USA Federation of Pankration Athlima
Policy on Abuse and Harassment
(Revised: May 2012)
USA Federation of Pankration Athlima (USAFPA) is committed to providing a safe environment for its members, participants, Instructors, referees and volunteers and to prevent abusive conduct and harassment in any form while participating in the activities of USAFPA. USAFPA promotes good sportsmanship throughout the organization and encourages qualities of mutual respect, courtesy and tolerance in all members, participants, coaches, officials, staff and volunteers. USAFPA advocates building strong self- images among the youth participants. Athletes with a strong self-image may be less likely targets for abuse or harassment; similarly, they may be less likely to engage in abuse or to harass or bully others around them.
To this end, USAFPA has established the following guidelines of behavior and procedures for our staff, volunteers, coaches, officials and participants. All members of the organization, as well as parents, spectators and other invitees are expected to observe and adhere to these guidelines.
1. Abuse or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated within the organization. This means USAFPA does not accept physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse, harassment or similar misconduct from any person towards athletes, staff, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents, spectators or any other persons while they are participating in or preparing for events or activities conducted under the auspices of USAFPA.
2. Physical and sexual abuse, including, but not limited to, striking, hitting, kicking, biting or wanton gesturing, lewd remarks, indecent exposure, unwanted physical contact, any form of sexual contact or inappropriate touching are strictly prohibited within the organization and as a part of its events and activities. Physical abuse does not include physical contact that is reasonably designed to coach, teach or demonstrate a wrestling skill.
3. Emotional abuse or verbal abuse is also prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to: yelling, insulting, threatening, mocking, demeaning behavior or making abusive statements in regard to a person’s race, gender, religion, nationality/ethnicity, sex or age. Emotional abuse does not include controlled and disciplined verbal communication that is generally accepted in sports as a reasonable method of coaching or teaching the sport.
4. To further protect USAFPA youth participants, as well as our coaches, officials and volunteers, we strongly advise that no adult person allow him/herself to be alone with a child or with any group of children in a private setting during or while they are participating in sponsored activities of USAFPA. In particular, in such circumstances, we recommend that coaches or other adult members of the organization:
• Do not drive alone with a child participant in the car
• Do not take a child alone to the locker room, bathrooms, or any other private room
• Provide one-on-one training or individual coaching with the assistance of another adult or athlete
• Have private conversations with youth participants within view of others instead of a private office
• Do not socialize individually with the participants outside of sponsored activities.
5. When staying overnight with youth participants, children should be paired up with other children of the same gender and similar age group, with chaperones in separate but nearby rooms.
6. USAFPA encourages parents to become as active as possible in sponsored activities, practices and other events. The more the parents are involved, the less likely it is for abusive situations to develop.
7. USAFPA will timely respond to any and all allegations of abuse or harassment in matters that are within the purview and jurisdiction of USAFPA. USAFPA expects that allegations of abuse or harassment that are properly within the purview and jurisdiction of officials or persons at other levels or of other organizations will be timely responded to and dealt as appropriate. When necessary and appropriate, this information should be communicated to the appropriate authorities for investigation and should be reviewed by appropriate officials, with timely notification to the alleged offender of such allegations.
8. Any person accused of sexual or physical abuse or harassment may be asked to resign voluntarily or may be suspended until the matter is investigated and resolved. Regardless of criminal or civil guilt in the alleged abuse, the continued presence of the person could be detrimental to the reputation of the organization and could be harmful to the participants. A person who is accused but later cleared of the charges, may apply to have a suspension lifted or, if applicable, to be reinstated within the organization. Reinstatement is not a right, and no assurance is made that the person will be reinstated to his/her former position.
9. Any person who violates this Policy, who fails to appropriately report matters covered by this Policy, who makes a false report with respect to matters covered by this Policy or who threatens retaliation or reprisal against an individual for reporting a matter under this Policy will be subject to discipline or other action as may be within the purview and jurisdiction of USAFPA, including but not limited to suspension or termination of membership in USAFPA or of any other position in which the person serves in USAFPA.
Harassment and abuse are defined in various sources such as state law, case law, sports organization and professional association codes of conduct and training manuals, corporate and business workplace documents and human rights commission materials. USAFPA has not adopted any specific definition of harassment or abuse, choosing instead to defer to such general sources and definitions for reference and application, depending on the circumstances. As further elaboration of examples given above, the following generally describe conduct that may be considered harassment or abuse:
· Any improper or inappropriate comment, action or gesture directed toward a person or group that is related to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other personal characteristic.
· Creating an environment through behavior or course of conduct that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, demeaning or offensive.
· Harassment usually occurs when one person engages in abusive behavior or asserts unwarranted power or authority over another, whether intended or not, and may include, for example, name-calling, threats, belittling, unwelcome advances and requests for sexual favors (as well as undue pressure to perform or succeed).
· Harassment includes child abuse.
· Child abuse can include physical contact – or the threat of it – that intentionally causes bodily harm or injury to a child. This may include, for example, hitting, shaking, kicking, shoving, or forcing an athlete to wrestle when injured or mandating excessive exercise as a form of punishment. It may also include touching for the purpose of causing sexual arousal or gratification that involves a child, rape, incest, fondling, exhibitionism and sexual exploitation. It may also include chronic attacks on a child’s self-esteem, such as psychologically destructive behavior consisting of ridiculing, screaming, swearing, racist comments threatening, stalking, hazing and isolating.