Definitions: Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation is the development or attempted development of a sexual or romantic relationship between a person in any ministerial position, lay or ordained, and an individual with whom he or she has a Pastoral Relationship, whether or not there is apparent consent from the individual.


Sexual exploitation includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

a.  Verbal: such as sexual innuendo, indecent proposals, sharing sexual stories, jokes or fantasies, or making inappropriate comments about someone’s appearance.

b.  Behaviors: such as inappropriate touching, sending or posting communications with sexual content (correspondence, email, text messages, instant messages, photographs, attachments, phone conversations, voice mail, etc.)

c. Sexualizing a relationship between a clergy or anyone in a pastoral leadership position and lay person or anyone to whom he or she provides ministry (e.g., requesting dates, giving unwanted attention, etc.).


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