RCASA’s Saturday Prevention: Sexual Assault Prevention at UMW

In Advocacy, Awareness Campaigns, Education, Outreach, Sexual Assault Awareness on July 24, 2010 at 8:00 am

The Office of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility works with issues of student conduct, wherever they arise on campus. The Office educates students about their responsibilities within the UMW community, as well as about their rights, should they be accused of violating behavioral expectations, or should they believe that they have been victimized or otherwise negatively impacted by another student’s conduct.

Behavioral expectations at UMW are based on several factors, including local, commonwealth, and federal law; student well-being; the development of interpersonal skills necessary for successful relationships with other individuals; and the development of citizenship skills necessary for successful relationships with society as a whole.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University of Mary Washington community will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form, including acquaintance rape and stalking. Nor will it tolerate aiding another in the commission of any form of sexual misconduct. These are serious violations of the Mary Washington Statement of Community Values and constitute violations of University regulations, which are punishable through the judicial system. This policy will also apply in any situation where the University has reasonable cause to believe that the safety and welfare of the University community requires action pursuant to this policy.
Sexual misconduct includes: rape; forcible sodomy; forcible cunnilingus or fellatio; sexual penetration with an inanimate object; fondling or touching an unwilling person’s genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks (covered or uncovered); or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts (genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks). More specifically, sexual misconduct includes acquaintance rape/sexual misconduct, defined as any of the aforementioned acts undertaken by a friend or acquaintance without consent, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent such as when the victim is physically or mentally incapacitated by alcohol or other drugs. Sexual misconduct occurs when a person is subjected to any of the above acts against his/her will, either by force, threat, intimidation, or through use of the victim’s mental or physical helplessness of which the accused was aware or should have been aware. Aiding another in the commission of any of the aforementioned acts, whether by physical restraint or otherwise rendering a person incapacitated, shall also be a violation of this policy. The recording or broadcasting of sexual activity without the consent or knowledge of parties involved shall be considered a violation of this policy.
Sexual misconduct also includes stalking. Stalking is defined under Section 18.2-60.3 of the Virginia Code and includes any behavior, directed at another person, on more than one occasion, that the actor intends, knows, or reasonably should know, places the other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault or bodily injury to that person. Examples of stalking behaviors include but are not limited to the following: non-consensual communication, including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, email, written letters, unwanted gifts, threatening or obscene gesture, pursuing or following, surveillance or other observation, trespassing, vandalism, and non-consensual touching.

Campus Services

A tragic outcome of campus sexual assault is that most students remain silent. In fact, because the act is often perpetrated by a trusted acquaintance, many students do not recognize that they have been assaulted. These silent victims can experience profound and long-lasting changes in their lives – psychologically, socially, developmentally, and academically.
The University of Mary Washington recognizes the need to be responsive to the problem of sexual assault on campus and is committed to providing programs/services that are both educational, preventive, and remedial in nature. The goal is to increase awareness and educate the entire campus community as well as to provide an environment which assists the victim in the recovery process.

Remedial Services

The University provides services to students who are victims of sexual assault. The written protocol for responding to sexual assault cases will guarantee that victims receive needed information and access to treatment, and that appropriate personnel are notified when a sexual assault occurs. These services assist the student in dealing with the medical, psychological, judicial, and academic implications of the assault.

Residence Life: If a residence hall staff member is notified of an assault, he/she can assist the victim in obtaining necessary services (Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Police, Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault). The Residence Life professional on-call will accompany the student to the Health Center, where any services needed may be initiated. Residence Life professional staff can also provide follow-up as the student returns to the residence hall. All Residence Life staff will maintain strict confidentiality. Resident Assistants are required to notify the Residence Life professional on-call if a student has been assaulted so that the student will receive professional assistance in accessing services. RCASA may be accessed through Residence Life staff, the Residence Life Office (654-1058) or by calling 371-1666 at any time.

Health Center: For immediate medical attention, a student may be taken to the campus Health Center during regular operating hours, or to the Mary Washington Hospital Emergency Room if the Health Center is closed. At that time a determination will be made as to immediate medical needs and whether or not further treatment is required. In the event the student wishes to have physical evidence collected for possible future legal action, this exam must be performed by specially trained hospital personnel. Health Center staff can discuss with the victim the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. They will also ask the victim if he/she would like to speak with someone from the University of Mary Washington Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or  RCASA and arrange contact with an advocate.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): The University of Mary Washington CAPS staff provides on-call services to the Health Center and Residence Life in the event of a sexual assault or other crisis situation. A victim may also initiate contact directly with CAPS to obtain help in dealing with the aftereffects of the assault. The staff can provide support as the victim deals with the emotional/psychological impact of the assault, as well as assist him/her in decision-making regarding reporting of the assault, contacting parents/significant other, handling academic schedules/commitments, etc. The CAPS Center can provide follow-up services to the student or help him/her connect with an advocate from Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault and/or a mental health referral in the local community. Services are also provided to students who come to CAPS for other reasons and in the course of treatment disclose a rape or sexual assault. Strict confidentiality is maintained throughout the process.

University Police: A rape that occurs on the University campus is both a criminal violation and a violation of University codes of student conduct. Students are encouraged to report the assault to University Police, and may do so anonymously, even if they do not intend to press charges. Members of the University of Mary Washington community other than the victim may also file an anonymous third party report of the assault which does not name the victim or alleged perpetrator. This report increases police awareness of crimes on campus and helps them to focus prevention efforts on these areas. The University Police will assist the victim in filing a police report of the assault as well as provide information about the procedure for criminal prosecution and will coordinate meetings with the local Commonwealth Attorney and Victim Assistance Director. The police will conduct an investigation of the alleged crime and keep the victim informed as to the findings. The University Police Office will also make any necessary referrals to campus and/or local agencies to assist the victim.

Dean of Student Life: The Dean of Student Life or designee will provide information to the victim about options for pursuing a charge against the assailant through the University judicial process. In addition, in conjunction with the Director of Residence Life, options for modification of living arrangements will be provided if the victim and accused live in the same residence hall or in close proximity to one another. The Vice President for Student Affairs, Dean of Student Life, or Director of Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility may also issue a “no contact” order to help ensure that the victim is not harassed by the alleged assailant.

All information from:

Judicial Affairs and Community Responsibility
University of Mary Washington
Office: Marye House, 2nd floor
Mailing Address: 1301 College Avenue, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Phone: 540.654.1660

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