SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY
SEXUAL ASSAULT, INTERPERSONAL VIOLENCE & STALKING PROCEDURE
Slippery Rock University considers sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking to be actions of power and control. Anyone can be a victim regardless of age, sex, race or sexual orientation. The acts described below can be committed by a stranger or by someone you know: a classmate, friend, date, etc. According to the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, a sex offense is defined as “either a forcible or non-forcible sexual act directed against another person, against that person’s will, or where the victim is incapable of giving consent, and may include rape”. The Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook identifies aggravated assault (an element in interpersonal violence) as “An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.” Additionally, 18 Pa. C.S. § 2709.1 (2003) defines stalking as engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.
An individual becoming aware of sexual assault, interpersonal violence or stalking should:
- Encourage the person to contact University Police
The University Police department is located on Keister Road and can be reached by calling 724.738.3333. University Police officers will make all efforts to investigate campus crime within the scope of the law and will provide support and referral options. Persons who have experienced violence should be encouraged to preserve all physical evidence regardless of whether or not they will press charges. Choosing not to press charges immediately does not prohibit one from doing so in the future, and physical evidence will be important to their case. University Police will honor all protection and no contact orders as directed by law. A copy of the order is to be provided to University Police, to be kept on file. Students not residing on campus may need to work with Slippery Rock Borough Police (724-794-6388) or PA State Police (724-284-8100). In off-campus cases requiring urgent measures individuals should contact the local emergency operating center at 911.
- Encourage the person to seek medical attention.
Medical attention is important for someone who has experienced physical or sexual assault. Student Health Services (SHS) is located in Rhoads Hall and is accessible to students 24/7. When a student reports sexual or physical assault to SHS the practitioner will assess physical injuries, provide prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and offer transportation to local hospitals for an exam to collect evidence. As part of their protocol, SHS will contact a specially trained advocate to talk with the student who experienced interpersonal violence. The student has the right to refuse an advocate, but most find the involvement of a highly trained support person to be essential to their recovery. SHS also has the ability to provide temporary safe housing for students who do not feel safe returning to their place of residence. Contact SHS at 724-738-2052.
- Encourage the person to seek emotional support
A strong support system, including family, friends, advocates, and counselors, is beneficial to students who experienced sexual assault, interpersonal violence and/or stalking. Advocates from the Women’s Center Bridge Project (724-738-2121) will talk with a student about the dynamics of her/his experience based on her/his current situation. Staff will provide referrals to the appropriate on and off campus services, explain the procedures of other reporting offices, assist with safety planning, and follow up to see if there are any additional questions/concerns. The Bridge Project works closely with Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe). VOICe provides legal and medical accompaniment, emotional support and a 24-hour hotline: 1-800-400-8551. SRU Student Counseling Services (724-738-2034), located in Rhoads Hall provides counseling, support services and referral information to students. Individuals are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with a counselor in advance of arriving at the center. All services listed are free and confidential. Student information may not be released to a third party without a signed release of information (some rare exceptions exist as required by law).
- Encourage the person to consider on-campus disciplinary action.
A student who experiences sexual assault, interpersonal violence and/or stalking may request that university disciplinary procedures are initiated against the accused student. The Office of Student Conflict Resolution Services (OSCRS) is responsible for implementing the Student Code of Conduct. Reports made to this office are not criminal charges. Once a complaint has been made, OSCRS staff will gather information about the complaint and prepare for a hearing. On campus hearings typically occur in a timely fashion. A no-trespass notice can be given to the accused student if there is concern for safety. Once issued, a no-trespass notice prohibits any contact, including electronic contact, between the accuser and the accused. Possible disciplinary sanctions for sexual assault, interpersonal violence and/stalking include, but are not limited to, removal from on campus housing; suspension from the university; and expulsion from the university. Information concerning the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding will be made available to the complainant. The prohibits the release of this information to persons not directly involved in the incident in question.
Academic and Living Arrangements
The Women’s Center Director can assist students who have experienced violence and are concerned for their safety in the classroom. Students also have the option of contacting the academic dean.
Campus Living Arrangements
The Women’s Center Director can assist students who have experienced violence and are concerned for their safety in on-campus housing. Students also have the option of contacting the Assistant Vice President of Student Development.
The university is committed to providing educational outreach to students, faculty and staff to increase awareness of sexual assault, interpersonal violence and stalking, and to encourage behaviors that reduce the incidents of these crimes. On an annual basis the Women’s Center Bridge Project provides educational presentations to incoming students, training workshops for faculty and staff, guest lecturers in academic classes, and community awareness events. For more information on programs and events contact the Women’s Center at 724-738-2992
Self defense workshops are available to groups by contacting University Police at 724-738-3333 or VOICe at 724-776-5910
Statement of Rights
Rights of the Victim & the Alleged Perpetrator:
· The right to an investigation and response to complaints made in good faith to the university administration.
· The right to be treated with respect.
· The right to have one other person present (in support or advisory roles) during a campus disciplinary hearing dealing with issues of violence.
· The right to be informed of the outcome and sanction of any disciplinary hearing you are involved in, when the offense involves violence.
· The right to be fully informed of campus judicial and law enforcement rules and procedures as well as the nature and extent of all charges contained within the complaint
Rights specific to the victim:
· The right to report an allegation and have all reported allegations treated with seriousness.
· The right to be notified of available counseling, mental health or student services for victims of violent crimes, both on and off campus.
· The right to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including local police, and the option to be assisted in notifying appropriate authorities (in addition to campus disciplinary measures).
· The right to have your complaints responded to quickly and with sensitivity by campus law enforcement and/or judicial programs.
· The right to choose the manner in which the case will be pursued.
· The right to request campus no trespass order against another student who has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student or others pending further resolution.
· The right to request a change in housing or class arrangements after an alleged incident, providing that the request is reasonable.
· The right to be present and hear all testimony and evidence related to disciplinary charges (crime of violence victims only).
· The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing.
· The right to provide a victim’s impact statement at the campus judicial proceeding and to have that statement considered by the board.
Rights specific to the accused student:
· The right to request to review information regarding the complaint, subject to the confidentiality limitations imposed by state and federal law.
· The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses who will be called to give testimony (this does not include the names of the alleged victim/complainant and witnesses, which will always be revealed).
· The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the judicial body, in accordance with the standard for appeal established by the university.