Physical contact during university courses
As a basic principle, teaching should take place in such a way that the dignity of all university members is respected and not violated.
It is not uncommon for teachers of artistic classes to physically touch their students for professional reasons, e.g. to correct breathing, posture and movement, and to therefore not maintain the physical distance of 1m generally observed in Europe.
There is thereby no clear line of transition to violations of physical boundaries and to (sexual) assaults. Particularly settings such as individual music tuition, where there are usually no witnesses, as well as the power imbalances und relationships of dependency often involved additionally tend to favour such situations. This often makes it hard for a victim to draw clear boundaries.
As a rule, physical touching is only permitted if:
- the teacher explains precisely, and from a professional point of view, why physical contact with the student is necessary
- the teacher says in advance where they want to touch the student
- the teacher asks if the student consents to physical contact
- the student consents to physical contact
“No” means “no”!
It is not permitted to touch students who do not wish to have physical contact during classes, and a physical distance of 1m must be maintained by the teacher!
When physical and sexual boundaries are violated, it is never the fault of the victim!
If a teacher ignores the fact that you have not consented to physical contact and does not maintain a physical distance of 1m from you during classes, please contact the AKG: we will help you!
We take rapid, discreet action!
We are legally required to maintain confidentiality!
Freia Hoffmann (Ed., 2006): Panische Gefühle. Sexuelle Übergriffe im Instrumentalunterricht. (“Feelings of Panic. Sexual assaults in musical instrument lessons.”) Mainz: Schott.