Sex Abuse & Molestation Policy
The organization prohibits and does not tolerate sexual abuse in the workplace or in any organization related activity. The organization provides procedures for employees, volunteers, family members, board members, patients, victims of sexual abuse, or others to report sexual abuse and disciplinary penalties for those who commit such acts. No employee, volunteer, patient or third party, no matter his or her title or position has the authority to commit or allow sexual abuse.
The organization has a Zero-Tolerance policy for any sexual abuse committed by an employee, volunteer, board member or third party. Upon completion of the investigation, disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and criminal prosecution may ensue.
Sexual abuse is inappropriate sexual contact of criminal nature or interaction for gratification of the adult who is a caregiver and responsible for the patient or child’s care. Sexual abuse includes sexual molestation, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or sexual injury, but does not include sexual harassment. Any incidents of sexual abuse reasonably believed to have occurred will be reportable to appropriate law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies.
Physical and behavioral evidence or signs that someone is being sexually abused are listed below.
Physical evidence of abuse:
- Difficulty in walking
- Torn, stained or bloody underwear
- Pain or itching in genital area
- Bruises or bleeding of the external genitalia
- Sexually transmitted diseases
Behavior signs of sexual abuse:
- Reluctance to be left alone with a particular person
- Wearing lots of clothing especially in bed
- Fear of touch
- Nightmares of fear of night
- Apprehension when sex is brought up
If you are aware of or suspect sexual abuse taking place, you must immediately report it to your President/CEO or another person you designate such as a human resource person. If the suspected abuse is to an adult, you should report the abuse to your local state Adult Protective Services (APS) Agency. If it is a child who is the victim then you should report the suspected abuse to your local or state Child Abuse Agency. If you do not know your state child abuse agency you can call the Child Help’s National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-422-4453, TDD 1-800-222-4453. Appropriate family members should be notified of alleged instances of sexual abuse.
The organization should report the alleged sexual abuse incident to their insurance agent.
The organization prohibits retaliation made against any employee, volunteer, board member or patient who reports a good faith complaint of sexual abuse or who participates in any related investigation. Making false accusations of sexual abuse in bad faith can have serious consequences for those who are wrongly accused. The organization prohibits making false and/or malicious sexual abuse allegations, as well as deliberately providing false information during an investigation. Anyone who violates this rule is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Investigation and Follow-up
The organization will take all allegations of sexual abuse seriously and will promptly and thoroughly investigate whether sexual abuse has taken place. The organization will use an outside third party to conduct an investigation. If the organization has a trained internal investigation team in place, the team will be used to investigate the incident. The organization will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted by law enforcement or other regulatory agencies. It is the organization’s objective to conduct a fair and impartial investigation. The organization provides notice that they have the option of placing the accused on a leave of absence or on a reassignment to non-patient contact.
The organization will make every reasonable effort to keep the matters involved in the allegation as confidential as possible while still allowing for a prompt and thorough investigation.
Sample Form Acknowledging Receipt and Understanding of Sexual Abuse Policy
I acknowledge that I have received and read the sexual abuse policy and/or have had it explained to me. I understand that the organization will not tolerate any employee, volunteer, board member or third party who commits sexual abuse. Disciplinary actions will be taken against those who are found to have committed sexual abuse.
I understand that it is my responsibility to abide by all rules contained in the policy. I also understand how to report incidents of sexual abuse as set forth in the abuse policy, including retaliation against any employee/volunteer exercising his or her rights under the policy.
Printed Name Signature
Date of Annual Review: ______________________________________________________