Safe and Sacred: Creating Safe Spaces for Everyone
The First Unitarian Society of Westchester feels strongly that our space should be a safe space for children and adults alike. The Board of Trustees has adopted a policy designed to prevent and respond to instances of sexual harassment and sexual or physical abuse within our Society.
There is both a spiritual and practical basis for the Safe and Sacred Policy: the spiritual basis for this policy is a belief that we cannot have a religious community founded on respect and mutual support if we do not accept our responsibility for guaranteeing a safe space for all our people, especially for our children. The practical concern involves our legal responsibility to protect members of our community, particularly our children, from the harm that comes of physically or sexually inappropriate behavior or from unfounded accusations of such behavior. Our goal is to do our utmost to reduce danger and promote the spiritual well-being of each individual in an atmosphere of trust.
To reduce the risk of child sexual abuse or other inappropriate treatment of children, the Safe and Sacred Policy outlines procedures for the screening of employees and volunteers.
To foster an atmosphere of respect for all individuals and to prevent duress or unfair pressure in relationships between employees of the Society or between an employee and a member of the congregation, the Safe and Sacred Policy provides guidelines for the appropriate interactions among Society employees and between employees and members of the Society.
To minimize trauma and the destructive effects of unsubstantiated accusations and rumor, the Safe and Sacred Policy includes procedures for responding to reports of inappropriate behavior in a way that is legally sound, prompt, confidential, compassionate and respectful.
The complete policy can be viewed upon request.
First Unitarian Society of Westchester 25 Old Jackson Avenue, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706 914-478-2710