Safeguards Are Essential in All Workplaces, Including Best Charities

Safeguards Are Essential in All Workplaces, Including Best Charities

The past year’s groundswell of allegations and verdicts about sexual misconduct reflects behavior not only within high-visibility arenas like entertainment, government, sports and business, but also in the nonprofit domain, for example the animal welfare movement and global charities. An example of the latter has recently been reported in coverage about incidents involving Oxfam Great Britain* employees during the Haiti crisis (largely also covered at the time in 2011). Even in organizations that focus on doing good, men too often abuse their power, including sexual misconduct.

The Life You Can Save expects its recommended nonprofits to have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that anyone who abuses their power will face immediate, transparent and appropriate consequences. Perhaps more importantly, organizations must create a culture where everyone—women in particular— feels safe making complaints without fear of any retribution and confident that accusations will be properly investigated and accordingly acted upon. We also hold that organizations should have a safe and fair system in place, as we do at The Life You Can Save, where every employee has clear primary and backup lines of communication for registering complaints.



*Oxfam consists of affiliates in numerous countries worldwide. These are all independent organizations, although they do coordinate their activities and engage in some joint activities through Oxfam International. The incidents in Haiti and the handling of them involved only Oxfam Great Britain, and not Oxfam America or any of the other country organizations.

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About the author:

Charles Bresler

Co-founder, Board Member

After earning a PhD in Social and Clinical Psychology, Charlie Bresler became director of behavioral medicine for The California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno (CSPP-F), where he was a full-time professor and founder of a teaching clinic for anxiety & stress disorders. In 1993, he was recruited by The Men’s Wearhouse, where he went on to be head of human resources, stores, marketing, and, ultimately, president. He stepped down in 2008 to fulfill his long-standing desire to work directly on social and economic issues, not too long after he read Peter Singer’s book, The Life You Can Save. Catalyzed by the concept, Charlie reached out to Peter and proposed combining Peter’s theory with the formation of a nonprofit to advance Peter’s ideas and to raise money for high-impact, cost-effective organizations. Together, they founded The Life You Can Save, where Charlie took on all organizational operations as executive director until 2024. He was supported in this work and in his financial support for the organization by his wife Diana, a family physician, and executed the role pro bono.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.