PentaSport Sexual Harrassment Policy

PentaSport aims to provide a friendly environment that is respective and supportive of everyone’s dignity. Participants have the right to participate in circumstances that are free from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and violence. PentaSport will not tolerate and will not condone discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or violence – on the field/court; other locations where a PentaSport activity takes place or participants are gathered for a PentaSport related purpose; phone calls, texts, emails, social media if they are PentaSport related or involving individuals for a PentaSport purpose.

PentaSport will investigate incidents and complaints objectively and expeditiously; will take necessary action; and will offer appropriate support. This policy – which operates along with our Mission Statement and Code of Conduct – applies to all interactions between, amongst, or involving volunteers, athletes, league representatives, the organizing committee, board of directors, suppliers/vendors/sponsors, spectators/visitors, other partners, and members of the public.

Any participant who violates this policy will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of their right to participate.

Discrimination means any act or standard that unfairly restricts access to opportunities or benefits due to a person’s race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, family, religious beliefs, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, disability, or any other prohibited ground under the B.C. Human Rights Code.

Harassment means objectionable, offensive or hostile comments or conduct against a person that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome – whether made one-time or continuously – that demeans, belittles, humiliates, or embarrasses, including psychologically. Examples include but are not limited to inappropriate jokes, material or images including those by phone call, text, email or on social media; gender, racial, or ethnic slurs or name calling; shouting or swearing; or bullying including on the internet.

Sexual Harassment means objectionable, offensive or hostile comments or conduct against a person, because of sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome; or making a sexual solicitation or advance where the person making the solicitation or advance is in a position to grant or deny a benefit to the person knows or ought reasonably to know the solicitation or advance is unwelcome. Examples include but are not limited to making unwelcome or unwanted sexual or romantic advances; inappropriate jokes, material or images of a sexual nature including by phone call, text, email or on social media; promising an opportunity in exchange for sexual favors. This definition does not and is not intended to include relationships that are consensual as between willing adult persons of full capacity, and to the extent these relationships become known at PentaSport, are conducted in an appropriate professional manner in any location where PentaSport activities are taking place.

Violence means any threatened, attempted or actual conduct of a person that causes or is likely to cause injury against a person. Examples include but are not limited to verbal or written threats of violence or intimidation; pushing, shoving, slapping; stalking; or bringing onto a PentaSport activity weapons.

To avoid any potential for confusion, the definitions are not intended to and does not constrain the reasonable exercise of PentaSport’s functions in organizing its activities and carrying out its mission. Specifically, reasonable actions, requests or other conduct by PentaSport that is part of its normal functions, including the organization of games, the direction of team members, investigations, and the taking of appropriate disciplinary action, do not and will not constitute harassment.

Cooperation of every PentaSport participant is necessary to create a respectful supportive environment. Everyone must refrain from discrimination, harassment, or violence; should immediately report to a member of the organizing committee and/or board of directors incidents that constitute a violation of this policy, whether the behavior is directed at you or another; participate fully in any investigation including disclosing all relevant factual information; and must not engage in any reprisal against any individual who reports an incident or who participates in an investigation.

A participant subjected to unwelcome or unacceptable behaviour or comments is encouraged to discuss it first with the offender directly. Silence may be misinterpreted as consent; so it is important to immediately tell the person who is engaging in the behavior that their conduct is unwelcome and that you wish it to be stopped. This can be done in-person, with a witness present, or in-writing. Take notes about what happened (what was said and what was done), when it happened (date, time, place), who was involved, who may have witnessed the incident. In some cases, you will have confronted the person whose behavior is problematic, and the behavior continues; in other cases, you may not feel comfortable dealing with the matter yourself. In either case, you should make your concerns known to a member of the organizing committee and/or board of directors.

Once you report the incident, a member of the organizing committee or board of directors will contact you to discuss next steps. PentaSport’s ability to investigate and address anonymous complaints will be limited, or even made impossible in some situations, if it is not able to speak with and collect information directly from the person who has made known an incident or complaint.

In an emergency, where there is imminent threat to safety of you or others, the first priority is to ensure your safety and that of others; as soon as possible report the incident to us. If you believe there is an immediate threat to safety, call 911.

Each situation will be handled as discreet as possible. That said, an investigation will document the allegation and any information gathered. Interviews include the complainant, alleged offender and any relevant witness or parties. Every effort will be made to complete the fact-finding process in a timely way, from the date the complaint is received or PentaSport becomes aware of an incident. When the investigation is done, PentaSport will determine whether any violation of this policy occurred. That determination and any recommended corrective action will be reviewed with the board of directors. The alleged offender and the complainant will be notified in writing of the outcome and any corrective action. If any party disagrees with the decision, they are to write to PentaSport within 30 days of that determination.

PentaSport is committed to respecting the privacy of all involved in the complaint and investigation. Information collected will be kept in a separate file, with restricted access. While efforts will be made to maintain confidentiality of information collected in an investigation, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, as certain circumstances require disclosure to investigate, to protect others, to take corrective action, or to comply with the law.

The nature of any corrective action taken will depend on the circumstances of each case, taking into account the nature of the conduct, how the alleged conduct would be perceived by a reasonable person, how the conduct impacted the complainant, totality of evidence, and applicable laws.

Corrective action, where warranted, is designed to change the behaviour and eliminate reoccurrence. It may range from education on why the behaviour is inappropriate and how to change it, to termination of participation. If the complaint is determined to be unfounded, PentaSport will determine how to resolve the situation that led to the complaint.

When a participant reports an incident or makes a complaint in good faith and cooperates with an investigation, that person is protected from retaliation. No one will suffer reprisal for having made known an incident/complaint in good faith, or for having tried to prevent prohibited behaviour. Participants who feel they experienced reprisal should report to a member of the organizing committee or board of directors.

Anyone who deliberately reports a false, frivolous or malicious complaint/incident may be subject to corrective action, up to and including termination of participation. All interested parties will have the chance to give their version of the story, in confidence, to ensure everyone is treated fairly and that the process is fair.