AHLI Sexual Harassment and Abuse Prevention Policy
American Home Life International (AHLI) prohibits sexual harassment or abuse of any student under the care or supervision of AHLI or its Host Families. No employees, contractors, volunteers, family members, or host family members, no matter his or her title or position will be permitted to commit or allow sexual abuse in violation of this policy. This policy should be used in conjunction with the AHLI Sexual and Child Abuse Prevention Policy in the Coordinator Manual. Any violation of this policy will result in termination of the offending individual’s relationship with the organization, and criminal prosecution may ensue.
Identify Sexual Harassment
Examples of prohibited behavior that could be defined as sexual harassment include:
Unwelcome sexual advances;
Requests for sexual favors;
Displaying sexually graphic magazines, calendars or posters;
Sending sexually explicit email or text messages;
Other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as uninvited touching of a sexual nature or sexually related comments;
Sexual joking, vulgar or offensive conversation or jokes;
Commenting about an AHLI member/student’s physical appearance;
Conversation about your own or someone else’s sex life; and
Teasing or other conduct directed toward a person because of his or her gender which is perceived to create an unprofessional and hostile environment.
Identifying Sexual Abuse
For the purposes of this policy, sexual abuse is defined as inappropriate sexual contact or interaction with an AHLI-appointed minor, whether initiated or received, by any individual functioning as a host parent or host sibling, or otherwise exercising responsibility, for any aspect of the student’s care. Sexual abuse includes sexual assault, exploitation, molestation or injury. It does not include sexual harassment, which is addressed above.
Signs of Potential Sexual Abuse
There are a number of “red flags” that suggest someone is being sexually abused. It can take the form of physical or behavioral evidence.
Physical evidence of sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to:
Sexually transmitted diseases
Difficulty walking or moving normally;
Stained, bloody or torn undergarments;
Genital pain or itching; and
Physical injuries involving the external genitalia.
Behavioral signals suggestive of sexual abuse include, but are not limited to:
Fear or reluctance about being left in the supervision of a particular person;
An aversion to being touched; wearing excessive clothing, especially night clothes;
Nightmares or fear of night and/or darkness.
Mandatory Reporting Procedure
Any AHLI employee, contractor, host, or host family member who suspects, witnesses or otherwise learns of any potential instance of sexual harassment or abuse must immediately report it to the appropriate party.
Host families must report suspected abuse to their AHLI Coordinator and AHLI Director
AHLI Director must report all allegations to the AHLI Head Office to the Executive Director within 24 hours through filing of an Incident Report.
Copies of all notes and reports must be kept by the Director, and filed with AHLI.
If the student is a minor, the allegation will be reported to appropriate local authorities for investigation as required by state law. Details can be found on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Child Welfare Information Gateway at https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/state/?CWIGFunctionsaction=statestatutes:main.getResults
-Choose your state or choose Select All States.
-Under the Child Abuse and Neglect section choose the Mandatory
Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect option
-Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Go for results
If the student is 18 years or older, AHLI will assist the student to contact the authorities if requested and/or deemed necessary.
AHLI must contact the student’s agent within 48 hours of the submitted allegation.
Urgent matters shall be reported to local law enforcement and then reported directly to AHLI Operations Director. These reporting procedures do not change or supersede an individual’s existing reporting requirements under state or federal law.
AHLI will also take appropriate steps to report the alleged sexual harassment or abuse incident to its insurance company and make all further notifications deemed reasonably necessary to protect the alleged victim and AHLI.
Investigation and Follow Up
We take all allegations of sexual harassment and abuse extremely seriously. Every report will be investigated as per the AHLI Sexual Abuse Policy and corrective action will be taken where appropriate. All complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible, but confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
Once an allegation is reported, we will promptly, thoroughly and impartially conduct an initial investigation to document what has occurred. AHLI will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted by law enforcement or regulatory agencies and we may refer the complaint and the result of our investigation to those agencies. In the case where the authorities are not involved, AHLI will, to the best of their ability undertake an investigation by either an internal team or may hire an independent third party.
If the alleged perpetrator is a member of the host family, the student will be immediately removed from the home and placed with another host family or alternate housing as required. AHLI will take all reasonable measures to prevent the alleged perpetrator from engaging in verbal or physical contact with the student. We reserve the right to suspend stipend payments to the host family until the allegations have been resolved.
If the alleged perpetrator is an AHLI staff member, we reserve the right to place the staff member on involuntary leave of absence. If the allegation is made against an AHLI contractor, AHLI reserves the right to suspend the contract during the course of an investigation.
If the investigation substantiates the allegation, the perpetrator’s relationship with AHLI will be immediately terminated.
We will arrange medical attention and counselling services as required for the victim, as well as monitor the need for counseling, and maintain contact with those who need ongoing support.
To the fullest extent possible, but consistent with our need to complete a thorough investigation and our legal obligation to report suspected sexual harassment or abuse to appropriate authorities, we will endeavor to keep the identities of alleged victims and perpetrators as well as the investigation subject confidential.
AHLI prohibits any retaliation against anyone, including employees, contractors, family members, host family members, students, or other individuals associated with AHLI, who in good faith reports a potential violation of this policy or participates in any related investigation.
Anyone who takes any action to retaliate against an individual who has made a good-faith report of a potential violation of this policy or who has participated in a related investigation will be subject to a discipline, up to and including termination of the individual’s relationship with the organization.
Intentionally false or malicious accusations of sexual harassment or abuse, or intentionally providing false information in a related investigation, is also prohibited and will subject the offending individual to discipline, up to and including termination of the individual’s relationship with the organization.