Presentation on theme: "Sexual Harassment Sensitivity and Prevention"— Presentation transcript:
1 Sexual Harassment Sensitivity and Prevention Bishop Teresa E. SnortonPresiding BishopFifth Episcopal DistrictChristianMethodist Episcopal Church
2 Objectives: To provide… An understanding of the meaning of sexual harassmentAn understanding of appropriate ethical behavior for clergy and church leadersAn awareness of the consequences of sexual misconductAn affirmation of the denomination and legal positions on sexual harassment
3 Sexual Misconduct Definitions Sexual abuseSexual exploitationSexual harassment
4 Sexual AbuseA generic term to cover any form of improper sexual conduct.Specifically refers to the abuse of persons who lack the ability to protect themselves (children, the elderly, emotionally disabled)Examples include incest, pedophilia, molestation, rape, child prostitution, child pornography
5 Sexual Exploitation A betrayal of trust in a professional relationship Involves using someone under one’s care for one’s own sexual stimulation and satisfactionIncludes intercourse, touching, fondling, kissing, deep embracing, disrobing, verbal suggestions, or dating during the professional relationship.
6 Sexual HarassmentThe use of one’s power to coerce another into unwanted sexual relations or the exchange of sex for some other favor (quid pro quo). Can be a single event.Involves creating an intimidating or offensive environment through unwelcomed verbal, visual, or physical contact of a physical nature. Usually a pattern of events or series of incidents.
7 Sexual Harassment (Continued) Includes risque jokes, verbal innuendo, unwelcomed verbal contact, undesired physical contact (kissing, hugging, lap-sitting, patronizing pats and intentional touching of body parts or clothing covering body parts)Also includes inappropriate comments, seductions, requests for social activities, photos, posters, drawings, cartoons, etc.
8 The law Sexual harassment is against the law! Sexual abuse is against the law!Sexual exploitation is against the law!Rape, sodomy, assault, incest, molestation, child endangerment, harassment, stalking are legal charges that may result from such behavior!
10 A Real Problem (cont)Almost 30% of cases of harassment and abuse involved a member of the clergy as the offender16% of all cases involved a church staff member as the offenderAlmost half of harassment and abuse cases are connected to the Church!
11 A Real Problem (cont)The EECO reported 13,136 charges of sexual harassment in 2004.84% filed by women, 15% filed by men25% settled or resolved with monetary benefitsTotal monetary benefits in 2004 was $37,100,000.
12 No church is immune… Catholic Jehovah Witness Baptist Non-denominationalUnited MethodistChristian Methodist EpiscopalAt all levels
13 Sexual Harassment Policy of the CME Church Mandated in the CME DisciplineInformed by the Bible and the lawAcknowledges that the church has a responsibility to protect all from harmRecognizes that circumstances in the church and other dynamics that can lead to harassment must be avoided
14 Professional Ethics for Ministry Applies to clergy (ordained and unordained), church officers and leaders, paid and volunteer.Does not compromise the role for personal gain and satisfaction.Adheres to a Code of Sexual Ethics(see attached)
15 Foundations for Sexual Ethics Purpose of SexualityTo enhance human wholenessTo express love and commitmentTo bring new life into the worldTo give glory to GodThe norms are mutuality, love and justice.
16 Sexuality is distorted by: Unethical behaviorsAttitudesViolenceExploitationInfidelityAssertion of PowerTreatment of Persons as objects
17 Why some err. . . Inappropriate sexual ethics Unmet personal needs A sense of entitlementPaternalist attitudes towards church membersUnmanaged stress or depressionLack of boundaries
18 The Abuse of Power Sexual misconduct is: A violation of role A misuse of authority and powerTaking advantage of vulnerabilityAn absence of meaningful consent
19 Sacred Trust We must be “safe shepherds” We must maintain “safe santuaries”We must believe that is NEVER acceptable to cross the boundary between pastor/parishioner.We must be willing to deal with the difficult subject and situations!
20 Guidelines for Avoiding Sexual Misconduct Be informedHave no secretive meetings with anyoneDo not meet in places or under circumstances that could be misreadMake your principles known to your congregation and membersLive your principles!
21 Guidelines (continued) Get consultation in dealing with challenging situations or relationships.Ask permission before hugging or touching in the context of prayer, counseling, or other spiritual/religious activity.Search your own heart about your motives and intentions.
22 Guidelines (continued) Pay attention your own needs and the appropriate place to get them met.Screen and interview all volunteers who will be working on behalf of the church.Get help immediately if you are guilty!
23 The Role of the Local Church Acquaint members with the CME PolicyConduct workshops on personal and professional ethicsConduct background checks on all church leaders and volunteersPost a list of community resourcesPractice what you preach!
24 Special Considerations We have a special obligation to protect the children and youthFederal law requires reporting child abuse and neglectPay attention to pedophile alerts and other information about exploitative persons, places
25 Reporting Misconduct Church leadership State EEOC office Local agency (i.e. DFCS)Attorney
26 The Role of the Church in Seeking Justice Truth-tellingAcknowledgementCompassionProtection to the vulnerableAccountability for the abuserRestitutionVindication