Safe Sport Policy

SafeSport Policy and Participant Safety Handbook 

Approved November 2021 

As a US Rowing member organization, Arlington-Belmont Crew (AB Crew) has adopted the following athlete safety program. The policy prohibits and defines the following conduct:

  1. Criminal Charges or Dispositions
  2. Child Abuse
  3. Sexual Misconduct
  4. Emotional and Physical Misconduct, including Stalking, Bullying, Hazing, and Harassment
  5. Aiding and Abetting
  6. Misconduct Related to Reporting
  7. Misconduct Related to the Center’s Process
  8. Other Inappropriate Conduct
  9. Violation of Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies / Proactive Policies

The AB Crew program is designed to assure athletes’ safety at the cage, erg room, on the water, and at all events, promoting an environment free from bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct and sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse).

TRAINING AND EDUCATION 

Our policies and procedures require coaches, Board members, and/or volunteers to report abuse, misconduct, and violations of this Participant Safety Handbook. To do so, coaches and/or volunteers (volunteer coaches, parent chaperones, referees, other volunteers) should have a basic understanding of sexual abusers, as well as “grooming,” the most common strategy offenders use to seduce their victims. Using a combination of attention, affection and gifts, offenders select a child, win the child’s trust (and the trust of the child’s parent or guardian), manipulate the child into sexual activity, and keep the child from disclosing abuse.

Accordingly, all coaches must complete online awareness training concerning misconduct in sport before performing services for AB Crew. All AB Crew members, parents, and volunteers are also encourages to complete the training. 

APPLICANT SCREENING 

Staff members, contractors and/or volunteers must consent to, and pass, a formal Applicant screening process before performing services for AB Crew.

Elements of our screening process may include, as applicable, successful completion of an application, interview, reference check and criminal background check.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT 

Approved November 2021

As a US Rowing member organization, Arlington-Belmont Crew (AB Crew) has adopted the following athlete safety program. The policy prohibits and defines the following conduct:

  1. Criminal Charges or Dispositions
  2. Child Abuse
  3. Sexual Misconduct
  4. Emotional and Physical Misconduct, including Stalking, Bullying, Hazing, and Harassment
  5. Aiding and Abetting
  6. Misconduct Related to Reporting
  7. Misconduct Related to the Center’s Process
  8. Other Inappropriate Conduct
  9. Violation of Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies / Proactive Policies

The AB Crew program is designed to assure athletes’ safety at the cage, erg room, on the water, and at all events, promoting an environment free from bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct, physical misconduct and sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse).

TRAINING AND EDUCATION

Our policies and procedures require coaches, Board members, and/or volunteers to report abuse, misconduct, and violations of this Participant Safety Handbook. To do so, coaches and/or volunteers (volunteer coaches, parent chaperones, referees, other volunteers) should have a basic understanding of sexual abusers, as well as “grooming,” the most common strategy offenders use to seduce their victims. Using a combination of attention, affection and gifts, offenders select a child, win the child’s trust (and the trust of the child’s parent or guardian), manipulate the child into sexual activity, and keep the child from disclosing abuse.

Accordingly, all coaches must complete online awareness training concerning misconduct in sport before performing services for AB Crew. All AB Crew members, parents, and volunteers are also encouraged to complete the training.

APPLICANT SCREENING

Staff members, contractors and/or volunteers must consent to, and pass, a formal Applicant screening process before performing services for AB Crew.

Elements of our screening process may include, as applicable, successful completion of an application, interview, reference check and criminal background check.

PROHIBITED CONDUCT

A. Criminal Charge or Disposition

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to have a  Criminal Charge or Disposition.

Criminal Conduct is relevant to an individual’s fitness  to participate in sport. The age of a Criminal Charge or  Disposition is not relevant to whether a violation of the Code occurred, but may be considered for sanctioning  purposes. The Center reviews Criminal Charges or  Dispositions involving sexual misconduct or child  abuse de novo; any prior consideration or finding by an  NGB, LAO, or the USOPC regarding a Criminal Disposition involving sexual misconduct or child abuse  is not relevant to the Center’s determination.

1. Definitions

a, Criminal Disposition

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to be  or have been subject to any disposition or  resolution of a criminal proceeding, other than an  adjudication of not guilty, including, but not  limited to: an adjudication of guilt or admission  to a criminal violation, a plea to the charge or a  lesser included offense, a plea of no contest, any  plea analogous to an Alford or Kennedy plea, the  disposition of the proceeding through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication,  deferred prosecution, disposition of supervision,  conditional dismissal, juvenile delinquency  adjudication, or similar arrangement.

b. Criminal Charge, including Warrant for Arrest

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to  have any pending criminal charge(s) or  warrant(s) for arrest.

When assessing whether conduct constitutes a  Criminal Charge or Disposition, the Center may  assess and rely upon the original charges, amended  charges, or those to which a plea was entered.

2. Sex Offender Registry

A Participant who is currently on any state, federal,  territorial, or tribal sex offender registry is ineligible  to participate.

3. Hearing Related to Criminal Charge or Disposition

A Participant who wishes to challenge the Center’s  decision related to a Criminal Charge or Disposition may request a hearing concerning the sanction only  pursuant to Rule-14.

If the Center renders a Decision regarding a Participant’s Criminal Charge or Disposition, and  that Charge or Disposition is subsequently modified  by a criminal court, the Participant may request that  the matter be reopened by the Center, pursuant to  Section XI(R). In instances where a pending criminal  charge(s) resolves, in that the charge(s) is eventuallydismissed, results in an acquittal, or results in a  Criminal Disposition as defined above, a  Respondent’s request to reopen will always be  granted and a new Decision issued.

B. Child Abuse

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to engage  in Child Abuse.

C. Sexual Misconduct

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
  2. Non-consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit the same)
  3. Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit the same)
  4. Sexual Exploitation
  5. Bullying or hazing, or other inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature.

 

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) 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) 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 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, 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 asubjective 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 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. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact

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 bya 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 partiesinvolved in the sexual activity.

b. Records or photographs private sexual activity 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 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

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to engage in bullying, hazing, and other inappropriate conduct  of a sexual nature, as further defined in the  corresponding sections below.

D. Emotional and Physical Misconduct

It is a Code violation for a Participant to engage in emotional or physical misconduct, when that misconduct  occurs within a context that is reasonably related to  sport, which includes, without limitation:

  1. Emotional Misconduct
  2. Physical Misconduct
  3. Bullying Behaviors
  4. Hazing
  5. Harassment.

 

1. Emotional Misconduct

Emotional Misconduct includes (a) Verbal Acts, (b)  Physical Acts, (c) Acts that Deny Attention or Support, (d) Criminal Conduct, 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 mannerthat serves no productive training or motivational purpose.

b. Physical Acts

Repeated 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.

f. Exclusion

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 or conduct reasonably  accepted as part of Participant’s participation.

2. Physical Misconduct

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, strangling 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).

d. Exclusion

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 or conduct reasonably accepted as part of  Participant’s participation.

3. Bullying Behavior

Repeated or severe behavior(s) that are (a)  aggressive (b) directed at a Minor, and (c) intended  or likely to hurt, control, or diminish the Minor  emotionally, physically or sexually. Bullying-like  behaviors directed at adults are addressed under  other forms of misconduct, such as Hazing or Harassment. Examples of bullying behavior may  include, without limitation, repeated or severe:

a. Physical

Hitting, pushing, punching, beating, biting,  striking, kicking, strangling, slapping, spitting  at, or throwing objects (such as sporting  equipment) at another person.

b. Verbal

Ridiculing, taunting, name-calling or  intimidating or threatening to cause someone harm.

c. Social, including cyberbullying

Use of rumors or false statements about  someone to diminish that person’s reputation;  using electronic communications, social media or other technology to harass, frighten,  intimidate or humiliate someone; socially  excluding someone and asking others to do the same.

d. Sexual

Ridiculing or taunting that is sexual in nature or based on gender or sexual orientation (real or  perceived), gender traits or behavior, or teasing  someone about their looks or behavior as it  relates to sexual attractiveness.

e. Criminal Conduct

Bullying Behavior includes any conduct described as bullying under federal or state law.

f. Exclusion

Conduct may not rise to the level of Bullying  Behavior 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 or positions. Bullying does not include  professionally accepted coaching methods of  skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team  building, appropriate discipline, or improved  Athlete performance.

4. Hazing

Any conduct that subjects another person, whether  physically, mentally, emotionally or  psychologically, to anything that may endanger,  abuse, humiliate, degrade orintimidate 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 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.

e. Exclusion

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 or positions. Hazing  does not include professionally accepted  coaching methods of skill enhancement,  physical conditioning, team building,  appropriate discipline, or improved Athlete  performance.

5. Harassment

Repeated 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.

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 or positions. Harassment does  not include professionally accepted coaching methods of skill enhancement, physical conditioning, team building, appropriate discipline,  or improved Athlete performance.

E. Aiding and Abetting

Aiding and Abetting occurs when one aids, assists,  facilitates, promotes, or encourages the commission of  Prohibited Conduct by a Participant, including but not  limited to, knowingly:

  1. Allowing any person who has been identified as suspended or otherwise ineligible by the Center to be in any way associated with or employed by an organization affiliated with or holding itself out as  affiliated with an NGB, LAO, the USOPC, or the  Olympic & Paralympic Movement;
  2. Allowing any person who has been identified as suspended or otherwise ineligible by the Center to coach or instruct Participants;
  3. Allowing any person who has been identified as ineligible by the Center to have ownership interest in  a facility, an organization, or its related entities, if  that facility/organization/related entity is affiliated  with or holds itself out as affiliated with an NGB, LAO, the USOPC, or the Olympic & Paralympic Movement;
  1. Providing any coaching-related advice or service to an Athlete who has been identified as suspended or otherwise ineligible by the Center;
  2. Allowing any person to violate the terms of their suspension or any other sanctions imposed by the Center.

In addition, a Participant also violates the Code if  someone acts on behalf of the Participant to engage in  Aiding or Abetting, or if the guardian, family member,  or Advisor of a Participant, including Minor  Participants, engages inAiding or Abetting.

F. Misconduct Related to Reporting

1. Failure to Report

An Adult Participant who fails to report actual or  suspected Sexual Misconduct or Child Abuse to the  Center and, when appropriate, to law enforcement  may be subject to disciplinary action under the  Center’s resolution procedures and may also be  subject to federal or state penalties.

a. The obligation to report is broader than reporting a pending charge or criminal arrest of a Participant; it requires reporting to the Center any  conduct which, if true, would constitute Sexual  Misconduct or Child Abuse. The obligation to  report to the Center is an ongoing one and is not  satisfied simply by making an initial report. The  obligation includes reporting, on a timely basis, all information of which an Adult Participant  becomes aware, including the names of  witnesses, third-party reporters, and Claimants.

b. The obligation to report includes personally identifying information of a potential Claimant to the extent known at the time of the report, as well as a duty to reasonably supplement the report as  to identifying information learned at a later time.

c. Participants should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of allegations involving Sexual Misconduct or Child Abuse.  Participants making a good faith report are not  required to prove the reports are true before  reporting.

2. Intentionally Filing a False Allegation

In addition to constituting misconduct, filing a  knowingly false allegation that a Participant engaged  in Prohibited Conduct may violate state criminal law  and civil defamation laws. Any Participant making a  knowingly false allegation in a matter over which the  Center exercises jurisdiction shall be subject to  disciplinary action by the Center.

a. An allegation is false if the events reported did not occur, and the person making the report  knows the events did not occur.

b. A false allegation is different from an unsubstantiated allegation; an unsubstantiated allegation means there is insufficient supporting  evidence to determine whether an allegation is true or false. Absent demonstrable misconduct,  an unsubstantiated allegation alone is not  grounds for a Code violation.

G. Misconduct Related to the Center’s Process

The behaviors identified below constitute Prohibited  Conduct and may give rise to a sanction. In addition, a  Participant also violates the Code if someone acts on  behalf of the Participant and engages in any of the  following Prohibited Conduct, including a Participant’s

Advisor, or the guardian, or family member of a Minor  Participant. In such a case, the Participant and, if the party acting on behalf of the Participant is also a  Participant, that person, may be sanctioned.

1. Abuse of Process

A Participant, or someone acting on behalf of a  Participant, violates this Code by directly or  indirectly abusing or interfering with the Center’s  process by: (a) falsifying, distorting, or  misrepresenting information, the resolution process,  or an outcome; (b) destroying or concealing  information; (c) attempting to discourage an  individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the  Center’s processes; (d) harassing or intimidating (verbally or physically) any person involved in the  Center’s processes before, during, or following  proceedings (including up to, through, and after any  review by an arbitrator); (e) publicly disclosing a  Claimant’s identifying information3; (f) failing to comply with a temporary measure or other sanction;  (g) distributing or otherwise publicizing materials created or produced during an investigation or  Arbitration as apart of these policies or procedures, except as required by law or as expressly permitted  by the Center; or (h) influencing or attempting to  influence another person to commit abuse of process.

2. Retaliation

Retaliation against anyone for engaging in the  Center’s processes is prohibited.

A Participant, someone acting on behalf of a Participant, an NGB, LAO, the USOPC or any  organization under the Center’s jurisdiction shall not  take an adverse action against any person for making  a good faith report of a possible Code violation to the  Center or other relevant organization as identified  herein or for participating in any process under this Code.

Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would  discourage a reasonable person from engaging or  participating in the Center’s processes when the action is reasonably related to the report or  engagement with the Center. Retaliation may be  present even where there is a finding that no  violation occurred.

Retaliation does not include good-faith actions  lawfully pursued in response to a report of a Code  violation.

H. Other Inappropriate Conduct

1. Intimate Relationship

An Adult Participant violates this Code by engaging  in an intimate or romantic relationship where a  Power Imbalance exists.

An Intimate or Romantic relationship is a close personal relationship—other than a familial  relationship—that exists independently and outside  of the sport relationship. Whether a relationship is  intimate is based on the totality of the  circumstances, including: regular contact or  interactions outside of or unrelated to the sport  relationship (electronically or in person), the  parties’ emotional connectedness, the exchange of  gifts, ongoing physical or intimate contact or sexual  activity, identity as a couple, the sharing of sensitive  personal information, or intimate knowledge about  each other’s lives outside the sport relationship.

2. Exposing a Minor to Sexual Content / Imagery

An Adult Participant violates this Code by  intentionally exposing a Minor to content or  imagery of a sexual nature, including but not limited  to, pornography, sexual comment(s), sexual  gestures, or sexual situation(s).

This provision does not exclude the possibility that  similar behavior between Adults could constitute Sexual Harassment, as defined in the Code.

3. Intentional Exposure of Private Areas

An Adult Participant violates this Code by  intentionally exposing breasts, buttocks, groin, or  genitals, or induces another to do so, to an Adult  when there is a Power Imbalance, or to a Minor.

4. Inappropriate Physical Contact

An Adult Participant violates this Code by engaging  in inappropriate physical contact with a Participant  when there is a Power Imbalance. Such inappropriate  contact includes, but is not limited to, intentionally:

a. touching, slapping, or otherwise contacting the buttocks or genitals of a Participant;

b. excessively touching or hugging a Participant;

c. kissing a Participant.

5. Willful Tolerance

A Participant violates this Code by willfully  tolerating any form of Prohibited Misconduct, when  there is a Power Imbalance between that Participant  and the individual(s) who are being subjected to the  Prohibited Conduct.

I. Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies /Proactive Policies

It is a violation of the Code for a Participant to violate  any provision of the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies or other proactive policies adopted by the  NGBs, LAOs, or the USOPC. Proactive policies set standards for professional boundaries, minimize the  appearance of impropriety, and have the effect of  preventing boundary violations and prohibiting  grooming tactics.4 Tailored to a specific sport, context,  legal structure or constituency, such policies may  address overnight travel rules (e.g., preventing  unrelated Adult Participants and Minors from sharing rooms under specified circumstances), massages and  rubdowns, social media and electronic  communications, photography, locker rooms, one-on one meetings and gifting.

REPORTING 

Although these policies are designed to reduce child sexual abuse and other misconduct, it can still occur. Coaches, volunteers, parents, and participants of AB Crew programs will report any concerns to an AB Crew officer (President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer). Any persons planning to report an incident are encouraged to do so in writing as well as in a verbal communication. You may do so anonymously if you wish, without fear of retribution. AB Crew does not investigate suspicions or allegations of child physical or sexual abuse, or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of such allegations, as a condition of reporting suspicions or allegations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. 

Bad-Faith Allegations 

A report of abuse, misconduct or policy violations that is malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith is prohibited. Such reports will be considered a violation of our Participant Safety Handbook and grounds for disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the allegation, a person making a malicious, frivolous or bad-faith report may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.

HOW REPORTS ARE HANDLED 

Suspicions of Allegations of Child Physical or Sexual Abuse 

Reporting to Law Enforcement and/or Child Protective Services 

An independent investigation can harm youth and/or interfere with the legal

investigative process. AB Crew, its staff members and/or volunteers do not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse as a condition for reporting to appropriate law enforcement authorities. As necessary, however, AB Crew officers may ask a few clarifying questions of the minor or person making the report to adequately report the suspicion or allegation to law enforcement authorities.

For mandatory reporting laws, visit www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dcf/child-abuse-neglect/.

Immediate Suspension or Termination 

When an allegation of child physical or sexual abuse is made against a staff member, youth and/or volunteer, AB Crew may immediately remove that individual from contact with any children in the program until the allegation has been investigated by an official agency. As necessary, AB Crew may suspend or change the assignment of a staff member and/or volunteer.

Misconduct and Policy Violations 

AB Crew addresses internally alleged policy violations and misconduct – bullying harassment, hazing, emotional, physical and sexual – that are not reportable under state or federal law. Staff members and/or volunteers must report policy violations and misconduct to an immediate supervisor or AB Crew officer.

NOTIFICATION 

Following AB Crew’s notice of a credible allegation that results in the removal of an employee, coach or other volunteer, AB Crew may consider the circumstances in which it will notify other parents of athletes with whom the accused individual may have had contact. At AB Crew’s discretion, as appropriate, and after consultation with counsel, AB Crew may notify its staff members, contractors, volunteers, parents and/or athletes of any allegation of child physical or sexual abuse or other criminal behavior that law enforcement authorities are actively investigating. Advising others of an allegation may lead to additional reports of child physical or sexual abuse and other misconduct.

DISCIPLINARY RULES AND PROCEDURE 

DISCIPLINARY RULES 

AB Crew recognizes that there are varying levels of misconduct. For example, physical and sexual misconduct are serious violations that may result in immediate dismissal. In contrast, a youth participant who tells a single sexually risqué joke constitutes less serious misconduct and depending on the circumstances, might be dealt with more appropriately through dialogue and a verbal warning. In all cases, AB Crew’s disciplinary procedures and actions will be proportionate, reasonable and applied fairly and equally.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE 

On receipt of an allegation, AB Crew will determine in its discretion the

appropriate steps to address the conduct base on several factors, including (i) the

age of the complainant or victim, (ii) the age of the accused and (iii) the nature, scope, and extent of the allegations.

AB Crew’s disciplinary response will depend on the nature and seriousness of the incident and in extreme case, misconduct will result in immediate summary dismissal, provided that the accused individual shall be advised of their right to a hearing. If the accused individual is a minor, AB Crew will contact his or her parent(s) or guardian(s).

DISCIPLINARY ACTION 

Sanctions for violations of the Participant Safety Handbook will be proportionate and reasonable under the circumstances. In addition to day-to-day guidance, AB Crew may take the following disciplinary actions, without limitation:

 In the case of a youth participant, inform the youth’s parent or guardian

 Provide the individual with guidance, redirection and instruction

 Temporary suspension from competition

 File a formal incident report

 Issue a verbal warning

 Issue a written and/or final written warning

 Provide informed supervision, where at least one staff member is informed of the allegation and is instructed to vigilantly supervise the accused participant or stakeholder in his or her interactions with the program and/or organization

 Engage in restorative practices, i.e., creation of a respectful and safe dialogue when a misunderstanding or harm has occurred

 Suspend or terminate employment or membership

 

ONGOING EMPLOYMENT AND/OR PARTICIPATION 

On receipt of a credible and specific allegation of child abuse or other serious misconduct (e.g., physical and sexual abuse as defined in our Athlete Protection Policy), AB Crew may immediately suspend or terminate the accused individual to ensure participant safety.

COMPLAINANT PROTECTION 

Regardless of outcome, AB Crew will support the complainant(s) and his or her right to concerns in good faith. AB Crew will not encourage or tolerate attempts to retaliate, punish or in any way harm any individual(s) who report(s) a concern in good faith. Such actions will be grounds for disciplinary action.

BAD-FAITH ALLEGATIONS 

Any individual who alleges misconduct under the Participant Safety Handbook, that,

upon review, is determined to be malicious, frivolous or made in bad faith will be a violation of our Participant Safety Handbook. Bad-faith allegations may also be subject to criminal or civil proceedings

AB CREW MONITORING STRATEGY 

By monitoring the interactions among staff, volunteers, athletes and others, AB Crew works to prevent, recognize and respond to inappropriate and harmful behaviors as set forth in our Participant Safety Handbook, while reinforcing appropriate behaviors.

ONLINE SAFESPORT TRAINING----MANDATORY for all AB Crew coaches, and strongly recommended for anyone having contact with young athletes. 

General information on the background for USRowing Safesport policy can be viewed by clicking this link: 

http://www.usrowing.org/safety/safesport 

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO REGISTER AND TO COMPLETE THE FREE ONLINE TRAINING, INCLUDING ONLINE QUIZZES. YOU’LL BE GLAD YOU DID!! 

http://training.teamusa.org/store/details/1