Hash House Harriers

A drinking club with a running problem

Updated 01/24/2024

Boston Hash House Harriers Policy on Sexual Misconduct

  1. Overview

    1. Purpose

      We are committed to providing a safe and supportive environment free from sexual misconduct. This policy has two purposes: (1) to clarify prohibited and expected behaviors in the Boston Hash, and (2) to formalize the Boston Hash's procedures for responding to reports of sexual misconduct.
    2. Scope

      This policy applies to all individuals participating in Boston H3 trails, events, and/or hash social media or messaging groups, including named hashers, justs, virgins, visitors, and guests.
      Furthermore, this policy covers any allegations of sexual misconduct committed by or against members of the hash community. This includes incidents that occurred at Boston H3 events, at events organized by other kennels, and outside of organized hash events, as long as such incidents have the potential to affect the safety or comfort of the hash community.
      This policy is specifically written to address sexual misconduct; however, its procedures may be applied for allegations of other behavior that endangers the physical or emotional safety of hashers, including harassment and violence that are not sexual in nature, as well as theft.
    3. Limitations

      We take every allegation of sexual misconduct seriously and will investigate all incidents in an attempt to gain a full perspective of what occurred. In clearcut cases, the investigation may be very short, allowing long-term actions to be implemented quickly. However, time is sometimes required to investigate and make an informed decision. We cannot promise to immediately remove an alleged perpetrator from the hash in all cases.
      As a volunteer-led running club, we do not have the resources of a police department or the authority of the legal system. Therefore, our ability to substantiate allegations and hold perpetrators accountable is limited. Our policy aims to balance the protection of our community with the due process our community members deserve. We recognize that, in cases in which there is insufficient evidence to justifiably ban members of our community, the consequences administered may not be commensurate with the seriousness of the alleged offense. More serious consequences are administered in response to substantiated or multiple allegations against an individual.
      Furthermore, the Boston Hash is not legally responsible for harassment that occurs within the hash, or for its response to incidents. This policy is meant as a resource for Boston H3 Mismanagement and the SASS committee when responding to alleged incidents, but neither Boston H3 nor any associated individuals shall not be held legally liable for their responses or non-responses to allegations. We encourage survivors to seek redress through the legal system for criminal sexual acts.
  2. Prohibited Behaviors & Community Guidelines

    1. Sexual Misconduct

      Sexual misconduct is any behavior of a sexual nature for which consent is not freely given. Examples of behaviors which constitute sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:
      • Any touching, whether overtly sexual or not, without explicit consent
      • Pressuring others to show body parts on trail
      • Unwelcome sexual advances or unwelcome requests for sexual favors Sexual comments, jokes, or songs directed at an individual
      • Taking or sharing
      • photos of a sexual nature without explicit consent
      • Any sexual behavior that interferes with another hasher's enjoyment of or comfort at the hash
      • Sexual assault or rape
    2. Other Prohibited Behaviors

      While this policy primarily addresses sexual misconduct, its procedures may be used for other problematic behavior as well. Any behavior that detracts from others' comfort, safety, or enjoyment of the hash can be addressed by the GMs. Examples of other prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to:
      • Theft: This includes theft of property belonging to individual hashers, to the Boston Hash, or to venues hosting the hash.
      • Violence: This includes violence perpetrated against other hashers or at hash events, including against bartenders, bouncers, other bar patrons, etc.
      • Intentional Destruction of Property: This includes property belonging to individual hashers, to the Boston Hash, or to venues hosting the hash.
      • Harassment: Harassment includes persistent unwanted attention, intimidation or threats, unwanted phone calls or texts, and posting information about a person without their consent.
      • Excessive Disruption of Muggle Spaces: This includes yelling or singing in family restaurants, inappropriate songs in the presence of children, etc. While the hash is inevitably somewhat disruptive to the muggles we run past, we strive to be amusingly disruptive, not obnoxious.
      • Non-consensual Photography: Any photographs taken on trail should be announced in advance to give hashers the opportunity to opt in or out of the photograph. If someone in a photograph requests for a photograph to be taken down from any platform where it was posted, the individual who posted it must comply with their request.
      • Other Violations of Consent: “No” always means “no,” regardless of whether sex is involved.
    3. Guidelines for Consent

      Newcomers to the hash are entering an environment with unfamiliar norms that include more alcohol and more overt sexual references than most social groups. This creates a power imbalance in which established hashers understand the sexual boundaries and norms, while newer hashers are still trying to figure these out.
      Therefore, while an explicit “yes” is important and required, it is not always sufficient for maintaining the kind of safe environment we wish for the hash to be. Here are some general guidelines for consent in the hash:
      • Be aware of power dynamics (e.g. named hasher/just; established/newer in the Boston Hash; older/younger; male/female; higher/lower socioeconomic status). When interacting across a power dynamic, be more purposeful about consent and aware of factors that may affect consent.
      • Be cautious about propositioning newer hashers for dates or sexual encounters. It can feel misleading if an established hasher is welcoming and helpful on trail and then asks the newer hasher on a date; we want to be friendly because we're friendly, not because we expect anything. Newer hashers may not feel comfortable saying no to someone who has been welcoming and helpful to them during trail, and may also worry about their status in the group if they reject an established hasher. Furthermore, people often come to the hash to make friends and join a community, and invitations to group social events rather than private ones are more conducive to this.
      • Recognize that consent may be given to one individual but not another. Consent given to one person – whether explicitly stated or implicit in an existing relationship – does not constitute consent for anyone else.
      • Seek explicit consent before making physical contact with anyone with whom you don't have a physical relationship with outside the hash. Do not assume that you have consent to slap someone's ass, pick someone up, hold someone's arm, etc., even if others have consent to do so.
      • Show respect at body part checks. Respect people's decision to show body parts or not, and cheer enthusiastically if body parts are shown. Don't offer specific commentary or make any comments that could be construed as critical.
      • Consider the level of intoxication of anyone from whom you are seeking consent. If someone who is drunk says “yes” to something to which they previously said “no,” that may not be consent. Discuss consent before you are intoxicated or wait until everyone is sober enough to consent.
      • Recognize that consent can be revoked at any time for any reason. “No” always means “no.”
      • Ask questions to clarify whether consent is enthusiastic, especially in situations where another person might consent due to power dynamics or intoxication. In addition to basic consent questions (“Can I kiss you?”) ask what the other person wants or likes (“Do you like holding hands?” “How were you hoping tonight would end up?” “Was it okay that I started that spank tunnel?”)
    4. Bystander Responsibilities

      All hashers have the shared responsibility of paying attention to the social dynamics around us to ensure that everyone feels safe and comfortable. Here are some ways that we can do that:
      • Check in with your friends – and all hashers are your friends.
      • When they're drunk, make sure they're making decisions their sober selves would support.
      • Check your friends – and all hashers are your friends. If it looks like they're making someone uncomfortable, mention it. If you're concerned about a pattern of behavior, point it out. If their attempts at flirting look creepy to you, let them know. Let's stop problems before they happen.
      • Call out problematic behavior when you see it. If people don't know their behavior is a problem, they won't change it.
      • Intervene if you're concerned. Check in with the people involved, interject yourself into the situation and change the subject, or engage either person involved in a different conversation or task. Delegate the intervention to friends of the people involved if you don't feel comfortable intervening yourself.
      • Report your concerns to a SASS representative, GM, or RA. It is helpful for the hash to have concrete and specific information about problematic behavior so that we can address it.
  3. Reporting & Documentation

    We encourage hashers to report any instances of sexual misconduct or problematic behavior, no matter how minor, to a SASS committee member, a GM, or an RA. Being informed about sexual misconduct allows hash leadership to identify and address it. A prior documented pattern of problematic behavior is also informative when a more serious allegation is made against someone.
    1. Reporting

      Hashers may report incidents or concerns, major or minor, to any of the following individuals:
      • Boston Hash Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) Chairs 2023-2024: Mudslut and Sketchy Ho (
      • Boston Hash GMs 2023-2024: Mudslut and Beeeestiality B4 Boys (
      • Boston Hash RAs 2023-2024: Chunderellie Chunderellie, Orgasm Famine, Strap On Strap Off, Testicular Mechanics
      In addition, we encourage hashers who are survivors of rape or sexual assault to seek assistance outside the hash. The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) offers hotline support over the phone 24 hours a day at 800-841-8371 or through web chat from 9 am to 11 pm at BARCC is also equipped to help survivors seek medical attention and to report sex crimes to the police, if desired.
      The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233).
    2. Internal Procedures & Documentation

      We document all alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, including the names of perpetrators and actions taken in response. Documentation of alleged incidents, regardless of whether they could be substantiated, is important for identifying repeat offenders and harmful patterns of behavior.
      The current Boston GMs and SASS chairs have access to these records. All information will be included in or linked directly to a central spreadsheet. In the interest of maintaining a safe environment, information contained in these records may be shared with members of the Boston Hash community, as well as with GMs of other kennels, at the discretion of the GMs and SASS chairs.
      In the case of an allegation against a GM or SASS chair, that individual will not be involved in the investigation or documentation of the case. A separate file will be created to which the alleged perpetrator does not have access. In the case of an allegation against a SASS chair, an RA will be asked to fill in as co-chair for that specific investigation.
      Allegations of sexual assault, as well as incidents that resulted in probation, suspension, or a ban, remain permanently documented. Less serious allegations can be removed after a period of 3 years if there were no additional allegations against that individual and if the GMs and SASS chairs unanimously agree that the hasher is not a risk to the community and that the information is no longer relevant.
  4. Procedures for Responding to Minor Offenses

    Minor offenses are those that go against our community guidelines but would not be considered criminal; they do not rise to the level of sexual assault.
    The following are potential responses to alleged perpetrators of minor offenses. Each has a suggested use, but the GMs and SASS representatives will determine the appropriate course of action based on the individual situation.
    • Documentation: Documentation may be the sole action taken if the individual reporting the allegation does not wish for further action to be taken and if the perpetrator's behavior does not put other hashers at risk.
    • Informal warning: An informal warning may be issued in response to a first minor offense.
    • Written warning: A written warning may be used when a behavior continues after an informal warning has been issued. A written warning explains that any subsequent offenses will lead to probation. A written warning may also be issued when an individual does not accept the informal warning, argues with the hash representative issuing the warning, or does not agree to change their behavior going forward.
    • Probationary period of 1 to 3 months: A probationary period of 1 to 3 months may be used when a behavior continues after a written warning. During this period, the hasher will be allowed to attend the hash with restrictions designed to mitigate their specific problematic behavior (e.g. reduce alcohol consumption, not take photographs, skip body part checks, avoid a certain hasher, step down from a leadership position, etc.).
    • Suspension: Problematic behavior that continues despite multiple warnings and/or probation may result in a suspension from all Boston hashes, hash events, and hash social media channels. Suspensions can be as short as one week or as long as one year, and will be administered according to the GMs' discretion.
    • Ban: A hasher who repeats their problematic behavior despite multiple warnings and other interventions may be banned indefinitely from the Boston Hash, with no expectation of said status being revoked.
  5. Procedures for Responding to Allegations of Sexual Assault

    The Boston Hash takes allegations of sexual assault seriously. There are three parts to our response procedure: an immediate response, investigation and documentation, and a final action plan.
    1. Immediate Response

      When an allegation of sexual assault is reported to the hash, it may take time for us to gather information and make a decision about the appropriate course of action. In more clear cut cases, the investigation may be very short, allowing more long-term actions to be implemented quickly.
      While the investigation is ongoing, the alleged perpetrator will be placed on temporary probation, meaning that their behavior will be monitored by GMs, SASS, and RAs. Other restrictions may also be applied, such as limited alcohol consumption or instructions not to interact with the survivor (at the survivor's request). GMs may also suggest or mandate that an alleged perpetrator step away from the hash until the investigation is complete.
      There are also several measures that we can take immediately to support survivors. When a hasher reports that they have been a victim of sexual misconduct, we will immediately do any of the following if requested by the survivor:
      • Listen without judgment
      • Maintain confidentiality
      • Provide a trusted “buddy” to stay with the survivor during the next trail or hash event
      • Instruct the alleged perpetrator not to interact with the survivor while the investigation is ongoing
      • Provide new crash space for the survivor, if relevant
      • Remove the alleged perpetrator from crash space or a social event in the survivor's home, if relevant
      • Refund rego for upcoming events if the survivor opts not to attend
      • Explain the hash's procedures for investigating the allegation
      • Provide information about local support resources
      Survivors are entitled to any and all of the above accommodations immediately upon reporting sexual misconduct in the hash. A SASS representative will explain these options and leave the decision about whether to use them to the survivor.
    2. Investigation

      When we receive information alleging or suggesting that a hasher has perpetrated an act of sexual misconduct, SASS will immediately document the information. If a serious allegation was made or more information is needed, SASS will do the following:
      • Gather and record information from the hasher making the allegation
      • Ask what outcome is desired by the survivor or individual(s) reporting the incident
      • Ask whether the survivor or individual(s) reporting the incident wish for the hash to undertake further investigation; discuss to what extent confidentiality can be maintained while doing so
      • Gather and document additional information as necessary, including speaking with the alleged perpetrator and/or witnesses
      • Determine, implement, and document appropriate action steps
      • Follow up with survivor or individual(s) reporting the incident
    3. Action Plan: Responses to Perpetrators

      As noted in the Limitations section at the beginning of this policy, we recognize that we have limited ability to prove allegations of sexual assault, especially as such crimes often have no witnesses. A determination that an allegation could not be substantiated does not mean that we do not believe the survivor. It simply means that we do not have the evidence we feel we need to justify suspending or banning someone from our community. However, we still have a lower bar for substantiation than the legal system. We will suspend or ban hashers if we have sufficient reason to believe their presence makes the hash less safe.
      The following are potential responses to alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and rape. These consequences will be applied after the hash's investigation into the incident is complete.
      • Probation: A 3-month probation period will be implemented for a serious but unsubstantiated allegation. During this period, the hasher will be allowed to attend the hash with restrictions designed to maintain a sense of safety in the hash and to protect the survivor specifically. The most common restriction would be to avoid interacting with the survivor, with additional restrictions considered when relevant and appropriate. Alleged perpetrators on Mismanagement may also be asked to step down from leadership positions. Hashers returning after a voluntary leave of absence, suspension, or ban will also be placed on a 3-month probation.
      • Voluntary Leave of Absence: Again for a serious but unsubstantiated allegation, the GMs may recommend that an alleged perpetrator take a leave of absence for a period of 1-3 months. Where there is ambiguity or disagreement in accounts between the survivor and alleged perpetrator, it may benefit both parties and the hash as a whole for the alleged perpetrator to take a break from the hash. In these cases, we would ask the alleged perpetrator to recognize that time and space apart could benefit all parties involved.
      • Suspension: When an allegation of sexual assault or rape has been substantiated based on our investigation, a suspension of up to 1 year may be implemented. (Note that, depending on the severity of the case, a ban is also an option here.)
      • Ban: Hashers may be banned indefinitely from the Boston Hash, with no expectation of said status being revoked, under any of the following circumstances:
        • 1 substantiated allegation of sexual assault (Note that a suspension is also an option.)
        • 1 allegation of sexual assault in combination with a documented pattern of sexual misconduct (e.g. previous or subsequent minor offenses)
        • 2 or more independent serious allegations of sexual assault, regardless of whether these allegations could be substantiated with evidence
        • Banning by another hash kennel with reasonable justification provided by that kennel
      Ending a Probation, Suspension, or Ban
      Hashers finishing a probationary period are required to meet in person with a SASS representative and/or GM before being released from the terms of their probation.
      Hashers returning after a suspension due to a sexual assault allegation are required to meet in person with a SASS representative and/or GM. Before returning to the hash, the alleged perpetrator must show an understanding of the inappropriateness of their behavior and a commitment to change.
      Hashers who have been indefinitely banned from the Boston Hash may submit a written appeal to have the ban revoked after a period of 3 years. When the current GMs and SASS representatives receive such an appeal, they will make a reasonable effort to consult with the GMs and SASS representatives who initially issued the ban. A unanimous decision by the current GMs and SASS representatives is required to revoke an indefinite ban. This decision should be based on the banned hasher showing significant growth, an understanding of the inappropriateness of their behavior, a commitment to change, and a demonstrable change in their behavior.
      Hashers returning after a suspension or ban will be placed on probationary status for 3 months.
    4. Action Plan: Ongoing Accommodations for Survivors

      As noted previously, we are limited in our ability to substantiate sexual assault allegations. Therefore, not all serious allegations will result in the removal of the alleged perpetrator from the hash. When this is the case, SASS representatives will work with the survivor to determine and provide reasonable accommodations to help them feel safe within the hash. Accommodations will be implemented for a set amount of time and reassessed on an ongoing basis by SASS in collaboration with the survivor. Based on the situation and at the survivor's request, we may provide the following accommodations:
      • Provide a trusted “buddy” during trails or events
      • Instruct the alleged perpetrator not to interact with the survivor
      • Coordinate with the survivor and alleged perpetrator to create a schedule whereby they will not attend the same trails
      • Support a survivor's decision to step down from mismanagement duties
      • Help the survivor to file a restraining order against the alleged perpetrator
      • Help the survivor to enforce an existing restraining order
  6. Policy Development and Review

    This policy was adapted from the model guidelines published by and recommended by BARCC. The Boston Hash GMs and SASS chairs will work with the Boston Hash community to assess and improve this policy on an ongoing basis.
    The Boston Hash SASS chairs are the individuals designated by the Boston Hash to support survivors of sexual assault, to investigate reported incidents of sexual misconduct, and to advise the GMs on responses to alleged sexual misconduct. The Boston Hash SASS committee comprises the SASS chairs, the current GMs, the current RAs, and other volunteers from within the Boston Hash community. All members of the SASS committee are responsible for familiarizing themselves with this policy.