AmeriStudent Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy

AmeriStudent Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy

AmeriStudent, LLC (“AmeriStudent, LLC”) prohibits sexual abuse of any student under the care or supervision of AmeriStudent, LLC.  No employees, contractors, volunteers, family members or host family members, no matter his or her title or position, will be permitted to commit or allow sexual abuse in violation of this policy.  Any violation of this policy will result in termination of the offending individual’s relationship with the organization, and criminal prosecution may ensue.
 
For the purposes of this policy, sexual abuse is defined as inappropriate sexual contact or interaction with a student, whether initiated or received, by any individual functioning as a caregiver, or otherwise exercising responsibility, for any aspect of the student’s care. Sexual abuse includes sexual assault, exploitation, molestation or injury. It does not include sexual harassment, which is another form of behavior which is prohibited by AmeriStudent, LLC and addressed in AmeriStudent, LLC’s Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy.
 
Mandatory Reporting Procedure
 
To ensure enforcement of, and compliance with, this policy, we have adopted mandatory reporting procedures for employees, contractors, volunteers, family members and host family members to follow if they suspect, witness or otherwise learn of any potential instance of sexual abuse of a student under the care or supervision of AmeriStudent, LLC.
 
Anyone subject to this policy who suspects, witnesses or otherwise learns of any potential instance of sexual abuse must immediately report it to the appropriate party:

  • Host families must report to their Local Coordinator.
  • Local Coordinators must report to a regional Homestay Manager. The regional Homestay Manager must report to AmeriStudent, LLC’ Human Resource Department.
  • Tutors must report to AmeriStudent, LLC’s Human Resource Department.

If you are unable, for any reason, to report a policy violation to the appropriate individual, or if you have not received a satisfactory response within three (3) days after reporting any incident of what you perceive to be sexual abuse or if the person toward whom the complaint is directed is one of the individuals indicated above, you should contact any higher-level manager within AmeriStudent, LLC or send an email to support@ameristudent.com. Urgent matters shall be reported to local authorities and then reported directly to the Human Resources Department of AmeriStudent, LLC. These reporting procedures do not change or supplant an individual’s existing reporting requirements under state or federal law.
 
If the alleged victim is legally an adult, the matter will be reported to the local or state Adult Protective Services (APS) Agency. If alleged victim is a minor, the matter will be reported to the local or state Child Abuse Agency. Further steps will be taken to promptly notify family members of the alleged victim, as appropriate.
 
If the alleged perpetrator is a member of the host family, the student will be immediately removed from the host family and placed in alternate housing and provided any additional protection required to prevent the alleged perpetrator from engaging in verbal or physical contact with the student.
 
AmeriStudent, LLC will also take appropriate steps to report the alleged sexual abuse incident to its insurance company and make all further notifications deemed reasonably necessary to protect the alleged victim and AmeriStudent, LLC. 
 
Investigation & Follow Up
 
We take all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously. Once the allegation is reported, we will promptly, thoroughly and impartially conduct an investigation to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to believe that sexual abuse has been committed. Our investigation may be undertaken by either an internal team or we may hire an independent third party. We will cooperate fully with any investigation conducted by law enforcement or regulatory agencies and we may refer the complaint and the result of our investigation to those agencies.
 
We reserve the right to place the alleged perpetrator on an involuntary leave of absence, or otherwise re-assign that person to responsibilities that do not involve personal contact with the alleged victim or other students, during the course of an investigation. We reserve the right to remove a student from the care of a host family if allegations arise against a host family member and to suspend stipend payments to the host family until the allegations have been resolved.
 
To the fullest extent possible, but consistent with our need to complete a thorough investigation and our legal obligation to report suspected abuse to appropriate authorities, we will endeavor to keep the identities of the alleged victims and investigation subject confidential.
 
If the investigation substantiates the allegation, the perpetrator’s relationship with AmeriStudent, LLC will be terminated.
 
Identifying Signs of Potential Sexual Abuse
 
There are a number of “red flags” that suggest someone is being sexually abused. They take the form of physical or behavioral evidence.
 
Physical evidence of sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases;
  • Difficulty walking or moving normally;
  • Stained, bloody or torn undergarments;
  • Genital pain or itching; and
  • Physical injuries involving the external genitalia.

Behavioral signals suggestive of sexual abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Fear or reluctance about being left in the care of a particular person;
  • Recoiling from being touched;
    Bundling oneself in excessive clothing, especially night clothes;
  • Discomfort or apprehension when sex is referred to or discussed; and
  • Nightmares or fear of night and/or darkness.


Retaliation Prohibited

We prohibit any retaliation against anyone, including employees, contractors, volunteers, family members, host family members, students or other individuals associated with AmeriStudent, LLC, who in good faith reports a potential violation of this policy or who participates in any related investigation.
 
Anyone who takes any action to retaliate against an individual who has made a good-faith report of a potential violation of this policy or who has participated in a related investigation will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of the individual’s relationship with the organization.  Intentionally false or malicious accusations of sexual abuse, or intentionally providing false information in a related investigation is also prohibited and will subject the offending individual to discipline, up to and including termination of the individual’s relationship with the organization.