SSSP Anti-Harassment Policy

As a social justice organization, the SSSP is committed to creating a safe and welcoming space at the annual meeting for the free exchange of ideas and professional development; an environment free from harassment based on, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, age, disability, health conditions, sexual orientation, religion, language, socioeconomic status, marital status, domestic status, or parental status.  This includes the harassment of colleagues, students, guests, SSSP and hotel staff, vendors, exhibitors, and others present at the annual meeting.  To that end, we ask you to help us to make it very clear that anyone engaging in this kind of behavior is not welcomed at the annual meeting.  (The Society also has a Sexual Harassment Workplace Policy, listing numerous examples of sexual harassment, in the Operations Manual, for members to consult if they wish.)

The following is an anti-discrimination and harassment statement from our Operations Manual.

The Society for the Study of Social Problems is committed to the eradication of discrimination (both intentional and unintentional), harassment, intimidation, and violence directed at individuals and groups based on, but not limited to, race and ethnicity, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, class, nationality and immigrant status, ability, and religion. Offensive and prohibited conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets, name calling, physical assaults and threats, unwanted touching and persistent unwanted attention and invasion of personal space, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, and insults and put-downs. Whenever and wherever possible, the Society will affirm this commitment to anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-xenophobic, and anti-Islamophobic agenda, publicly and explicitly. As an organization dedicated to social justice, the Society will take very seriously, reports, formal or informal, of harassment or discrimination in the organization and at annual and other Society meetings. To the greatest degree possible, the Society will do what it can to respond appropriately to those who violate our policies and to protect victims and potential victims, from being subjected to this type of unwanted and offensive behavior. We will make every effort to ensure that this commitment is manifest in the policies, programs, and practices of the organization, including in the public positions the SSSP takes on issues, both national and international. SSSP expressly prohibits retaliation against individuals who report harassment and will take action against those who retaliate.

If you witness an incident and can help without placing yourself or anyone else in danger, we encourage you to do so.  If you or someone is in imminent physical danger, we urge you to alert hotel security and/or law enforcement.  Otherwise, attendees are encouraged to report possible instances of harassment to the Executive Officer, Héctor L. Delgado, or Anti-Harassment Committee Chair, Sarah Jane Brubaker, in person, by phone (Héctor: 626-277-7654, Sarah Jane: 804-497-0189), or at  .

For your convenience, the Society’s policy and a list of local agencies and professionals in the area, for you to contact should the need arise, are included below.  Please note, however, that we have not vetted them. Finally, we trust that you will enjoy and feel safe at the meeting, but if you can think of other ways that we can enhance your and other participants’ enjoyment and safety, please let us know.

Statement and Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment

The following policy replaces SSSP’s anti-discrimination and harassment statement from the Operations Manual. 

The Society for the Study of Social Problems is committed to the eradication of discrimination (both intentional and unintentional), harassment, intimidation, and violence directed at individuals and groups based on, but not limited to, race and ethnicity, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, class, nationality and immigrant status, ability, and religion.  Offensive and prohibited conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets, name calling, physical assaults and threats, unwanted touching and persistent unwanted attention and invasion of personal space, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, and insults and put-downs.  Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is engaged in without clear affirmative consent. Discriminatory and harassing actions are prohibited both when they are directed at specific individuals and groups and when they create a hostile environment.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault disproportionately target people subject to structural oppression: women; people of color; trans, and gender non-conforming individuals; and disabled people, although anyone can be a victim.

Whenever and wherever possible, the Society will affirm this commitment to anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-homophobic, anti-xenophobic, and anti-Islamophobic agenda, publicly and explicitly.  As an organization dedicated to social justice, the Society will take very seriously, reports, formal or informal, of harassment or discrimination in the organization and at annual and other Society meetings.  To the greatest degree possible, the Society will do what it can to respond appropriately to those who violate our policies and to protect victims and potential victims, from being subjected to this type of unwanted and offensive behavior.  We will make every effort to ensure that this commitment is manifest in the policies, programs, and practices of the organization, including in the public positions the SSSP takes on issues, both national and international.  SSSP expressly prohibits retaliation against individuals who report harassment and will take action against those who retaliate.

This policy addresses harassment that involves SSSP members in general and includes specific guidelines for harassment that occurs at SSSP annual meetings and events.  By joining SSSP and through registering for meetings, members of SSSP agree to comply with this policy.

Roles, Responsibility and Authority

Anti-Harassment Committee
Per the By-laws, the Anti-Harassment Committee shall consist of six members of the Society.  Three members will be elected by the voting membership and three members will be appointed by the President, one of whom will be appointed to chair the committee.  Each member will serve a three-year term with the terms staggered so that at least two members are elected each year.  In addition to the elected and appointed members, the Executive Officer shall serve as an ex officio member.

The Committee reviews the policy and its enforcement on an annual basis and recommends revisions as appropriate. The Committee also selects and approves the External Consultant.

Anti-Harassment Committee Chair
Per the By-laws, the Chair should have expertise in the area of gender violence or related areas and preferably be a member of the Board of Directors.

The Chair receives and reviews reports of policy violations, meets with those considering making a report to discuss reporting options and processes and to provide support or referrals for resources, and receives the report from External Consultant once investigation is completed and shares it with the SSSP President and Executive Officer.

Ombudsperson
The Ombudsperson is external to SSSP and compensated for their time.  This individual meets with those considering making a report to discuss reporting options and processes and to provide support or resources.

External Consultant
The External Consultant is not a member of SSSP, but is selected and approved by the Anti-Harassment Committee and is compensated for their time.  They should have experience responding to and investigating harassment claims within organizations.

Executive Officer (EO)
The Executive Officer receives reports of policy violations, reaches out to those accused to address the violation without launching an investigation, approves recommended sanctions from the External Consultant, and serves on the Ad-hoc Appeals Committee.

SSSP President
The SSSP President responds to reports made during meetings (together with the Anti-Harassment Committee Chair and EO), approves recommended sanctions from the External Consultant, and serves on the Ad-hoc Appeals Committee.

Ad-hoc Appeals Committee
This committee is comprised of the SSSP President, Past-President, President-Elect and Executive Officer and reviews and responds to appeals made regarding the External Consultant’s report/findings/sanctions.

Advocate
The advocate is a volunteer member of SSSP who is available to support those making a report by providing information and resources.

*The Executive Officer, Anti-Harassment Committee Chair, SSSP Presidents, and others involved in reviewing and responding to reports are required to disclose any conflicts of interest.

I.     General violations of the anti-harassment policy.

Reporting
Reports of policy violations, including retaliation, can be made via email at   or phone to the Anti-Harassment Committee Chair or EO.

      Individuals who have experienced a violation of the anti-harassment policy have the following options:

  1. Request a confidential consultation with the Anti-Harassment Committee Chair/Ombudsperson with a request for resources, information about reporting/ resolution options, and other types of support.
  2. Make a confidential report to the Anti-Harassment Committee Chair/Ombudsperson with a request for screening/review and recommendation for resolution [e.g. through a mediated meeting with parties, where the EO or committee chair reaches out to the accused party] with the option, but without obligation, to file a formal report.
  3. Make a formal confidential report to an External Consultant with a request for an investigation/fact-finding with possible sanctioning of the accused party.  This option will move the report to a formal investigation.

Support Services/Advocacy
Those requesting consultation or making a report will be provided with resources for trauma-informed support.

What to Include in a Formal Report
A complaint/report should include, to the extent possible, the following information:

1) the name and contact information of the complainant; 2) the name and contact information of the subject of the complaint; 3) a statement that other legal or institutional proceedings involving the alleged conduct have not been initiated or, if initiated, the status of such proceedings; 4) a full description of the conduct alleged to have violated the anti-harassment policy, including the sources of all information on which the allegations are based; 5) copies of any documents supporting the allegations; 6) names and contact information of potential witnesses/references.

Investigation/Fact-Finding
Reports that move to this stage will be investigated by an External Consultant with professional experience and expertise in handling harassment cases.  The accused party will be notified of the charges and given an opportunity to respond.  Each party’s statement will be shared with the other.  Both parties may provide contact information for individuals to serve as witnesses/references. 

Timeframe
Reports (other than those addressing violations occurring during the annual meeting) will be acknowledged within 48 hours and responded to within 60 days. 

Resolution, Outcomes and Possible Sanctions
The consultant will keep a written record of the process and submit a written final report to the Executive Officer and SSSP President that will be shared with both parties.

Potential outcomes include the following:

  1. Negative/Inconclusive Finding: In the event that the consultant’s finding is inconclusive or negative, the Anti-Harassment Committee Chair will convey this to the Executive Officer and the SSSP President, who will inform both parties of the finding in writing.
  2. Finding of Policy Violation: In the event that the consultant finds that harassment has occurred (and has determined the appropriate sanctions), the Anti-Harassment Committee Chair will convey the finding and the sanctions in writing in the form of a recommendation to be approved by the Executive Officer (or a staff member designated by the EO) and the SSSP President, who will inform both parties of the finding and sanctions in writing.

Based on a finding of policy violation, potential sanctions may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • immediate removal from a meeting or event without notice or refund
  • prohibiting participation in society events
  • revoking membership or removal from leadership positions
  • rescinding awards 
  • barring from future events and/or leadership positions
  • report to appropriate legal authority/home institution

Appeal
Either party may appeal the findings of the investigation within 30 days of receiving the report.  Appeals will be made to an Ad-hoc Appeals Committee consisting of the SSSP President, Past President, President-Elect (chaired by the Past President), and Executive Officer.  Grounds for appeal include a claim of procedural error, substantive or significant new evidence, evidence of the use of impermissible criteria, or evidence of bias in the treatment of the fact-finding and decision process. 

Policy Updates and Approval
This policy and its enforcement will be reviewed by the Anti-Harassment Committee on an annual basis and updated/amended with the Board’s approval as deemed necessary and appropriate

II.    Violations of the anti-harassment policy at annual meeting and other SSSP events.

As a social justice organization, the SSSP is committed to creating a safe and welcoming space at the annual meeting for the free exchange of ideas and professional development; an environment free from harassment based on, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, age, disability, health conditions, sexual orientation, religion, language, socioeconomic status, marital status, domestic status, or parental status.  This includes the harassment of colleagues, students, guests, SSSP and hotel staff, vendors, exhibitors, and others present at the annual meeting.  To that end, we ask you to help us make it very clear that anyone engaging in this kind of behavior is not welcomed at the annual meeting.  (The Society also has a Sexual Harassment Workplace Policy, listing numerous examples of sexual harassment, in the Operations Manual, for members to consult if they wish.)

Sexual harassment and sexual assault disproportionately target people subject to structural oppression: women; people of color; sexual minorities, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals; and disabled people, although anyone can be a victim.

A particular form of sexual harassment is sexual assault, which includes actual or attempted physical attacks and any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.

Importantly, certain situations and circumstances escalate harassing behavior and/or language including power imbalances (e.g. graduate student/mentor, during an interview, etc.) and social events that may or may not involve alcohol consumption.

Reporting
If you witness an incident and can help without placing yourself or anyone else in danger, we encourage you to do so.  If you or someone is in imminent physical danger, we urge you to alert hotel security and/or law enforcement.  Otherwise, attendees are encouraged to report possible instances of harassment to the Executive Officer, Héctor L. Delgado, or Anti-Harassment Committee Chair, Sarah Jane Brubaker, in person, by phone (Héctor: 626-277-7654, Sarah Jane: 804-497-0189), or at  .

Those making a report regarding behavior at a meeting can request that the person violating the policy be contacted by the Executive Officer and asked to avoid contact with the individual reporting the violation, or to leave the meeting altogether.  Reports received during annual meetings will be responded to within 2 hours.

Given the compressed timing of the meetings, an investigation of the report may be conducted by the Executive Office, SSSP President, and Anti-Harassment Committee Chair, so that immediate response and action are possible.

Domestic Violence Resources

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotlinehttps://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/domestic-violence-support.page
Call the NYC Domestic Violence Hotline directly at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673), or call 311and ask for the City’s 24-HourDomestic Violence Hotline.

Love Is Respecthttps://www.loveisrespect.org/#
For more information on relationship abuse, visit Love Is Respect, call 1-866-331-9474, or text LOVEIS to 22522.

HELP R.O.A.D.Shttps://www.bklynlibrary.org/calendar/help-roads-survival-mill-basin-library-20160511
Hotline is the initial point of contact for many victims of domestic violence: 1-718-922-7980.

Violence Intervention Programhttps://www.vipmujeres.org
Violence Intervention Program, Inc. is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating domestic and intimate partner violence.  For more information call 1-800-664-5880.

NYC Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Projecthttps://avp.org
AVP empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy.  For more information call 1-212-714-1141.

Urban Resource Institutehttps://urinyc.org/about-us/
Urban Resource Institute (URI) provides life-saving, empowering social services for New Yorkers who are suffering and recovering from domestic violence.  For 38 years, URI has been innovating and developing new programs to improve the lives of vulnerable New Yorkers, with a particular focus on survivors of domestic violence.  We help individuals and families escape abuse; safely heal; and gain the resources needed to live healthy, independent lives.  We also are the only organization in New York City and one of the few nationally that extends these services to pets.  Call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Barrier-Free Living (Disabled Clients)https://www.bflnyc.org
1-212-533-4358 

Secret Garden (counseling, support): https://www.bflnyc.org/tag/secret-garden-domestic-violence-disabilities-program/
1-212-533-4358

Freedom House (domestic violence shelter)https://www.bflnyc.org/tag/freedom-house-disabilities-accessible-emergency-shelter/
1-212-400-6470

Domestic Violence Hotline:https://www.nyscadv.org/find-help/program-directory.html
1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) 

New York City Family Justice Centerhttps://www1.nyc.gov/site/ocdv/programs/family-justice-centers.page
You can also walk into any New York City Family Justice Center to receive FREE and CONFIDENTIAL assistance for victims/survivors of intimate partner violence, sex trafficking and elder abuse.  All Centers are open Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  No appointment is needed. 

Locations:

NYC Family Justice Center, Bronx
198 East 161st Street, 2nd Floor
1-718-508-1220
Subway: 4, B, and D to Yankee Stadium
Bus: BX1, BX2, BX6, and BX13

NYC Family Justice Center, Brooklyn
350 Jay Street
1-718-250-5111
Subway: A, C, F, and R to Jay Street or 2, 3, 4, and 5 to Borough Hall
Bus: B25, B26, B38, B54, B57, B61, B62, B65, B67, B75, and B10 

NYC Family Justice Center, Manhattan
80 Centre Street
1-212-602-2800
Subway: 4, 5, and 6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall
J and Z to Chambers Street
N, Q, and R to Canal Street
1, 2, 3, A, and C to Chambers Street
Bus: M5, M9, M22, and M103

NYC Family Justice Center, Queens
126-02 82nd Avenue
1-718-575-4545
Subway: E and F to Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike
Bus: Q10, Q37, Q46, and Q60 

NYC Family Justice Center, Staten Island
126 Stuyvesant Place
1-718-697-4300
Staten Island Railroad to St. George Ferry Terminal
Bus: S40, S42, S44, S46, S48, S51, S52, S61, S62, S66, S74, S76, S78, S81, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, and S98 

Mental Health Resources

NYC Wellhttps://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us/en/
Provides support, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention hotline services. Provides information and referral services for mental health and substance use disorder services and other human services.  Provides linkage to mobile crisis teams and Emergency Medical Services.  A program of Mental Health Association of New York City. For mental health services, visit NYC Well, call 1-888-NYC-WELL (692-9355), or text WELL to 65173. 

LifeNethttp://m.queenslibrary.org/services/community-information/community-resources-database/details/67958
A free, confidential, multi-lingual, mental health and substance abuse information, referral, and crisis prevention hotline available to anyone at any time.  Your call will be answered by a trained behavioral health professional: 1-800-LIFENET. 

The Samaritans (NYC based) 24/7 Hotline:http://samaritansnyc.org
A completely confidential 24-hour crisis response hotline, staffed by professionally trained volunteers who have responded to over 1 million calls. Provides immediately accessible ongoing emotional support to those who are in distress or suicidal: 1-212-673-3000. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifelinehttps://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Provides suicide prevention and crisis intervention services.  Facilitates Lifeline Crisis Chat through collaboration between the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Contact USA.  Routes the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number callers to the nearest crisis center in the caller’s area.  Calls are answered by staff at over 160 certified crisis centers across the United States.
1-212-614-6357
50 Broadway, 19th Floor