This Best Practices Guide has been created to address instances of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and other prohibited behaviors in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Specific issues addressed, in addition to Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment, include retaliation, bystander intervention, bullying, hazing, coercion, stalking and other prohibited behaviors.
The U.S. Merchant Marine is committed to a culture where there is zero tolerance for such behaviors. While every individual is accountable for his or her behavior, it is every company’s responsibility to promote an abuse-free culture among its employees. Accordingly, the best practices guide is designed to identify and share those best practices used by maritime companies of all sizes to implement Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment prevention-and- response policies in the workplace. To accomplish this, the best practices guide provides examples of best practices currently in place from various maritime companies and organizations.
The goal is a workplace culture that fosters collaboration, mutual respect, responsibility and accountability for the success of our industry. These principles apply whether the workplace is a vessel, marine terminal, office or any other environment. Respect for the chain of command is important along with the empowerment of each employee to speak out to prevent harm to anyone.
We in the industry view Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment as an abuse of power. It makes no difference whether such power is derived from a person’s rank, physical stature or any other source. In all cases, such conduct is completely unacceptable, potentially unlawful and directly contrary to the culture the U.S. Merchant Marine strives to maintain.
SOCP suggests the widest distribution of this Guide to the industry. We strongly recommend that SOCP members and the maritime industry continue the dialogue and spread the word about the importance of these issues. These ongoing efforts will allow us to continually improve and revise these best practices in our ongoing efforts to ensure a culture free of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and other prohibited behaviors.