Policy

Policy and Procedures for Handling Harassment and Abuse

Prepared by Healing and Reconciliation Committee

Moved by All Star I Executive Committee; VOTED by All Star One Chairs November 2005

Policy

1. The All Star I community is committed to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment, one supportive of personal and spiritual growth. We realize the right of children and adults to participate in a safe and civil environment free of all actions that degrade, threaten, scare, or harm other persons.

2. By promoting right relations, overcoming the secrecy often involved in the subject of harassment and abuse, and providing a confidential forum for possible problems and concerns, we will create an opportunity for victims and survivors to gain the power necessary to find help. We will also support in their treatment those who may have harmed or abused others as well as those who may suffer from allegations of committing harm or abuse. Thus, our goals as a community are prevention, resolution, and redemption.

3. The Children’s Program will complement and work with these community expectations while supporting and honoring the staff and other adults who work with our children.

4. Our statement of policy and procedures is considered to include prohibitions against all criminal behaviors. All Star I recognizes its obligation to report promptly any action of a criminal nature to the proper authorities in a timely manner. All Star I supports the harassment and abuse policies of the Star Island Corporation.

1. We will work to promote mutual respect and consideration for one another.

2. We affirm our commitment to maintaining an environment free of discrimination and harassment based on such issues as color, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, national origin, age, physical ability or disability, gender, or sexual orientation.

3. We will offer a place of safety and support for survivors of abuse, and we will facilitate discourse about abuse.

4. We believe that harassment and abuse, whether physical, psychological, or sexual, are not the fault of the victim. A person who has been harassed or abused needs support, empowerment, and a structure that provides an effective, safe, and prompt response to her or his complaint.

Procedure

1. Preventing Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Abuse

We believe that preventive education, careful hiring procedures and clear policies, especially regarding youth/adult interactions, are concrete steps toward creating a safe environment for all concerned.

1. Conference-wide Education

We see education at all ages and levels of development as critical to the creation of a safe environment. Inasmuch as it is one of the intentions of our programs to promote self-esteem and personal responsibility among both our children and our adult membership, we will attempt to provide the following as part of our program:

1. Ongoing emphasis on maintaining right relations.

2. Support for our children’s staff in areas such as relational skills, growth and development, and sexuality.

3. Information for all conferees about resources that address the issues of abuse.

2. Children’s Program

We expect that those individuals who come forward to provide service to the Children’s Program do so with the intention of belonging to a community of people who love, aid, and support each other; welcome and celebrate diversity; preserve a nurturing environment; and strive toward peace, understanding, justice, and moral leadership. In concert with this policy we will:

1. Educate teachers about promoting a safe environment for children in our program.

2. Have individuals who work on our children’s staff sign a Contract of Ethical Conduct.. The contract will stipulate that they have never been convicted of a crime or offense involving unlawful sexual conduct, assault, or endangering the welfare of a child, and that he or she has never been determined by a court or child welfare agency to have abused a child. (see appendix B)

2. Behaviors That Are Inconsistent With a Safe Environment

All members of our community have the right to be free of harassment and abuse. Definitions of these actions are provided below. If an individual feels her/his personal safety has been violated by a behavior or form of misconduct that is not specified here, however, s/he may still report her or his concerns to a member of the Healing and Reconciliation Committee or/and to the SIC Grievance Officer.

1. Harassment

1. Physical- pertaining to unwanted touch, contact, or other physical intrusions on another’s space

2. Psychological- pertaining to emotional and mental levels of pestering, intruding, stalking, etc.

3. Sexual- pertaining to unwanted sexualized behaviors, which may be in the form of:

1. physical conduct- touching, pinching, brushing against, impeding or blocking movement, assault, coercing sexual contact, etc.

2. verbal conduct- sexually suggestive or obscene comments, sexual propositions, threats (including threat of job loss or other punishment unless victim engages in sexual relations), jokes about gender-specific traits or sexual orientation, etc.

3. written conduct- sexually suggestive or obscene written material.

2. Abuse

1. Physical- includes actual or threatened harm, such as hitting, shoving, kicking, or throwing objects.

2. Psychological- includes being mistreated mentally and emotionally, such as being insulted, ridiculed, or threatened verbally.

3. Sexual- may be physical or psychological abuse. Three major areas of concern are:

1. Sexual relating or contact between an adult and a minor;

2. Sexual relating or contact between minors that violates one of them because of the other’s role or position;

3. Sexual relating or contact between adults that violates one of them because of the other’s role or position.

3. Responding to Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Abuse

As members of a caring community, it is our goal to educate and prepare ourselves so that we can respond rationally, compassionately, and with unity of purpose to any incident of suspected or reported harassment or abuse.

1. We wish to respond to individuals in crisis in a spirit of support and understanding, remembering that:

1. “Support” entails staying engaged with someone in the search for truth, justice and healing.

2. The sources of and solutions to a problem may be diverse and may involve us all.

3. We desire to protect the children in our care, to support survivors, and to foster an environment within which survivors and those who have harmed others can heal.

2. Consistant with the SIC Sexual Harassment Policy, The grievance officer of the SIC in consultation with the H&R committee will decide the appropriateness of having the Healing and Reconciliation Committee explore incidents of harassment and abuse involving adults. If charged with this responsibility the H&R committee will use the appropriate approaches from their “Steps in Handling Conflict” to address these incidents. (See appendix A.) Then if resolution cannot be achieved and/or if disciplinary action is necessary, the executive committee and/or the grievance officer will be advised.

3. All Star I will abide by the relevant laws of New Hampshire and Massachusetts and the Star Island Corporation’s policies on sexual harassment and discrimination.

4. Conferees will be informed of the existence of both the AllStar I and the SIC harassment and abuse policies and about the H&R committee’s mission.

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