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RKC's Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Updated: Apr 8

awkward hugs are a form of harassment

The RYU KENDO CHI Dojo (herein called RKC Dojo ) is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to participate in our environment which promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices.

The definition of harassment for the purpose of this policy:

  • Harassment is a form of discrimination and/or abuse.

  • Harassment is offensive, degrading, and threatening. In its most extreme forms, harassment can be an offence under South African legislation.

  • No matter whom the perpetrator, harassment is an attempt by one person to assert abusive, unwarranted power over another.

  • The RKC Dojo is committed to providing an environment free of harassment on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, or disability.

In general terms, harassment is behaviour by a person or people towards another that is offensive, abusive, belittling or threatening or unwelcome; the sort of behaviour a reasonable person would recognise as unwelcome.

Harassment can be either physical, verbal, sexual or emotional and most often involves a combination of these elements. It can also be based on issues such as sex, sexuality, race or disability.

Harassment can also be an abuse of power, where one person is in a position of power over another, or has the trust of another, and then abuses that relationship.

Some forms of harassment are illegal and can attract the attention of the police or other agencies.

No-one should…

  • Verbally abuse you or anyone else

  • Make racist or sexist jokes or comments, or jokes or comments about sexual preferences

  • Look at or touch anyone in ways that make them feel uncomfortable

  • Make uninvited sexual comments that offend, intimidate or humiliate

  • Discriminate against or harass anyone else

Harassment of any kind denies people the right to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness.

If left unchecked, harassment can create a hostile or unpleasant environment not to mention the negative effects it has on those directly involved.

We all need to consider our actions

It is important for all of us to remember that not everyone views behaviour in the same way. For example a congratulatory hug or kiss might be perfectly acceptable to some but could make others feel uneasy and vulnerable.

Cultural differences can lead to behaviour or conduct which is acceptable and tolerable to some, but invasive, uncomfortable and even threatening to others.

It does not matter that a person did not intend their behaviour to be harassing or mean to abuse their position of power or trust. It is the effect of the behaviour on the other person that is most critical.

We all need to be aware of the ways in which our language, our actions and even our jokes can exclude, alienate or offend others.

What do I do if it happens?

If you witness, reasonably suspect or are the subject of an incident of harassment you are encouraged to report this to your dojo instructors, and/or RKC MPO’s (Member Protection Officers). The MPO’s will ensure the proper procedure is carried out Promptly, Seriously, Sensitively and Confidentially.

The following RKC Dojo members have volunteered to act as MPO’s:

How will the report be handled?

Your report will be treated Promptly, Seriously, Sensitively and Confidentially. Every effort will be made to protect all parties involved under the principles of natural justice and will involve the minimum number of people possible.

Unless the grievance is with the Head Instructor of the Dojo, the Head Instructor must be made aware of the issues, and possibly be involved with the investigation and resolution procedure.

What action will be taken?

After the investigation, there are four possible outcomes that:

  1. The complainant and MPO agree that the conduct does not constitute harassment.

  2. The complainant brings evidence of harassment and chooses to pursue an informal resolution of the complaint.

  3. The complainant brings evidence of harassment and decides to lay a formal written complaint.

  4. The complainant brings evidence of harassment but does not wish to lay a formal complaint.

There are further steps thereafter the investigation in with the MPO will assist the complainant with.

The "SAKF Harassment & Discrimination Policy and Procedures" and "SAKF Codes of Behaviour" can be downloaded from below:

SAKF Harassment & Discrimination Policy and Procedures Ver1
Download PDF • 333KB

SAKF Codes of Behaviour Ver001
Download PDF • 196KB

Every member of SAKF has a responsibility to play a part in ensuring that the SAKF environment is free from harassment. This means not engaging in, allowing, condoning, or ignoring behaviour contrary to this policy. In addition, any member of SAKF who believes that a fellow member has experienced or is experiencing harassment is encouraged to notify a member protection officer appointed under this policy.

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