Abuse Prevention Program




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1)     This order sets out the BPSA-BC policy, definitions and procedures on harassment and child abuse prevention within the BPSA-BC.




2)     Harassment and child abuse, including any hazing practices are unacceptable within the BPSA-BC.  Harassment and abuse in any form are insidious conducts that erode mutual trust and confidence.  They attack the dignity and self-respect of the victim and weaken group cohesion and morale.  Both males and females regardless of age or authority may be victims of harassment.  Both males and females may exhibit conduct constituting harassment and abuse.  Both males and females may be victims of abuse.  Any member who subjects another person to harassment or abuse will be subject to administrative or disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution.




3)     This order applies to all members of the BPSA-BC, including Commissioners of all ranks, Scouters of all ranks, youth members of all Sections, Group Committee members, and parental helpers regardless of terms and conditions of employment or location.  This policy applies to situations of harassment and child abuse that may occur or may be disclosed during the course of all BPSA-BC business, activities and events.




4)     The main distinction between harassment and child abuse is the difference in ages between the offender and the victim and/or the nature of the relationship between offender and the victim.  A common characteristic of all forms of child abuse is an abuse of a power or authority stemming from older age, rank or position and/or a breach of trust.  Under provincial/territorial child protection legislation, some behaviours which constitute harassment between adults becomes child abuse when directed at children.




The following are the principles upon which the entire policy, guidelines and prevention program are built:


5)     BPSA-BC is committed to ensuring the safety of every member and to providing a respectful environment that promotes fair and equal treatment for all.  BPSA-BC prohibits discriminatory practices based upon the principle of equality of all people, and the dignity and worth of every human being, without regard to, among other things, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, sexual orientation or physical attributes.


6)     Hazing in all its forms is prohibited within BPSA-BC.  An activity that constitutes a traditional ceremony and that is approved by the Provincial Council is not hazing.


7)     All personnel within or associated with BPSA-BC shall receive unqualified support in their efforts to eradicate harassment and abuse within the association.


8)     Every member has the right to have any incident of harassment or abuse dealt with in an expeditious, impartial and sensitive manner, without fear of retaliation.  A member may at any time seek general advice or information on harassment and abuse issues, including clarification of policy, definitions or procedures, from his or her GSM.


9)     Retaliation against any individual for reporting harassment/abuse will not be tolerated.  A member who engages in such retaliation will be faced with administrative or disciplinary action.  It is the responsibility of all persons involved in the processing of a complaint to ensure that a complainant does not suffer any prejudice as a result of making a complaint.  Similarly, the rights of the respondent must also be respected.




10)             GSMs are responsible for the prevention and elimination of

harassment and abuse and for dealing expeditiously with complaints of harassment when they occur.   They are also responsible, with the DC, to ensure that a safety plan is in place to protect the victims.  GSMs must ensure that the safety of the youth is always the number one concern in all activities of BPSA-BC.

                  See Annex A for safety plan.


11)             The GSM is responsible for approved ceremonies and activities

and shall ensure that:


A)                activities conducted are supervised by senior section, or group members.

B)                no person is coerced, either expressly or by implication, into participating in the activities.

C)                activities conducted do not include acts of violence.

D)                All activities conducted are consistent with the promotion of morale and esprit de corps and are conducted with due regard to respect for the dignity of all participants.




A)                The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child


B)                The Charter of Rights and Freedoms


C)                The Canadian Human Rights Act


D)                The Criminal Code of Canada


E)                The Young Offenders Act


F)                 Provincial Child Protection Legislation.




A)                CPA – refers to the Canadian Protection Agency and is a generic term that includes the child protection services/agencies of all provinces.


B)                Child Abuse – any form of physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that causes physical injury or emotional damage to a child.


C)                Child – for the purposes of child protection the age o a child is defined in child protection legislation from each province.  BC is up to 19 years of age.


D)                Complainant – the individual alleging that an incident took place.


E)                Disclosure – occurs when a child, witness, or third party communicates, verbally or non-verbal, to a BPSA-BC member that an incident of harassment or abuse may have occurred during or outside a BPSA-BC activity.


F)                 Harassment – any form of behaviour that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person and that a reasonable person ought to have known would be unwelcome.


G)                Respondent – the individual responding to an allegation.


H)                Safety Plan – a plan to help victims protect themselves in the event of a future occurrence.  The GSM & DC are responsible to ensure that a safety plan is in place in cases of harassment.  In cases of Child Abuse, the CPA has sole responsibility;  however, the GSM & DC must ensure that any component of the safety plan that has an impact on BPSA-BC is known and acted upon.


I)                    Young Offenders Act – defines a young person, with regard to the Criminal Code of Canada, as someone who is or, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, appears to be 12 years of age or more but under the age of 18. 






DEFINITION:   Any form of behaviour that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person, and that a reasonable person would have known would be unwelcome.


NOTE:  The age category of the alleged offender and of the victim is the same.  Gender of the individual does not influence.


All reasons under the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) including race, national or ethnic origin, physical characteristics, colour, religion, age, sex or gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, pardoned offence, expressed by oral or written comments, gestures, displays or physical contact.


1)     Personal Harassment: is not covered by human rights legislation.  Personal harassment involves unwelcome behaviour that demeans or embarrasses a person but is not based on one of the protected grounds named in the CHRA.


2)     Abuse of Power/Authority:  This behaviour, when directed at children/youth,

May constitute child abuse or harassment.  Examples of harassment are:


A)                A Leader on improper grounds (e.g. taking a personal dislike to an Explorer) gives negative recommendation with respect to the Explorers application for a jamboree or award.

B)                An instance of verbal abuse of an Explorer by a superior.


3)     Sexual Harassment: Unwanted conduct, comments gestures or invitations of a sexual nature which are likely to cause offence or humiliation, or which might on reasonable grounds be perceived as placing a condition on any opportunity for training or advancement.


            EXAMPLES:            Questions about a persons’ sex life, leering, comments on

            attractiveness or un-attractiveness, persistently asking for a date,      

          comments, gestures or invitations of a sexual nature and pornographic    





Incidents of harassment deemed to be minor, by both the complainant and the person receiving the complaint, may be dealt with at the Group level using internal disciplinary mechanisms.


A)                Self-help method


B)                Care for the complainant, do preliminary fact finding to determine the course of action.


C)                Report incident to GSM or DC.




Through the Group chain of command unless allegations are directed at superiors in the chain, or if immediate superior is unresponsive.


A)                Report incident to GSM or DC,


B)                The GSM or DC will inform the Chief Commissioner.


C)                The GSM or DC will ensure a safety plan is in place for the alleged victim.


D)                A member may use internal conflict resolution – mediation and investigation procedures.






DEFINITION:   Any form of behaviour that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person, and that a reasonable person would have known would be unwelcome.

NOTE:  The age category of the alleged offender and of the victim is the same.  Gender of the individual does not influence.


Three categories of activities are classified as criminal harassment:


A)                Stalking.


B)                Physical Assault:


1)                 intentional force or threats of force.

2)                 With a weapon or causing bodily harm.

3)                 Aggravated – wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers another life.



C)                Sexual Assault: 


Three types:


1)                 sexual contact without consent.

2)                 Sexual contact causing bodily harm, with use of weapon or threats to use a weapon or threatens to harm a child or youth member.

3)                 Aggravated sexual assault:  wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers another life while committing sexual assault.  




A)                Ensure that appropriate steps are taken to remove the alleged offender and to care for the safety and well-being of the complainant.


B)                Report incident.  



The complainant or a witness, must inform a trusted member of the Group of an incident.


A)                Victim or witness can report to any Leader, GSM,  DC,  or directly to Police.


B)                Incidents reported to GSM or DC to be transmitted directly to Police.


C)                GSM or DC to file incident report to Chief Commissioner.



DEFINITION:  Any form of physical, emotional and/or sexual mistreatment or lack of care which causes physical injury or emotional damage to a child.  A common characteristic of all forms of abuse against children and youth is an abuse of power or authority and/or breach of trust.


NOTE:  Abuse is characterised by a young or less powerful person being victimised by an older, or more powerful, youth or adult in a position of authority or trust.


1)                 Emotional Abuse: is a chronic attack on a child’s self esteem; it is psychologically destructive behaviour by a person in a position of power, authority or trust.  Emotional abuse can include: isolating, terrorising and corrupting.


Example:       (Isolating) forcible confinement in an enclosed space.



2)                 Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is when a person in a position of power or trust purposefully injures or threatens to injure a child or youth.


Example:       (Assault) Extreme forms of physical abuse fall under the criminal code definitions of assault. 

Level 1 Assault includes hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, hair pulling, burning, shaking, asphyxia, biting, hazing, restraining and encouraging other children to physically assault another person.

Level 2 Assault includes assault with a weapon – sticks, bottles, bats, belts, firearms, knives and explosives. 

Chemical Assault: use of noxious substances.


3)                 Neglect:  Chronic inattention to the basic needs of life – clothing, shelter. food, education, good hygiene, supervision, medical and dental care, adequate rest, safe environment, moral guidance and discipline, exercise and fresh air.

4)                 Sexual Abuse:  is when an older or more powerful child, adolescent, or adult for sexual gratification uses a young or less powerful person.  There are two categories of sexual abuse:  contact and non-contact.

Example:       (non-contact) flashing or exposing sexual body parts to a young person; watching intrusively as a young person changes or showers; speaking/communicating seductively with a young person; showing pornographic films, magazines, or photographs to a young person; having a young person participate in the creation of pornographic materials; forcing a young person to watch a sexual act performed by others.


                        (contact) Kissing or holding a child/youth in a sexual manner; touching sexual body parts or forcing a child/youth to touch another person’s sexual body parts; penetrating a child/youth anally or vaginally with objects or fingers; having vaginal or anal intercourse with a child/youth.  


Incidents of abuse must first be referred to the local Child Protection Agency (CPA).  Only after the incident has been referred back to the Group may the complaint be dealt with at the Group level using internal conflict resolution or investigation procedures.


A)                Ensure that appropriate steps are taken to remove the alleged offender, and care for the safety and well-being of the complainant.




A)                Immediately report to the CPA.


B)                After reporting to the CPA inform the GSM and DC.


C)                The DC will inform the Chief Commissioner that a report has been made to the CPA.


D)                The Provincial CPA determines the appropriate course of action and establishes a safety plan for the child.


E)                If the incident is determined to warrant no further action from the CPA, the Group may use internal conflict resolution or investigation procedures.


NOTE:  If you are a witness to an incident or the recipient of a disclosure you have a legal obligation to report.






1)                 In cases of abuse the Child Protection Agency has the legal responsibility to develop the safety plan.




2)                 Each case of harassment is unique.  There is not one template safety plan for the alleged victim/complainant that will fit all cases.  Each case has to be examined on its own and safety measures instituted as per individual circumstances.


3)                 When there is a revelation of harassment the BPSA-BC member involved – the one who has the trust of the child – needs to explore and plan for the safety of the youth involved.





4)                 The following is a suggested checklist for developing a safety plan.  This is not intended to form a list of questions to be directed at the youth but rather as a thinking process that the BPSA-BC member engages in.


5)                 Plans should come from the youth and the role of the BPSA-BC member is to help the youth in exploring the following options:


A)                Establish if the harassment is occurring in the association or outside the association.

B)                Explore when is the next time the youth would be exposed to a similar situation with the same individual.

C)                What happens if the youth removes himself/herself from the situation?

D)                What happens if the youth does not give in to the request of the alleged offender?

E)                Who else also knows about this situation?

F)                 Was there any other time when the youth succeeded in stopping the behaviour?

G)                What does the youth expect of you?

H)                What is the level of risk if the youth experiences a similar situation before the system responds?

I)                    Does the day of the week and time of day (ie Friday at 4:00 pm) affect the urgency of the situation?

J)                  Brainstorm with the youth possibilities for expanding his/her support system within the BPSA-BC ie friends or other adults.

K)                Brainstorm with the youth some actual options of behaviour to avoid the situation entirely.

L)                 Does the youth have all the necessary information and phone numbers to call.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.