Statement On Sexual Assault
Dear community members,
In light of recent events regarding sexual assault within our communities, UNAVSA would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to prioritize and maintain a safe environment. Staff and volunteers of UNAVSA, when accepting to participate in UNAVSA’s initiatives or accepting a role within our organization, agree to abide by our harassment policy in order to uphold a community where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. As an organization, it is our top priority to build a stronger community free of any harassment and discrimination.
UNAVSA’s harassment policy applies to sexual misconduct that occurs in connection with educational, extracurricular, and other programs/events of UNAVSA, whether those programs take place in UNAVSA facilities, at a program sponsored by UNAVSA, or elsewhere. UNAVSA holds a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment, and we take seriously every allegation or report of sexual misconduct received. Our organization has a due process to take the appropriate steps throughout our investigations to ensure all parties involved receive the necessary support and fair treatment, and that allegations of sexual misconduct are handled in a prompt, thorough, and equitable manner. Any person who is found to be in violation of our harassment policy will be barred from participating in all of UNAVSA’s programs and taking any staff positions within the organization indefinitely.
We recognize the limitations of our policies that they are only applicable to UNAVSA’s programs, events, etc. Our policies do not cover the activities and programs of individual VSAs and partner regions. Hence, we rely heavily on our partnership with all regional organizations (UVSAs, IVSAs, etc.) and their individual policies in order to build a safer community. Thus, if one of our regional organizations decides to bar an individual from events due to a violation of their local policies, UNAVSA will enact the same verdict to said, individual. Once the regional organization officially informs UNAVSA of their verdict on an individual, then UNAVSA will be able to follow suit with the same verdict for that individual. Constituents of each regional partner organization are also considered UNAVSA constituents, hence we have adopted this policy based on our trust of regional governance and our commitment as partners to maintain a secure and protected environment.
Our policies enable us to uphold safety and we intend to prevent harassment and discrimination through the enforcement of these policies. UNAVSA, as well as any other organization, relies on all members within our community to provide us with the necessary information in order to uphold this ideal. We strongly encourage constituents and leaders within our space who are aware of possible violations, to report alleged sexual misconduct incidents in order to pursue action for your own protection and that of the greater Vietnamese community. It is our collective responsibility and as community members, we all play a role in ensuring everyone’s safety. If we choose to stay silent, we forgo our voice’s power and risk compromising our own security. UNAVSA stands against harassment and discrimination, and we are committed to continually developing and expanding our procedures to work toward creating the best environment for our people.
We invite all of you to join us in speaking up, continuing to learn, and supporting your peers so that we can each do our part to build a safer community.
If you have any questions on how our policy works, please feel free to contact the UNAVSA Executive Board (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will be glad to address any and all concerns. For those who need direct help with sexual assault, please contact the following help lines if you are unable to seek help locally:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline (RAINN): 1-800-656-HOPE
- Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-272-8255
- Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566
- Crisis Text Line (US and Canada): Text HOME to 741741
Phuc Hong Phan