East Wind Community Policy On Sexual Harassment - 1989

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Tags: Policies, Conflict Resolution, Process, Gender and Sexuality, Behavioral Expectations

East Wind Community Policy On Sexual Harassment
East Wind

East Wind Community Policy On Sexual Harassment EW-D1

Community Meeting, July 15, 1989
(12 yes, 1.5 no, 2 abstain)

In a society characterized by fairness and mutual respect, sexual harassment has no place. We agree to educate ourselves about sexual harassment, increase our awareness of when it happens, and be vigilant in seeing that it not continue.


Sexual harassment is defined as any act of a sexual nature directed at another person which that person finds offensive, providing that the person who commits such an act has been informed that the act is considered to be offensive. In line with this, the following three conditions must be present before a charge of sexual harassment can be made:

1. Acts or expressions must be considered offensive by those subjected to them, and a complaint must be made to communicate this, either directly or indirectly, to the offender.

2. The person acting in the offensive manner must be informed that either the specific act or the type of act was considered offensive by those subjected to it. A public notice is not sufficient to met this requirement.

3. The act must be determined by the Social Manager to be sexual in nature.

The Social Manager is charged with verifying these conditions and facilitating communication between those involved.

Some examples of acts which are likely to offend:

1. When a person tries to use some perceived power over another to get them involved in sexual activity, e.g. when a member implies that a visitor should be involved sexually with co or others in order to get accepted for membership.

2. Obscene advances, including words, jokes, gestures, actions, or unwanted touching. What is considered obscene will vary from person to person.

3. Staring at or following someone uninvited. This is not only irritating, but can be demeaning or even very threatening.

4. Repeated sexual advances, when the other person has made it clear through words or behavior that their company is not desired.

5. Ridicule of another person's sexual orientation.


A person who has been the victim of sexual harassment may in some cases feel able to talk directly with the offender about it. The social Manager, if called upon, is prepared to question the accused individual about what happened, and to determine whether that person understands the community's policy on sexual harassment. Based on the results of that conversation, the Social Manager may recommend one or more of the following:

1. No further action; assurance from the individual that co intends to abide by the community policy may suffice.

2. Facilitated discussion involving both parties.

3. Voluntary behavior contract, in which the individual agrees to abide by the community policy, and accepts specific consequences if co breaks the contract, such as leaving the community for a period of time or indefinitely.

4. Community-wide concerns meeting.

5. Resolution by Community Meeting asking offender to leave.

In a more general, preventive approach, the community should arrange for forums and workshops on sexual harassment and related matters. Support groups (men, women, or mixed) can be helpful for raising our consciousness about these matters, and in restoring a sense of safety for persons who have suffered demeaning or frightening experiences. It is the responsibility of all or us to work for a non-sexist, non-violent, caring society.

Proposed by the Board