of our investigation, we then take appropriate action calculated to ensure that any inappropriate or unsafe conduct that occurred is not repeated.

In order to protect the integrity of our investigation process and the privacy of all of those involved, we seek to conduct our investigations in a confidential manner, and we do not normally comment publicly on these matters. However, this year there was an incident that one of the parties has discussed on social media. For that reason, we have decided to provide a limited public disclosure of the results of our investigation and the actions we have taken.

Our investigation determined that, during our Saturday evening event, a male audience member made a crude, unwelcome sexual suggestion to a female performer on stage, who was deeply offended by the comment. Following the performance, there was a second verbal altercation between the victim and their harasser. The audience member was at times apologetic and at times confrontational. The audience member was holding an alcoholic beverage and appeared to be intoxicated.

The performer and audience member each filed harassment complaints against the other with our organization. We investigated both complaints. Both parties cooperated and were heard during our investigations.

Based on our investigation of the performer’s complaint, we have reprimanded the audience member for his behavior, and imposed a one-year suspension from membership. This includes not being eligible to attend Norwescon 45 in 2023. Should the member choose to return at a later date, any further incident will result in a permanent ban. With respect to the audience member’s complaint against the performer, we have concluded it was not well founded, and we are not taking any adverse action against the performer.

We have advised both parties of the results and outcome of our investigation and actions taken. In addition, we will be revising our safety protocols and training to address deficiencies we have identified in our response at the time of the incident, particularly our security team’s failure to address the concern with the audience member at the time of the incident.

We want to thank both parties for raising their concerns with our organization and cooperating in our investigations.

[6/23/2022: The third paragraph of this post has been updated.]