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Sexual Violence Policy and Reporting

Sexual Violence Policy and Reporting

Procedure for Filing a Sexual Misconduct Allegation: 

Any person who has an allegation of sexual misconduct against a member of the clergy, a seminarian, or another person working for or on behalf of the Church in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh is to contact the Office of Clergy by writing or calling: 66 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15214, 412-231-4000.  The Archeparchy will respond immediately to all allegations of sexual abuse.  All allegations of sexual misconduct against minors will be turned over to the proper civil authorities. Seminary staff, faculty, and students are mandated reporters.

In addition to investigating the complaint, the Archeparchy offers individualized pastoral care to victims of abuse that may include counseling, spiritual assistance, and referrals to support groups.  The Archeparchy of Pittsburgh wants to ensure that each child and young person attending its church programs and activities is not only safe, but also growing in love of God and others.  All seminarians and all Church clergy, employees, and, if they have control over minors, volunteers undergo criminal background and child-abuse background checks and are required to receive safe environment education training.

Policy Statement Addressing Prevention of and Response to Sex Offenses:  

The term “sexual assault” means an offense classified as a forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the F.B.I.  The Police Department offers sexual assault education and awareness information programs to theology students and Seminary employees upon request.  The Church’s Safe Environment program includes an ongoing prevention and awareness campaign.  Areas potentially inviting for incidents of sexual assault have been minimized through strategic room organization (e.g. library shelf placement).

If one is a victim of a sexual assault at this institution, the first priority is to get to a place of safety, then obtain any needed treatment.  The incident is to be reported in a timely manner. Filing a police report will ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment at no expense to the victim, and assure that the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention.  (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 grievance complaint*)  The victim is not at fault!  The witness or victim of an incident of sexual harassment or sexual violence who reports the incident in good faith will not be sanctioned for admitting in the report to a violation of the institution’s student conduct policy on the personal use of drugs or alcohol.

Policy Statement Addressing Sex Offender Registration:  

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act (C.S.C.P.A.) of 2000 is a federal law that provides for the tracking of convicted sex offenders enrolled at, or employed at, institutions of higher education.  The C.S.C.P.A. is an amendment to the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act.  The federal law requires state law enforcement agencies to provide institutions with a list of registered sex offenders who could have any association with the institution. The campus community would then be duly notified.

Sexual Misconduct and Offenses include behaviors without consent – sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual abuse (unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent), sexual violence (assault), sexual exploitation (non-forcible sex offense), and an environment hostile to those engaged in affective and psycho-sexual maturation.  Sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and sexual assault are properly understood as psychologically pathological behaviors more than being solely violations of chastity.  Such actions are both sinful and illegal and never tolerated at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.  Likewise, the institution prohibits the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  Note that federal agencies treat one’s gender identity as the student’s D.N.A.-established sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX*.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical or visual conduct of a sexual nature constitute unlawful sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment also includes unnecessary touching of an individual or unwelcome physical contact such as patting, pinching, or brushing against another, subtle pressure or request for sexual activities, referring to or calling an individual by an endearing, demeaning, or sexual term, a display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters, graphic verbal commentaries about or leering at an individual’s body, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, sexually explicit, suggestive, or offensive comments, jokes or teasing, preferential or derogatory treatment based on gender, verbal abuse of a sexual nature, physical or sexual assault, or other similar behavior.

Anonymous Online System for Reporting Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence: 

Reporting of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence is made by clicking here.  The Seminary rector assures that all submitted reports, including anonymous complaints, are investigated through the processes established in Seminary policy.  The password for anonymous reporting may be found in the security report posted at the Seminary and on Populi.