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Code of Conduct of the Presbyterian Church of NSW

The following constitutes our Code of Conduct for behaviour for a person in a position of authority within the church:

    You will not be involved in any sexual behaviour with a person below the age of consent or a person under your authority, pastoral care or counselling.
  1. You will not exhibit behaviour that could be considered to be coercion or grooming behaviour.
  2. You will not make any sexual innuendos such as suggestive looks, sounds, words, acts or gestures.
  3. You will not make any sexual comments, jokes or show any sexual visual material.
  4. You will not ask any questions about the intimate details of a person’s sexual life. Very occasionally, it may be necessary within the context of pastoral care to ask questions about a person’s sexual life or history. This should be done extremely carefully and with another person present (such as the person’s husband or wife or a trusted friend). You must never give detailed revelations about your own sexual life.
  5. You will not give any inappropriate gifts or correspondence (including email and text messaging), including those of a sexual, suggestive or romantic nature.
  6. You will not touch, hug, or kiss any person in a way that is inappropriate to the situation, or uncomfortable or confusing for the receiver.
  7. You will not touch any sexual part of the body, including the “only kidding” or accidental occasions of sexual touch.
  8. You will not violate a person’s right to physical privacy and personal space, including being alone in the bedroom or bathroom or inappropriate exposure during activities that require dressing or changing clothes.
  9. You will not visit a child or young person in their own home unless a parent is present or you visit with another person in a position of authority within the church with parental permission.
  10. You will not conduct a camp or other activity involving overnight accommodation without appropriate “camp parents” (ideally a married couple over the age of 25 years, of known maturity and Christian commitment) approved by the supervising body.
  11. You will not provide any form of accommodation for any reason where there is not strict segregation by sex, with the exception of married couples and families. Supervision of children and/or young people must be provided by a person of the same sex.
  12. You will not participate in or allow nude swimming or other such activities.
  13. You will not participate in or allow initiations and secret ceremonies.
  14. You will ensure that any activity involving children and/or young people are open to observation by parents and other adults with a legitimate interest.
  15. You will not take advantage of the perception of physical contact, affection and learned sexual actions that some victims of abuse display.
  16. You will not take advantage of the conscious or unconscious use of sexually provocative behaviour that some victims of abuse use to meet their own needs for affection or other requirements.
  17. You will ensure that when you are providing pastoral care or working with members of the opposite sex that there are other people in close proximity or within hearing distance, regardless of where the activity is taking place.
  18. You will not allow a child to sleep in close proximity to an adult, other than a parent or guardian, unless there is a significant separation, and privacy of all parties is respected.
  19. You will not allow an adult to share accommodation with one child or young person only unless they are a parent or guardian.
  20. You will not drive a child or young person unaccompanied.