Reducing Risk of Assault
I. University Policy
Central Washington University will not tolerate sexual assault or sexual misconduct in any form. The University affirms respect, responsibility and caring among all persons within the community. Federal law requires specific policies and procedures to address sexually assault behaviors the part of students. Allegations of sexual assault by students should be addressed through this policy, administered by the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
The university is committed to preventing all forms of sexual assault and to providing accessible, responsive services for dealing with such offenses. Sexual assault on the part of any student is clearly inconsistent with Central Washington University values. It is also considered a form of sexual harassment in violation of the university Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy, as well as a violation of state and federal law.
Individuals are responsible for their behavior when they are consuming alcohol or other controlled substances, and such consumption is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior. Sexual assault often occurs in the context of the use of alcohol or other controlled substances. Under these circumstances, individuals put themselves at increased risk for being a victim of sexual assault or of being accused as a perpetrator. Lack of consent can exist if a person is too intoxicated and/or is unable to freely agree to sexual intercourse or sexual contact.
B. Sexual Assault Statistics
Rape is a crime of power and control. It reflects a total disregard for the rights and feelings of others. No one should be forced or intimidated to have sex under any circumstances.
Rape, sexual harassment and other sexual violations can happen anywhere, at any time, to anyone. Based on a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Justice, it is estimated that a college enrolling 10,000 female students could experience more than 350 rapes per year (U.S. Department of Justice, December 2000). For current CWU crime statistics, please visit this page.
For the purposes of this policy, in addition to the ordinary definition of intercourse, sexual assault also means any unwanted touching of the sexual or other parts of a person done for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party
- Sexual assault at CWU includes but is not limited to:
- Spousal rape, non-stranger rape and other forced and/or non-consensual sexual activity. Non-consensual refers to all sexual acts carried out without the consent of one of the parties and includes vaginal or anal penetration with any object or body part. Marriage or co-habitation does not automatically imply consent. Sexual assault and relationship violence are attacks not only on a person's body but also on a person's dignity. Sexual assault is NOT about sex; it is a crime of violence.
- Threats, coercion, physical force, intimidation and stalking.
- Recklessly engaging in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical harm to another person.
- Consent requires an agreement between the parties involved to share some type of sexual activity and must include the following elements:
- It must be informed. Parties must be able to effectively communicate and agree on the type of sexual activities that will be shared. Either partner has the right to change his/her mind, at any time and is responsible for communicating that change to his/her partner.
- Either partner in a relationship may modify or terminate agreements at any time.
- Consent is a free choice if it has been granted without the use of force (real or imagined), threats, intimidation, coercion or fraud.
- It is the responsibility of the person that initiates any type of sexual activity to obtain the other person's consent.
- Consent to one type of sexual act does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activities
- Silence, or a previous sexual relationship, or a present relationship with the person who initiates the sexual activity, should not be interpreted as consent.
- Consent is not implicit in a person's manner of dress.
- Accepting an invitation for a meal or date is not consent, nor does it imply consent.
- Consent will not be effective when it is obtained from a person whose capacity to consent is diminished. Consumption of alcohol or drugs is never an excuse or justification for sexual assault.
D. Reporting and Assistance
The university's highest concern is for the emotional and physical well being of sexual assault victims. The victim shall have access to the full complement of university services that can help students maintain emotional and psychological well-being and provide for the safety of the victim. These include, but are not limited to, assistance in changing academic and living arrangements if these changes are reasonably available. The University Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
will be the official first point of contact (509-963-3233 or SARC@cwu.edu
), other than police, for facilitating victim access to all needed services. Other departments, if contacted first, will make a referral to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
Central Washington University encourages all members of the campus community who believe they are victims of sexual assault to immediately report the incident to the police agency of jurisdiction. Although reporting is not required, it is encouraged. If the assault occurs in the residence halls or apartments, the Office of University Housing and New Student Programs and the CWU Public Safety and Police Services should be contacted, as well as the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. Immediate reporting to the police is an important factor in successful investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases.
Victims are not required to pursue prosecution just because they report a crime to a police agency. However, the reporting of sexual assault to the police agency may prevent others from being victims.
Any member of the university community can file a third party report with the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
, Student Medical and Counseling Clinic or CWU Public Safety and Police Services
detailing an incident involving sexual assault. It is important to note that the university cannot initiate student judicial action or a criminal complaint against the alleged perpetrator based on a third party report. The report is encouraged, none the less, as it can provide useful information for protecting the community-at-large and connecting similar reports while protecting the victim's anonymity.
E. Legal Recourse and Disciplinary Actions
Where there is sufficient evidence to believe that the university regulations prohibiting sexual assault have been violated, the university may pursue disciplinary action through its Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (please see the undergraduate catalog or http://catalog.acalog.cwu.edu/content.php?catoid=35&navoid=1174). Sanctions for persons found in violation of these policies may include suspension and/or expulsion from the university. Education, including violence prevention and awareness, may be required of the perpetrator. The university, through the Dean of Student Success Office, reserves the right to pursue disciplinary action in the case of an off-campus incident, when the alleged perpetrator is a student and the behavior involved threatens the health, safety, and/or property of the university and its staff and students.
When proceedings are conducted on-campus in cases of alleged sexual assault, the accuser and the accused are entitled to: (a) the same opportunity to have an advocate present, and (b) be informed of the outcome of the proceeding. For a detailed description of due process see the Student Judicial code, sections V and VI or go to: http://catalog.acalog.cwu.edu/content.php?catoid=35&navoid=1174
No victim of sexual assault shall be penalized or retaliated against in any way for his or her participation in the university's complaint process.
CWU Public Safety and Police Services
A victim has the right to avoid face-to-face interaction with the offender during any campus judicial hearings. She/he also has the right to appeal the findings of investigations conducted by the Dean of Student Success
A victim of sexual assault or misconduct has legal recourse outside the university, if she/he chooses. Campus authorities will assist victims in notifying proper law enforcement authorities, including CWU Public Safety and Police Services and local police. It is the victim's right to decide whether or not to file a complaint. Legal and medical advocacy is freely available through ASPEN
, the local domestic violence/sexual assault agency.
II. The Role of the University Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
- The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator will neither investigate nor adjudicate complaints of sexual assault. In the event of a sexual assault complaint, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator ensures appropriate services are made available. This includes:
- Crisis counseling to the victim/survivor.
- Appropriate medical referral.
- Direct referral to ASPEN (Abuse Support & Prevention Education Now) for medical and legal advocacy.
- Referral to the Health and Counseling Center to meet with a counselor who will provide additional emotional support and assist victims in sorting out feelings associated with the assault.
- Provide advice on the university's discrimination complaint procedures, disciplinary action against the accused, alternative housing assignments, academic assistance, and the role of the ASPEN advocate in other proceedings.
- Make every effort to contact victims within 24 hours and, while respecting whatever decision they have made, encourage them to get some type of assistance.
- The Sexual Response Coordinator coordinates the process of reporting incidents by:
Notifying the following offices as appropriate and with the victim's consent: Dean of Student Success(if the accused is a student), Office for Equal Opportunity (if the accused is an employee), Office of Housing and New Student Experience (if either the accused or the victim is living in the residential community), Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, Academic Affairs (if victim needs academic accommodations), and International Programs (if either the victim or the accused is involved in that program.)
- Encouraging victims to report the occurrence to CWU Public Safety and Police Services for investigation and/or prosecution.
- The Sexual Assault Response Coordinator maintains and provides appropriate statistical information by:
- Maintaining generic statistical information and providing data to CWU Public Safety and Police Services as required under the Clery Act. (The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act – for information see http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/campus.html)
- Maintaining confidentiality at the informal-advice level with the exception of the mandated statistical summaries required by the Clery Act.
- Other duties of the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator include:
- Coordinating campus resources and educational efforts.
- Advising Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP), a student organization providing educational programming for students.
- Working closely with the Sexual Violence Commission.
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III. Assisting Victims of Sexual Assault
- Individuals who are contacted by a victim of sexual assault at Central Washington University should encourage the victim to:
- Contact CWU Public Safety and Police Services
- Secure advocacy services available through the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program at Comprehensive Mental Health (ASPEN)
- Talk with the university's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator
- If the victim wishes to speak only to you:
- Ascertain whether or not the victim needs immediate medical assistance. Ask the victim directly if she/he is all right physically. If the victim needs medical attention, refer her/him to the Emergency Room, Kittitas Valley Community Hospital or to the university's Student Medical and Counseling Clinic. Always encourage the victim to seek medical attention.
- Find out the victim's most critical concerns and respond in a non-judgmental way. Recommend appropriate resources for the victim and feel free to consult with the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for additional guidance.
- Remember, the victim may wish to do nothing further, other than have this conversation.
- Report the incident to CWU Public Safety and Police Services (names of victims are not required) so that the university can comply with legal reporting requirements.
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IV. Education for Prevention
Central Washington University is committed to providing effective education on preventing, coping with, and responding to sexual assault and rape for all members of the university community. The Sexual Violence Commission oversees the development and implementation of a comprehensive, systemic and coordinated campus prevention and education program. The Commission is comprised of a cross section of students, staff, faculty and community members; the Commission Chair is appointed by the President. The Commission remains current on issues of sexual assault through biennial campus wide surveys that assess the nature and incidence of unwanted sexual experiences of CWU students.
Prevention education addresses the sociological under-pinnings of sexual violence, how to respond to victims including campus and community referral resources, and helpful precautions in preventing sexual assault. Prevention education is delivered through academic instruction, workshops, seminars, and other specially designed co-curricular activities. This information is offered to faculty, staff and students and will be supported by the university administration.
The victim may wish to go directly to the local hospital for medical help and/or a forensics analysis. That medical center is one of two places in Kittitas County where evidence necessary for medical and/or forensic evaluation and court testimony can be collected. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner will also provide services at Planned Parenthood in Ellensburg. The victim should not shower, bathe, or change clothing prior to going to the emergency room, as this will destroy important physical evidence. For physical evidence to be useful, it is best collected within 12-24 hours and no later than 5 days after the assault. The collection of medical evidence does not presume that charges will be pressed against the assailant. As part of the evidence collection, the emergency room involves testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The emergency room personnel will automatically call ASPEN, and the victim can determine the extent to which she/he wishes to use the advocate services.
Central Washington University Student Medical and Counseling Clinic
The health service clinicians will follow a formal sexual assault medical protocol including (a) tests for sexually transmitted diseases, and (b) in the case of a female victim, a pregnancy test and counseling regarding the availability of the morning-after pill. A counselor will be available to help with considerable alternatives for action when appropriate and to help with the emotional healing necessary following a trauma.
Ask for the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault (DV/SA) advocate. This advocacy serves Ellensburg and the CWU community. ASPEN has a 24 hour access line, see list of resources above.