Abuse Awareness Resources

 Hazing
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Hazing


How to Recognize, Reduce, and Respond to Hazing


The following information has been provided by SafeSport, a program of The United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport aims to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants of sports through education, resources and training. The overall goal is to help members of the sports community recognize, reduce and respond to misconduct in sports. For more information, please visit safesport.org.

Being a team member shouldn’t come with additional requirements that get in the way of enjoying sports. Hazing often begins as seemingly benign behavior but can become an issue if allowed to continue. Since hazing often occurs among peers, coaches and staff can send a strong anti-hazing message by creating an environment that encourages individuals to raise concerns or share information. In addition, most states have enacted legislation to discourage hazing and hold those who participate accountable; and these laws can provide additional support for anti-hazing efforts.

DEFINITION

Hazing involves any conduct that subjects another person, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or psychologically, to anything that may endanger, abuse, humiliate, degrade or intimidate the person as a condition of joining or being socially accepted by a group, team, or organization. Purported Consent by the person subjected to Hazing is not a defense, regardless of the person’s perceived willingness to cooperate or participate. Examples of Hazing include:

a. Contact acts: Tying, taping or otherwise physically restraining another person; beating, paddling or other forms of physical assault. 
b. Non-contact acts: Requiring or forcing the consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs or other substances, including participation in binge drinking and drinking games; personal servitude; requiring social actions (e.g., wearing inappropriate or provocative clothing) or public displays (e.g., public nudity) that are illegal or meant to draw ridicule; excessive training requirements demanded of only particular individuals on a team that serve no reasonable or productive training purpose; sleep deprivation; otherwise unnecessary schedule disruptions; withholding of water and/or food; restrictions on personal hygiene. 
c. Sexualized acts: Actual or simulated conduct of a sexual nature. 
d. Criminal acts: Any act or conduct that constitutes hazing under applicable federal or state law.

EXCEPTIONS

Conduct may not rise to the level of Hazing if it is merely rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons who perceive they have incompatible views and/or positions. Hazing does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance.



Courtesy of The United States Olympic Committee.


 Physical Misconduct
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Physical Misconduct


How to Recognize, Reduce, and Respond to Physical Misconduct


The following information has been provided by SafeSport, a program of The United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport aims to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants of sports through education, resources and training. The overall goal is to help members of the sports community recognize, reduce and respond to misconduct in sports. For more information, please visit safesport.org.

Almost all sports involve strenuous physical activity; in practices and competition, athletes regularly push themselves to the point of exhaustion. However, any activity that physically harms an athlete – such as direct contact with coaches or teammates, disciplinary actions or punishment – is unacceptable. Physical misconduct can extend to seemingly unrelated areas including inadequate recovery times for injuries and diet. Two of the best ways to promote safe conditions are to set clear boundaries and take a team approach to monitoring athletes.

DEFINITION

Physical Misconduct is any intentional contact or non- contact behavior that causes, or reasonably threatens to cause, physical harm to another person. 

Examples of physical misconduct may include, without limitation: 

a. Contact violations: Punching, beating, biting, striking, choking or slapping another; intentionally hitting another with objects, such as sporting equipment; encouraging or knowingly permitting an Athlete to return to play prematurely following a serious injury (e.g., a concussion) and without the clearance of a medical professional. 
b. Non-contact violations: Isolating a person in a confined space, such as locking an Athlete in a small space; forcing an Athlete to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an athlete to kneel on a harmful surface); withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; providing alcohol to a person under the legal drinking age; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to another. 
c. Criminal Conduct: Physical Misconduct includes any act or conduct described as physical abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect, assault). 

EXCEPTIONS

Physical Misconduct does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance. For example, hitting, punching and kicking are well- regulated forms of contact in combat sports, but have no place in swimming. Physical Misconduct also does not include conduct reasonably accepted as part of sport and/or conduct reasonably accepted as part of Participant’s participation. 


Courtesy of The United States Olympic Committee.


 Sexual Misconduct
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Sexual Misconduct


How to Recognize, Reduce, and Respond to Sexual Misconduct


The following information has been provided by SafeSport, a program of The United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport aims to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants of sport through education, resources, and training. The overall goal is to help members of the sport community recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport. For more information, please visit safesport.org.

Sport can teach lessons that reach beyond the field of play, but its ability to do so depends on maintaining the bonds of trust, mentorship and mutual respect among teammates. These elements are undermined when sexual misconduct occurs in sport settings. Sexual misconduct includes sexual abuse, sexual harassment and rape. Every member of the sport community, especially adult staff in positions of authority, can contribute to a sport environment free from sexual misconduct by working together and being informed.

DEFINITION

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to engage in Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:

1. Sexual or Gender-related Harassment
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in (a) and/or (b), below, are present. 

Sexual harassment includes harassment related to gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions outlined in (a) and/or (b), below, are present. 

a. Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of any person’s employment, standing in sport, or participation in Events, sports programs and/or activities; or when submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for sporting decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment); or 
b. Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A “hostile environment” exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, and/or pervasive such that it interferes with, limits, or deprives any individual of the opportunity to participate in any program or activity. Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective. 

Whether a hostile environment exists depends on the totality of known circumstances, including, but not limited to: 

i. The frequency, nature, and severity of the conduct; 
ii. Whether the conduct was physically threatening; 
iii. The effect of the conduct on the Claimant’s mental or emotional state; 
iv. Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person; 
v. Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct; 
vi. Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with any person’s educational or work performance and/or sport programs or activities; and 
vii. Whether the conduct implicates concerns related to protected speech. 

A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident that is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the conduct is physical. A single incident of sexual contact without Consent, for example, may be sufficiently severe to constitute a hostile environment. In contrast, the perceived offensiveness of a single verbal or written expression, standing alone, is typically not sufficient to constitute a hostile environment. 

2. Non-consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit the same)
It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to engage in Sexual Contact without Consent. 

Sexual Contact is any intentional touching of a sexual nature, however slight, with any object or body part (as described below), by a person upon another person. 

Sexual Contact includes but is not limited to: (a) kissing, (b) intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching of another with any of these body parts; and (c) making another touch themselves, the Participant, or someone else with or on any of these body parts. 

3. Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse
It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to engage in Sexual Intercourse without Consent. 

Sexual intercourse is any penetration, however slight, with any object or body part (as described below), by a person upon another person. 

Sexual Intercourse includes (a) vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; (b) anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and (c) any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person. 

4. Sexual Exploitation
It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to engage in Sexual Exploitation. Sexual Exploitation occurs when a Participant purposely or knowingly: 

a. Allows third parties to observe private sexual activity from a hidden location (e.g., closet) or through electronic means (e.g., Skype or live-streaming of images) without Consent of all parties involved in the sexual activity. 
b. Records or photographs private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without Consent of all parties in the recording or photo. 
c. Engages in voyeurism (e.g., watching private sexual activity or viewing another person’s intimate parts when that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy), without Consent of all parties being viewed. 
d. Disseminates, shows or posts images of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without prior Consent of the person depicted in the images. 
e. Intentionally exposes another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without that person’s knowledge. 
f. Engages in prostituting or trafficking another person. 

5. Bullying, Hazing, or Other Inappropriate Conduct of a Sexual Nature. 

NOTES


• An imbalance of power is always assumed between a coach and an athlete.
• Minors cannot consent to sexual activity with an adult; and all sexual interaction between an adult and a minor is strictly prohibited.


REPORTING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

It’s critical for clubs, coaches, staff members, volunteers and parents to report suspicions or allegations of sexual misconduct to the proper officials and appropriate law enforcement authorities.

By working together, we can create safe conditions for sport and protect athletes.



Courtesy of the United States Olympic Committee.


 Emotional Misconduct
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Emotional Misconduct


How to Recognize, Reduce, and Respond to Emotional Misconduct


The following information has been provided by SafeSport, a program of The United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport aims to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants of sports through education, resources and training. The overall goal is to help members of the sports community recognize, reduce and respond to misconduct in sports. For more information, please visit safesport.org.

Sports can help individuals build skills, making them stronger and better able to deal with challenges. The wide range of emotions athletes experience in practice and competition are a normal, healthy component of sports. However, a repeated pattern of behavior by either coaches or teammates that can inflict psychological or emotional harm has no place in sports. By gaining a complete understanding of the actions that qualify as emotional misconduct, participants can be in a stronger position to take action.

DEFINITION

Emotional misconduct includes (a) Verbal Acts, (b) Physical Acts, (c) Acts that Deny Attention or Support, (d) Criminal Conduct, and/or (e) Stalking. Emotional Misconduct is determined by the objective behaviors, not whether harm is intended or results from the behavior. 

a. Verbal Acts: Repeatedly and excessively verbally assaulting or attacking someone personally in a manner that serves no productive training or motivational purpose. 
b. Physical Acts: Repeated and/or severe physically aggressive behaviors, including but not limited to, throwing sport equipment, water bottles or chairs at or in the presence of others, punching walls, windows or other objects. 
c. Acts that Deny Attention or Support: Ignoring or isolating a person for extended periods of time, including routinely or arbitrarily excluding a Participant from practice. 
d. Criminal Conduct: Emotional Misconduct includes any act or conduct described as emotional abuse or misconduct under federal or state law (e.g. child abuse, child neglect). 
e. Stalking: Stalking occurs when a person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or should know, that the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to (i) fear for their safety, (ii) the safety of a third person, or (iii) to experience substantial emotional distress. 

“Course of conduct” means at least two or more acts, in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. 

“Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish. 

Stalking also includes “cyber-stalking,” wherein a person stalks another using electronic media, such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact. 

EXCEPTIONS


Emotional Misconduct does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline or improved Athlete performance. Emotional Misconduct also does not include conduct reasonably accepted as part of sport and/or conduct reasonably accepted as part of Participant’s participation. 



Contributed by The United States Olympic Committee.


 Harassment
(8/14/2018)
 
   

Harassment


How to Recognize, Reduce, and Respond to Harassment


The following information has been provided by SafeSport, a program of The United States Olympic Committee. SafeSport aims to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants of sports through education, resources and training. The overall goal is to help members of the sports community recognize, reduce and respond to misconduct in sports. For more information, please visit safesport.org.

Sports are an incredibly constructive outlet for individuals, in part because athletes are judged solely on their abilities and performance. In this environment, hard work, persistence and improvement are defining characteristics. Harassment based on race, gender or sexual orientation affects team cohesion, performance and an individual’s ability to focus on building skills and enjoy competition. As with bullying and hazing, coaches and staff can create a supportive environment for sports by setting a zero-tolerance policy.

DEFINITION

Harassment is repeated and/or severe conduct that (a) causes fear, humiliation or annoyance, (b) offends or degrades, (c) creates a hostile environment (as defined above), or (d) reflects discriminatory bias in an attempt to establish dominance, superiority or power over an individual or group based on age, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, national origin, or mental or physical disability; or (e) any act or conduct described as harassment under federal or state law. Whether conduct is harassing depends on the totality of the circumstances, including the nature, frequency, intensity, location, context, and duration of the behavior. Examples of Harassment include:

Physical offenses:
• Hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting, striking, kicking, choking or slapping an athlete or participant.
• Throwing at or hitting an athlete with objects, including sporting equipment.

Non-physical offenses:
• Making negative or disparaging comments about an athlete’s sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, religion, skin color or ethnic traits.
• Displaying offensive materials, gestures or symbols.
• Withholding or reducing an athlete’s playing time based on his or her sexual orientation.

EXECPTIONS

Conduct may not rise to the level of Harassment if it is merely rude (inadvertently saying or doing something hurtful), mean (purposefully saying or doing something hurtful, but not as part of a pattern of behavior), or arising from conflict or struggle between persons who perceive they have incompatible views and/or positions. Harassment does not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete performance. 



Courtesy of The United States Olympic Committee.