SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
Student Christian Movement of Canada
Revised January 2011
We believe that every person is made in the image of God and should be treated with dignity, respect and bodily integrity. As Christians and as spiritual journeyers, our relationships involve physical, emotional and spiritual expression based on loving commitment to God and other persons. God calls each of us to wholeness and to participate in the community of faith whose central quality is redemptive love.
Sexual harassment is a complex issue involving people of all genders, their perceptions and behaviour, and the social norms of society. Sexual harassment is not confined to any one level, class, sexual orientation or profession. Sexual harassment may be an expression of power or desire or both. Whenever it occurs, sexual harassment is an attempt to assert power over another person.
The Student Christian Movement of Canada will not tolerate any behaviour by any of its membership or staff that constitutes sexual harassment. The SCM is committed to providing a harassment free environment in all aspects of our work and programming, including worship, work and study. Complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and dealt with in a spirit of compassion and justice.
The SCM Canada Board is responsible for the implementation of the Sexual Harassment Policy. Each SCM local unit will receive a copy of this policy and it will be posted on the SCM Canada website.
The SCM encourages reporting of all incidents of sexual harassment.
Notwithstanding the existence of this policy, every person continues to have the right to seek assistance from the provincial legal/human rights systems, even when steps are being taken under this policy.
- Sexual Harassment – Sexual harassment is any attempt, or exercise of power, to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship, to subject a person to unwanted sexual attention, to punish a refusal to comply, or to reward compliance. Sexual harassment may be a single incident or a series of incidents involving a wide range of behaviours such as verbal innuendo, subtle suggestions, overt demands, and/or inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature. It is behaviour of a sexual nature that is known or ought to be known to be unwanted or unwelcome. It includes actions that contribute to an environment that is poisoned by persistent comments about sex, gender, appearance, marital status, sexual orientation, and/or pornographic pictures or cartoons.
- Sexual Assault –Sexual assault is any physical contact of a sexual nature with a person without their consent, including kissing, sexual contact, fondling, or sexual intercourse.
- Investigator – An Investigator is a person who is knowledgeable about sexual harassment and sexual assault and who has been appointed by the Board to investigate a complaint.
- Member – For the purposes of this policy, members are defined as persons participating in SCM work and programming, including Board of Directors members.
- Consent – The SCM is committed to principles of active consent that occur when two (or more) people decide together to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way with each other- whether it’s physical, verbal, or sexual. Consent is given in a situation in the presence of a “yes”, not the absence of a “no.”
Persons who are vulnerable including children, persons with emotional, cognitive or physical impairments, barriers or disabilities, persons who have consumed substances or may be otherwise cognitively or physically incapacitated or in positions of power imbalance(s), may be found to have been incapable of giving their consent.
Principles and Assumptions Related to Harassment
Sexual harassment is unacceptable within the Student Christian Movement and will not be tolerated at its programs or among its employees and membership.
All complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously.
The Board of Directors of the SCM of Canada is responsible for:
- preventing sexual harassment; this is a continuing responsibility, whether or not written complaints of sexual harassment have been brought to its attention;
- ensuring that written complaints of sexual harassment are investigated and ensuring that verbal complaints are recorded and investigated with consent of the person making the complaint (complainant)
- imposing discipline, when a complaint of sexual harassment is found to have been substantiated, including termination for cause and/or expulsion regardless of the position of the offender;
- ensuring that support is provided to persons who are subjected to sexual harassment; and
- educating all members and employees of the SCM about sexual harassment and the existence of the procedures available under this policy.
- This Policy governs all members and employees of SCM of Canada.
- A person who is governed by this Policy and who considers that they have been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual assault (the Complainant) by a person governed by this Policy is encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of the person responsible for the conduct (the Respondent).
- Where the Complainant does not wish to bring the matter directly to the attention of the Respondent, or where such an approach is attempted without producing a satisfactory result the Complainant may file a written complaint with either of the Co-Chairs of the Board.
- The Board shall provide the Respondent with a copy of the written complaint.
- The Board shall advise the Complainant and the Respondent of the procedure that will be used to investigate the complaint and will give each person a copy of this Policy.
- The Board will appoint an Investigator who will investigate the complaint and provide a written report to the Board of their findings and a suggested course of action. SCM is responsible for the fees and disbursements of the Investigator.
- The Board shall determine the appropriate disciplinary action, if any, which may include termination for cause and/or expulsion from a program, event or SCM as a whole
- The Complainant and the Respondent shall be informed of the decision of the Board.
The Student Christian Movement has developed this policy because all members and staff of the SCM have the right to work in an environment free of sexual harassment. All written complaints received under this policy will be investigated. Any employee who is found to have sexually harassed or sexually assaulted a person will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action, including termination for cause.