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Sexual Misconduct Policy Training - Occidental College

Sexual Misconduct Policy Training - Occidental College






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  • Sexual misconduct is an “umbrella term” that describes different forms of non-consensual sexual contact. Sexual assault can be committed by any gender against a person of the same or opposite gender. Sexual assault can be committed by current or former lovers, friends, acquaintances, or strangers.
  • (such as genitalia, groin, breast, buttocks, mouth, and/or clothing covering them) This includes, but is not limited to penetration of the mouth, genitalia, or anus without consent through the use of coercion.
  • that renders them unable to appreciate the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation in which they find themselves, and that is known or reasonably knowable to a non-disabled sexual partner.
  • While the College does not condone underage drinking or violation of other College policies, it considers reporting assaults to be of paramount importance, and will therefore extend …. to foster reporting and adjudication of sexual assaults on campus.
  • Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. Information, support and advice are available for anyone who wishes to discuss issues related to sexual assault, and whether or not the person seeking information has been assaulted, has been accused of a sexual assault, or is a third party. Emmons Health Center* (323-259-2657) Dean of Students Office (323-259-2661) Office for Religious and Spiritual Life clergy* (323-259-2621) Project SAFE (Sexual Assault-Free Environment), a peer-operated group (323-321-4750)
  • When a survivor reports a sexual assault that happened more than 72 hours ago, all of the same procedures apply with the EXCEPTION of the necessity to go to the hospital for evidence collection (rape protocol exam). The survivor should still be encouraged to report the assault to the police and go to a medical center to check for internal injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy. Counseling should be emphasized to assist the survivor in the healing process.
  • The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon whether or not the individual is legally protected to withhold this information. An individual can speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles at Occidental College including counselors at

Sexual Misconduct Policy Training - Occidental College Sexual Misconduct Policy Training - Occidental College Presentation Transcript

  • What you need to know about Sexual Misconduct Residential Education and Housing Services Resident Advisor Training Including information from a presentation by: Dean of Students Office Occidental College
  • Outline
    • Terms and definitions
    • Important Policies
    • Options Following Sexual Misconduct
    • How to Assist a Survivor After An Incident
    • RA Role
    • Confidentiality
    • Ways to Educate and Support Students
    • Conduct Process
    • Resources
  • Sexual Misconduct Defined
    • Attempted or actual sexual contact performed without the active, verbal consent of another individual.
    • Sexual misconduct can be committed by any gender against a person of the same or opposite gender.
    • Sexual misconduct can be committed by current or former partners, friends, acquaintances or strangers.
  • Sexual Misconduct Includes
    • Sexual Harassment
    • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
    • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
    • Sexual Exploitation
  • Sexual Harassment
    • Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
    • Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
    • Any sexual intercourse (oral, vaginal and/or anal), however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, that is without consent and/or by force.
  • Sexual Exploitation
    • Occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples:
      • non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
      • engaging in voyeurism;
      • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
      • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation
  • When consent cannot be given
    • Consent cannot be given under the following circumstances:
      • unconsciousness or incapacitation (this can include being under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, being passed out and/or asleep)
      • If a participant has a mental disability
      • If either party used physical force, threats, intimidation, or coercion to gain consent
    • When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation.
  • Immunity Policy
    • Limited immunity to students who have been sexually assaulted
    • For example, although the College does not condone drinking or violation of other College policies, reporting assaults are considered to be of paramount importance and will provide limited immunity to foster and support reporting of sexual assaults on campus.
    • This policy solely applies to instances of sexual assault .
  • Good Samaritan Policy
    • Students who report misconduct, or other behaviors that violate campus policies, or who assist survivors of policy violations, but who might be policy violators themselves, will be given limited immunity in instances of students who file a sexual misconduct complaint.
    • The Good Samaritan Policy solely applies to instances of sexual misconduct and does not imply immunity towards other sexual misconduct allegations.
  • Options Following a Sexual Assault
    • Seek Medical Attention
      • Collection of physical evidence is essential if the person wants to pursue options of pressing charges in the future
      • The first 72 hours after an assault are critical for evidence collection and for preventative measures against STIs
    • File a Report with the Police/Dean of Students Office
      • Anonymous reporting
      • Right not to file
    • Seek General Support
      • Counseling (through Emmons or off-campus)
      • Housing relocation
      • Stay Away Letter
      • Project SAFE
  • How to Respond within 72 Hours of the Assault
    • Encourage the survivor to
      • Call the police
      • You can file a report without pressing charges immediately
      • While we encourage survivors to file a police report soon after an assault, some people may file a report weeks, months or years later – if someone confides in you about a previous assault, you can still encourage them to report it!
      • Seek medical attention at a local hospital emergency department
      • One of our local partnerships is the Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center – they provide free 24 hour care – including medical examinations, evidence collection and counseling services.
      • Obtain follow-up counseling
      • Emmons is a great resource to refer students to – they can also help students navigate off-campus or long-term assistance
  • How to Respond: Reasons to Report the Assault
    • Reporting helps the survivor regain a sense of personal power and control.
    • Reporting allows the survivor access to specialized medical care.
    • Reporting helps preserve evidence which could be valuable in prosecuting.
    • Reporting helps survivors resolve concerns about personal safety and security.
    • Reporting does not mean prosecution is certain, but if pursued later, the first steps have been taken.
  • How to Respond: General Tips
    • Let the survivor know that you want to listen. Let the survivor talk; do not interrupt or make the conversation about your opinion. Show interest, nod your head to let the survivor know that you are listening.
    • There is no "correct" way to respond to a survivor. The important thing is for the survivor to be able to talk to a reassuring and supportive responder.
    • Believe the survivor. People rarely make up stories about sexual assault.
    • Let the survivor be in control of the situation and make decisions about reporting to the police or going through the rape protocol exam, etc.
    • Report the assault to your supervisor (or the person on duty if this is after business hours). Tell the survivor you can keep this “private” but not “confidential”
    • If you are not sure how to handle the situation, or need help for yourself, contact a Project SAFE peer advocate to provide tips on how to speak with a survivor, or to discuss your own reactions and needs as a responder.
  • RA Role
    • If someone tells you about an assault, follow the general tips for listening and providing resources while also giving the survivor the control to make their own decisions regarding reporting/seeking medical attention
    • If the survivor wants to seek medical attention and/or file a report, let them know about their resources (i.e. SMRTC and the Dean of Students office)
    • Let the survivor know that you need to inform your supervisor or GHC on duty.
    • Call the appropriate GHC/Pro Staff and provide information about the situation/ask for assistance (we will come to the situation!).
    • If the assault was recent, encourage the survivor to refrain from showering/drinking/urinating if they want to seek medical assistance/evidence collection
    • If the survivor wants to change clothes, please have them put the clothes they were wearing at the time of the assault into a PAPER bag (plastic can destroy evidence) – they can bring these items with them for their exam.
    • Complete a SEAN report after working with the GHC/Pro Staff to make sure all other steps have been taken to provide support to the survivor.
  • RA Role
    • Remember – if someone confides in you about a sexual assault, it is because they trust you and feel you can support them.
    • Every situation is different – it is important to follow up with the survivor to make sure they know you are a support even after the initial response. Allow the survivor to seek you out as needed without pressuring them.
    • We understand that handling certain situations can “trigger” an emotional response from us as staff. If you do not feel comfortable handling a situation and/or need follow up support yourself, please know the GHCs/Pro Staff are here to help you any way we can.
  • Confidentiality
    • Occidental College will preserve student confidentiality to the extent possible and allowed by law.
    • As RAs, you have a responsibility to report to your supervisor.
      • Explain that you will need to share this information with our on-call professional staff
      • Explain that our staff will be able to assist the survivor with resources and provide support while protecting the student’s privacy
      • “ Privacy” means you will only discuss the information with those who “need to know”
    • Who holds legally protected roles at Oxy?
      • Emmons Health Center (medical clinicians)
      • Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (clergy)
    • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits the disclosure of conduct records to any third party without written permission from the student(s) involved.
      • Exception: complainants of sexual assault cases have the right to be informed of the result of any hearing procedures.
  • Sexual Assault Conduct Process
    • As RAs, you will most likely not be involved in this process, but you can help students understand the steps:
    • Formal Complaint (filed through the Dean of Students Office)
    • Assessment of Imminent Danger/Stay Away Notice
    • Interview Complainant/Respondent/Witnesses
    • Prepare Report and Supporting Materials
    • Hearing
    • Decision
      • If responsible for non-consensual sexual intercourse, expulsion is the automatic sanction
    • Appeal
      • Both the complainant and respondent can appeal
  • Resources
    • Students who wish to anonymously inform the College of a sexual assault may call (323) 341-4750 or fill out a form online at http://departments.oxy.edu/safe/live/anonymousreport.htm.
  • Resources – On Campus
      • Emmons Health Center (323-259-2657)
      • Dean of Students Office (323-259-2661)
      • Campus Safety (323-259-2599)
      • Project SAFE (Sexual Assault-Free Environment), a peer-operated group (323-321-4750)
      • Office for Religious and Spiritual Life clergy (323-259-2621)
      • Residential Education and Housing Services (323-259-2531)
  • Resources – Off Campus
    • Off-campus agencies
      • Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center--24 hour emergency medical care and forensic examination; individual, conjoint and family psychotherapy; legal advocacy and accompaniment. 
      • (310) 319-4000 option “ 0 ”
      • Peace Over Violence -- 24-hour Hotline: For information, support, referrals, accompaniments, advocacy, counseling, and self-defense.  Ten free counseling appointments are available for individuals who have been sexually assaulted at (213) 955-9090.
      • (626) 793-3385       (310) 392-8381           (213) 626-3393
      • Valley Trauma Center -- 24-hour Hotline: For information, support, referrals, accompaniments, advocacy, counseling, and education.                                           
      • (818) 886-0453     (661) 253-0258
  • Please take a moment to write down any questions about this presentation you would like to cover during training Please proceed to the questionnaire regarding this presentation