Sexual Harassment and Racial Discrimination
Sexual harassment and racial discrimination are illegal in the United States. In addition, CIEE has exceptionally high standards for our participants when it comes to these issues. That means we expect you not to sexually harass or discriminate against anyone; we also want you to feel safe and supported if you ever feel like you are the victim of sexual harassment or racial discrimination.
Sexual harassment can be defined as
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Other verbal, nonverbal, or physical harassment of a sexual nature
Sexual harassment can interfere with your academic performance and create an uncomfortable school or home environment. Anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment or be the harasser; it is not based on gender.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
- Sexually suggestive notes or e-mails
- Inappropriate sexual gestures
- Sharing sexually suggestive or explicit images or videos
- Commenting (offline or online) on someone’s clothing, body, or appearance
- Inappropriate or unwanted touching
- Offensive comments about gender identity or sexual orientation
- Bullying or cyberbullying of a sexual nature
Please note: The above list is not complete. Sexual harassment includes a wide range of behaviors that can be verbal, visual, or physical. As such, you should always treat people with respect and dignity and expect the same treatment in return.
If You Are the Victim of Sexual Harassment
- Don’t blame yourself. The person who is harassing you is the one who’s done something wrong! You haven’t done anything to deserve this treatment, even if you flirted with them or like them.
- Say “no” clearly. Use your words! Tell the person who is harassing you that they are making you uncomfortable, even if that feels difficult. Sometimes people don’t realize what they are doing just need is to be asked to stop. However, if the behavior doesn’t stop you will need to follow up.
- Write down what happened. If someone is making you uncomfortable, write it down! Keep track of what happened, the date it happened, and if someone else may have seen or heard it. Keep track of what you did in response and how the harassment made you feel. Save any notes, emails, text messages, or pictures, including screenshots of your social media platforms.
- Report the harassment. The most important step is telling someone! Find an adult you trust. This could be a host parent, a Local Coordinator, or a teacher from school. This adult will be able to help you figure out the next steps. Keep in mind that CIEE and your school can only help you if we know what’s going on!
Racial discrimination can be defined as discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race or personal characteristic associated with race. Such characteristics include hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features. Color discrimination involves treating someone differently because of skin complexion. Discrimination can occur even when the victim and the assailant are the same race or color.
Examples of racial discrimination includes but are not limited to
- Racial slurs
- Offensive or derogatory remarks about a person’s race or skin color
- Displaying racially offensive symbols
An Important Note About Racial Discrimination
CIEE will not support participants who discriminate against host families on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. This means that CIEE will not honor requests to move homes, regardless of whether the student is willing to pay the move fee, on account of a family’s race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. CIEE will not find alternative host families for participants who decline a placement on account of a family’s race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, national origin (ancestry), age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. Furthermore, CIEE reserves the right to terminate participants who discriminate against a host family on the basis of the host family’s race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status may be terminated from the program.
CIEE carefully selects and matches host families and participants with the goal of providing an outstanding environment of cultural exchange and academic study.