Complaints Procedure

  1. If the complaint is deemed serious enough, a group of Sheffield Animal Action (SAA) members should be convened to investigate the complaint. Factors such as the diversity of the group and members’ relationships to the accused/complainant (unless submitted anonymously) should be considered to ensure as representative and fair a group as possible.
  2. The group will ask for any statement from the complainant in addition to their complaint. The accused will be informed of the details of the complaint made against them, with the complainant’s wishes regarding anonymity respected, and will also be asked for a statement. The group may also ask questions of the complainant and accused, and any other people as it deems necessary. The group should proceed with sensitivity and unintrusiveness if asking questions of a complainant whose complaint is on the basis of abuse or violence.
  3. While the procedure is ongoing, SAA may take the decision to suspend the member or ban them from attending events, including asking them to leave an event if a complaint is made during an event, pending the outcome of the investigation.
  4. When the group has considered the statements of the complainant and accused and any other information they have gathered, they will decide whether the accused’s behaviour:
    • Is a threat to the functioning of the organisation
    • Runs contrary to the aims of the organisation
    • Discriminates against members of oppressed groups
    • Poses a danger or harm to members of the organisation
  5. If the accused’s behaviour meets any of these criteria, the group will suggest a course of action SAA should take, which could include but is not limited to: giving the perpetrator a warning about their behaviour, banning the perpetrator from events and/or expelling them from the organisation.
  6. SAA will have the final decision as to the course of action to take, according to any conditions or procedures set out in the constitution, with the delegated group’s recommendations considered.
  7. In cases where the complaint is related to verbal, physical or sexual abuse, bullying or violence, SAA members will work with the complainant, if the complainant so wishes, to ensure that they have a support group around them and access to relevant services.